I love telling other people’s stories. I am a story-teller. The story that I usually don’t tell is my own. After returning from my family reunion there are parts of my story that I think need to be shared. And that is where I come from.
Each week I talk about these remarkable individuals who start non-profits and change our world, share about raising philanthropic children and all things inspiring. I had never really taken inventory of where or how I learned these skills…..until I took a look at those who had modeled these for me.
The photo above is a picture of my grandparents, aunt and uncle advertising that they used War Bonds for WWII. Even then they were showing their young children what was important and a way to make a difference.
My grandmother was a huge part of my life and was giving communion to “the elderly” when she was in her late eighties and “the elderly” were in their early seventies. She raised seven children who learned from her example and all of them have given of themselves through their profession or service in remarkable ways. My aunts and uncles are teachers, addiction specialist, psychologist, military counselors for returning soldiers, nuns and my retired aunt feeds the homeless daily. Each of them has used their gifts to help others.
As a result my cousins and I have all followed suit in similar ways. People always ask me how to raise philanthropic children and the answer became very clear to me this past week. Be philanthropic. It is not about telling them, it is about showing your children through your actions what is important. Using your time and gifts to make another’s life better is the best way to show our children what true philanthropy is. It’s just that simple.
If you don’t feel you have done this yet, the beauty is that it is never too late to start. So take a look at your family tree and ask your self, “Where do I come from?” My guess is from some pretty remarkable people.
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