This page will provide an overview of what charitable actions we have done, why we do them, and we will keep it updated as we continue to give in the future.
Giving is a responsibility and a pleasure. It is a responsibility in that it is every individual's responsibility to help take care of those who are unable to do so for themselves and to help make the world a better place. The pleasure is something that not all people understand. I had a choir teacher in High School who one day told the story of helping a stranded person with car troubles. When she went to thank him he said, "I didn't help you as an act of charity; I did it because I got personal satisfaction out of doing it." Through his act of "charity" he left happier than before he entered in it, so was it still charity or was he just acting in his own self-interest? I think it was both, and in the same way I think that I can be richer (and happier) by giving (even if it makes my bank statement poorer). Thus I am both required by my personal convictions and encouraged by my own selfish desire for happiness to give to charity.
I give because it I enjoy the thought that I am making the world better. It sounds corny but when I think of why I work so hard to earn money I certainly think of what good it will do me, but also think of what good it can do others.While people will look at the amount of money that I donate and think that it represents the fact that I am making a large quantity of money I would like to interject that the reason I am able to give away these chunks of money is that I am committed to living a frugal life and do not waste money. If you have seen how my house is furnished and decorated you would know I am telling the truth.
Most people have the ability to waste/spend considerably less money than they do and give the resulting savings to charity. There is a great American tradition of philanthropy, one that I always saw practiced in my family, and it is one that I desire to continue. –Eric Nelson
This year we offered a $7,000.00 matching donation to the Park Ridge Community Fund if they were able to raise the same amount from other donors by Dec. 31. They succeeded wildly and raised about $25,000. We also donated $3,000.00 to Technoserve whose mission is to help entrepreneurial men and women in poor areas of the developing world to build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth for their families, their communities and their countries.
We again offered a matching donation of $5,000 to the Park Ridge Community Fund and they again raised funds well above that! This year we also offered a matching gift of $5,000 to the Institute for Justice. Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As the national law firm for liberty, they stick to a clear mission engaging in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government.
We again offered a matching donation to the Park Ridge Community Fund of $10,000.00. We enjoy supporting the PRCF because they support so many local area charities and are so good at raising funds in excess of our matching donation!
This year we wanted to make sure we were donating locally, nationally, and internationally. Locally we gave $10,000.00 to the Park Ridge Community Fund which by now you should know we like! We also renewed and increased our support of the Institute for Justice with another matching grant of $10,000.00. You can read more about above them above. This year we sent $10,500.00 to Kiva, an organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. They leverage the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions to allow individuals to lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Read more about them at kiva.org.
We once again issued a challenge grand to the Park Ridge Community Fund of $5,000 and they were able to greatly exceed that amount. We also issued a challenge grant of $25,000 to the Institute for Justice to match funds they could raise for Giving Tuesday in honor of their 25th anniversary which they celebrated in 2016!
By this time you are probably familiar with the Park Ridge Community Fund who we gave $10,000 in matching funds to use in their holiday fundraising push, and we responded to a challenge from the institute for Justice and gave $20,000.
Gail at the Park Ridge Community Fund knows how to persuade, and when she told us that by offering $13,000 to use for their holiday fundraising we could become the largest donor in the history of the Park Ridge Community Fund we couldn't resist. This year we also donated $5,000 to the Center on Halsted and $5,000 to The Trevor Project a group that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Lastly we gave $10,000 to the Institute for Justice whose work helps so many from overreach of the government when it comes to crucial issues of private property, first amendment and economic liberty.