In keeping with this week’s theme of kindness, I wanted to acknowledge another upcoming nationally recognized day – National Philanthropy Day. Every year on November 15th, thousands of people around the world come together to celebrate philanthropy in all forms, whether it’s giving, volunteering, or engaging in acts of charity.
Philanthropy has long been active in our organization. BNI began in 1952 when a group of Erie men and women declared that children with disabilities deserve an education. At that point, schools did not welcome children with disabilities. Families’ only options were to keep their youngster at home, or send them to an institution. These men and women gave their time, energy, and financial support to this cause, and as a result, established the first special education classrooms.
Today, hundreds of volunteers support the BNI through fundraisers, participating in parent group, and signing on as a classroom assistant, to name a few. Many of our employees also generously donate a portion of their paycheck to our Employee Service Fund, which donates funds to non-profit organizations as well as families in need.
National Philanthropy was first recognized in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed November 15th as National Philanthropy Day. Since that day, communities across the globe have celebrated by hosting events to recognize activities of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations, and others engaged in philanthropy.
In Erie, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Northwestern PA Chapter, holds an annual luncheon to honor philanthropists and philanthropic organizations. Our nominee, Dr. Steven Krauza, was selected for the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser for his incredible volunteer efforts toward a number of events, including Barber Beast on the Bay.
We are a better society and world because of the philanthropic efforts of many. After all, philanthropy is “the love of humankind!”