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Executive Letter by Perri Graham-Raff, Executive Director of The BATC Foundation
A couple of months ago a colleague handed me an article titled “Secret of happiness: Being generous.” The article from the Chicago Tribune talks about the many research studies that proclaim the physical and psychological benefits of giving. According to studies, the benefits are significant: lowered blood pressure, lower risk of dementia, less anxiety and depression, reduced cardiovascular risk and overall greater happiness.
As someone whose career has focused on providing people the opportunity to give, I could have told you this without the trouble of running a study (although it’s nice to have the affirmation). I have seen the satisfaction in the eyes of someone who has made a difference. As a donor myself, I know that it feels good to help others. Of course, I know that most people don’t give just because it makes them feel good – there are many reasons for giving, just as there are many ways to give. Volunteering your time has the same benefits as making a cash donation – so keep in mind that we’ll soon be looking for Build Partners for our 2016 projects.
As I write this, we are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, traditionally a time of thanks and reflection. Thinking about this past year, I give thanks for the opportunity to support a remarkable young family – Marco and Gena Solt and their young son Devin. I believe that Marco and his family have given more to many of us than he has received. His courage and resourcefulness in the face of his challenges are inspiring. Marco could have given up but instead he has refused to let the physical loss of two legs slow him down. He truly is a hero.
The statistics vary, but many fund raising “experts” will tell you that anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of all financial gifts are made during the last week of the year. As you make plans for your end of year charitable giving, please think of the BATC Foundation. We are growing and have big plans, but we need your help to get there. You can give online at www.batc.org/donatevolunteer where you can give a one-time gift or become a Sustaining Donor by setting up a recurring monthly or quarterly gift. Thank you for your support of the BATC Foundation, whether it comes through a cash gift, a material donation to a project, serving as a volunteer or just putting in a good word for us as you’re chatting with colleagues. We’ve got some great projects in the pipeline for 2016 – stay tuned!