Question of the week
What is your philosophy about how much time/money someone should donate to charity relative to circumstances such as family obligations, income and wealth?
I did not grow up in a family that really thought about how we fit into the bigger picture of the world. It was basically every man for himself. My parents, perhaps because they were products of a particular generation, were very self absorbed. Yet we did grow up in a very liberal family so we were broad-minded.
Americans are taught from early on the importance of giving back to their community. We have seen that many of the organizations in this country are the first to set up funding for tragic events that have happened around the world. We see kids creating lemonade stands to send money, etc. It is one of the most amazing qualities of this country.
Our lives changed financially when our kids were 8, 6 and 3. I was very concerned that our kids would not be grounded, driven, determined and of course humble and polite. I decided that it was important to get involved with MOUSE so that our kids could see how incredibly lucky they were and be exposed to kids that did not have access to the world they did. That is also a reason we sent our kids to LREI.
The message has always been, with privelege comes a responsibility to give back. Even at each of their bar/bat mitzvahs they each had to choose an organization that they wanted to follow or be part of and give a certain amount to that organization. We wanted them to write that check so they realized the impact that money was making.
Fred and I support organizations that we believe are making a difference. Our kids are very aware of each of the organizations we support. It is essential that everyone gives back at some level. I truly believe it is the right thing to do.