Celebrating Philanthropy

National Philanthropy Day Logo

Today, I had the happy experience of being the guest of the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Louisville Chapter's National Philanthropy Day Luncheon. It's an event that reminds you of the potential we all have within us to do good, make change, and give back. They honored a bevy of individuals and organizations who have devoted countless hours to the betterment of the greater Louisville community - a truly uplifting experience that puts your heart and mind in the right place.

I was pleased to be able to bring Rose Wathen with me, a former Rauch, Inc. and Rauch Foundation Board Member, wealth advisor for Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co., and all around lovely person. Rose was one of a core group of people who were instrumental in rallying a host of donors to support Rauch's first capital campaign three years ago, a resounding success which raised $3.06 million to address an array of needs across our agency, from new lighting and air conditioning at Rauch Industries, to a computer database and telephone system, to the final funds needed to complete the clubhouse, pool, and park at our Hawthorn Glen housing. Without the many, many philanthropic supporters of Rauch both during the campaign and on an ongoing basis, we simply couldn't accomplish what we do for individuals with disabilities, and we're tremendously grateful to those charitable hearts. (Shameless plug: if you're feeling philanthropic right now, you can easily make a donation to Rauch online).

I encourage everyone to check out the story of the luncheon speaker, Kevin Salwen. Kevin wrote a book entitled The Power of Half about the changes their family undertook in an effort to live a more meaningful life. In 2006, at the prompting of his then 14-year-old daughter Hannah, their family changed direction, downsizing the size of their home by half and using the funds gained to fuel philanthropic change - and building better family relationships in the process. Among other things, he and his family embarked on a family project to help villagers in Africa build a better future for themselves and their children. Kevin and his family spend much of their time and energy encouraging Americans to recognize that they can build more powerful relationships through generosity and service.