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Word of the Day: Philanthropy

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Philanthropy, the satisfaction of sharing and celebrating

by Danna Martinez

Help without thinking of receiving something in return, being supportive with yourself and with other people. Society is built from establishing good relationships; what better way to do it than by providing a little help altruistically or selflessly?

The word philanthropy has its origin in ancient Greek, composed of philia, which refers to a feeling of love or friendship, and ánthrōpos, which refers to a man or human being in general. This concept means “love of humanity.” With this, it is intended to provide selfless help in which people cultivate the love of themselves and others in favor of human well-being, encourage creativity and promote culture, science, art, and philosophy.

Philanthropy is the virtue of helping others selflessly, without expecting anything in return. There are various ways in which philanthropy is represented, for example, volunteering, social action, charity, or donations (clothes, food, money, etc.), all to help people. Philanthropy is related to providing something, be it time or attention, to other people, fundamental causes, or solidarity projects. The main goal is to make people feel good. These are some ideas of how to help from the community according to the Learning to Give website:

  • Thoughts, ideas, and plans for the community
  • Time dedicated to community needs and improvements
  • Knowledge and experience of the members
  • Pro bono services from community institutions and individuals
  • Cash contributions (of any size)
  • In-kind contributions (meeting places, food, and drink, tools, equipment, etc.)

It often happens that in addition to dedicating their time, people put their knowledge and professional skills into practice in the service of the fight against poverty and social exclusion, among many other causes. In general, this type of aid is generated through a non-profit organization, helping them strengthen their infrastructures and processes to achieve their objectives.

It’s something that needs to be clear when helping a person; you can surely help with the necessary tools. Good preparation is essential, and in some cases, a good team of specialists to help.

Philanthropy in the US is in an advanced stage of development. The will to contribute to the common good is part of people’s daily lives. American society pays fewer taxes overall, expecting each person to allocate extra money to the social causes that matter most to them. On average, Americans spend four hours a week doing community service in various activities, such as preparing meals in soup kitchens, hosting fundraisers, or serving foundations.

According to Tony Robbins’ website, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett frequently top the list of the best philanthropists. In 2018, Buffet donated $3.4 billion to foundations dedicated to women’s rights and social justice. He has also contributed to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Through his foundation, Gates has donated $2.6 billion to causes such as HIV and polio eradication. During their lifetimes, Buffett has donated $21.5 billion and Gates $27 billion, putting them ahead of any other famous philanthropist in the world. We also find Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Mark Zuckerberg, and Serena Williams.

Like these celebrities, each person has the opportunity to contribute a grain of sand to society selflessly, not necessarily from the economic side. Each small action involves a change. Remember to guide that movement towards something positive.

“Success is not a finite resource; share it, wish it to others, and celebrate it to others.” Savania China.

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