Philanthropy is a type of kindness that concerns itself with concern for the well-being of others. More specifically, the Mariam-Webster dictionary defines philanthropy as “the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people.” I extend this definition to include the practice of fund-raising for charities. One great thing about America is the seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy our citizens expend in raising money for worthwhile causes. We have over a hundred thousand non-profit organizations in the United States such as the Jaycees, Junior League, Red Cross, United Way, CFC, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and many others who together raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help make life better for other citizens in need. Only a kind and loving people can make such efforts successful year after year. Philanthropy is truly a great American success story and highlights the extraordinary compassion and kindness of Americans. Corporations have stepped up for philanthropy as well, with Microsoft giving away over $3 billion in cash and software to help bridge the digital divide by providing computer access to those who otherwise would be without it. There are thousands of other corporate examples as well.

Do you have a charity you regularly give to or raise funds for? My favorite is the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which helps the families and children of wounded or killed members of American military special operations units. The special operations community has born the brunt of the past 14 years of war with repeated deployments to remote, austere environments around the world, and when they are not deployed they’re often engaged in intensive training. Their families have earned our support in their time of need. I encourage every citizen to adopt a favorite charitable cause and donate time and/or money to it, and to become an advocate for that cause. You never know how much good you can do until you try!

Ron Hill