According to dictionary.com philanthropy is defined as, altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes. Why does this matter? The apostle James writes in his book that we are not only judged by our faith but our works as well. In fact, he asks us to question our faith without our works. Philanthropy is one way we can provide our blessings in order to aide our neighbors who are less blessed.
Often we hear stories of those celebrities such as Oprah, and Angelina Jolie who often provide their time and resources to help those in need. I also like to find others who do the same. You see it is very easy to look into the mainstream media and see evil but we typically have to dig to find good , especially when the top stories are war and school shootings. So in a week when the top news story in Knoxville, TN was an unfortunate shooting in a school cafeteria, it was also announced that Pat Summitt also donated $600,000 to the University of Tennessee to be shared by the Knoxville campus and her alma mater campus UT-Martin.
My mother brought this to my attention the other day and it sparked me to conduct one of my searches to find more. Then I thought I couldn’t pass up posting some of these for those of you who take time to read my blog when Reed, Ada and Anna Kate all have much more interesting things to see. I also would like to hear about the ones you know, (it doesn’t have to be celebrity philanthropist). If for nothing else but to show that even though the economic outlook is bad we can face tomorrow because Jesus’ spirit lives within our works.
Boozer’s Buddies – Okay I have to admit I took a double take on this one but I quickly learned that just as we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover we shouldn’t judge a fund by its name either. This is actually a fund created by Carlos Boozer former Duke University basketball star and current member of the Utah Jazz. It supports families who have been affected by Sickle Cell Disease.
Shawn Marion Foundation – This one especially caught my eye because he is from my home town of Clarksville TN and graduated with my brother in the CHS Class of 96. Shawn currently plays for the Miami Heat. His fund supports single parent families. Something else that hits home with me. Although, I was young when Phillip came along I still remember the days of single parent living.
You can find many more just like these at www.givingback.org. However one that you may not find very easily is Dr. Jack Lupton, who is believed by some to be responsible for bottling more Coca Cola than anyone else in the world. In 2001, he donated $25 million to educational programs at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. However, this is only one of the many donations that he and his wife have made. The Lyndhurst Foundation founded by his family has made many contributions most recently helping to fund and plan the Chattanooga Riverpark. Read more about this at http://www.moccasinbend.org/LuptonI.htm.
Oh and one last story. My brother once felt compelled to purchase a coke for a homeless gentleman in downtown Nashville. However, before giving him the soda it dropped and rolled down the street. Without, any more cash to purchase a new one for him, Chris still gave him the coke. What Chris has never told me though was if he warned the gentleman of the possible surprise when he opened the bottle. Well, I guess it’s the thought that counts.
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