At the Root of Philanthropy

Jewels In Our Community: Denise Fries
July 19, 2012
It’s Harvest Festival time at Messina Hof
July 23, 2012

At its greek root, the word PHILANTHROPY means loving humanity. When people ask for “support” or “donations” for charity, what they really are asking for is enough love to cover all mankind. It sounds daunting until you realize that if everyone shares the love, humanity can carry the load.

All alone, the needs are so great anyone might be tempted to just give up. Fortunately, love comes in myriad forms and is able to be shared according to individual gifts – from hands to finish a project, to money to buy supplies, to giving the time it takes to tell others about where they can fill a need. 

In this issue, you’ll find 30 different nonprofit organizations that work in different ways make our corner of humanity a better place. You’ll also read in-depth profiles about two successful businesses that have made philanthropy an integral part of their business practices: David Gardner Jewelers and Fries Financial Services. Writing the profiles about David and Julia Gardner and Denise Fries, I learned new things about three people I’ve known for many years, most interestingly, how each arrived at the way they have chosen to combine business  and  philanthropy.  It’s hard not to feel a little overwhelmed by the breadth of their commitment to loving humanity.

Then again, each of the 30 nonprofits  high-lighted in this issue would be happy with myriad forms of love: hands to finish local projects, money to buy supplies  to carry out their work, and time spent telling others about the how and where they can help fill a need.

Each according to his ability; many hands make light work … pick your favorite aphorism on why it’s worth getting involved. Then get involved. At the heart of it, philanthropy is just a really old Greek word  that means ‘love your neighbor.’ Just like there are thousands of neighbors, there are a thousands of ways to show that love. – Angelique Gammon