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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Video Voice – ‘Charity begins at home’

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My mother used to say, “Charity begins at home.” Growing up I interpreted that as first take care your family – then your community – then others in the world who need help.

Given my mom took great care of our family, volunteered locally with the Society for the Blind, raised funds for special needs kids, plus gave money to the Royal Lifeboat Fund each year – it seems so obvious. My mother embodied that philosophy.

However, later in life, I heard another interpretation of that saying: in order for people to become charitable, it must be taught at home.

Again, my mom had that covered. In addition to being a great role model, I was signed up to volunteer every Sunday afternoon at the old age pensioner’s home and on Saturdays help out at the local riding school – albeit for a girl who entered every Win A Pony competition – that felt like a gift!

Either way you interpret that saying, my mom was all over it. And as I sit across from many teens and young adults on Spotlight each year it’s clear their moms and dads are all over it too. Just look at what their kids are doing.

Jane Boettcher founded The Merry Tutor which offers free tutoring services to local students K-12. Bridget and Ian Gustafson continue to honor their brother’s legacy and lead the Swifty Foundation in pursuit of a cure for pediatric cancer. Anuva Shandilya created her own nonprofit, Chance for Sports, which collects gently used sports equipment to give to underprivileged children.

All of these wonderful young people, raised in Naperville, understand the importance of charity. They’re working to be an agent for positive change in our world.  Regardless of how you interpret the age-old saying, one thing is clear. In order to ensure future generations are philanthropic at heart, we need to role model it, teach it, and value it.

The facts bear this out. According to Talk About Giving, 71 percent of children with philanthropic parents go on to be philanthropists themselves, while only 47 percent of children of parents who do not give become philanthropists. 

Charity begins at home!

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Jane Wernette
Jane Wernettehttp://nctv17.com/
Jane Wernette is Community Development Director for Naperville Community Television, Channel 17. Contact her at jwernette@nctv17.com. Visit NCTV17.com for more information and the complete weekly schedule. NCTV17 is located at 127 Ambassador Drive, Suite 103 in Naperville.
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