Last week I wrote about the growing Community Endowment. A resource created, and invested in, by people who believe in our community. A resource that will help enable us to bring transformative improvement to future generations. The Community Endowment is a resource that will encourage imaginative ideas and benefit the lives of our friends and families.
But we can do more. A great community is home to great people. We need to engage now in ways that help us all to become better people. A legacy is not just leaving something for people, it is leaving something in people.
As children, as young adults, and throughout our lives, we observe people and we model ourselves on those people to whom we are closest. Our parents, our grandparents, our friends, and community leaders. Our values are formed by what we see and learn. Hopefully, our values include ethics, morality, respect, friendship, excellence, and giving. These and other important values are critical to helping us lead a meaningful and rewarding life and form the kind of person we will be.
At the Community Foundation, I run into all kinds of people with different views politically, spiritually, financially, and who work in varied occupations, but they share a common value of giving. This single core value has struck me as perhaps the most important value in helping someone lead a meaningful life. The impact this value has on people in your life is profound. There is no doubt that giving financially to help others makes an indelible impression “in” people. Money is such a huge part of our lives. It is critically important to securing shelter, food, and so many necessary supports. Giving money teaches and imparts the value of sharing in ways that giving of time or talent cannot. I think it is important to clarify that it isn’t the amount given, but the significance of the amount to someone’s circumstances, that matters.
Families use the Community Foundation as an instrument to help them leave their legacy in their children, in their grandchildren, and friends who appreciate their giving as an expression of their values.
Generosity is a trait to be admired, to be imitated, and to be adopted as a core personal value for all of us. What we do is what we teach. Our children know whether or not we are truly generous, or whether we tend to talk more than actually giving.
Leaving a legacy is not just leaving something for people, it is leaving something in people. Leave only the best of yourself in people around you. If you’d like us to share ideas about how you can ensure that generous giving is a part of the legacy you establish and leave in people, we would be honored to help.
The Community Foundation of Western Nevada is your foundation. We connect people who care with causes that matter. To us, there is no more important cause than helping you leave your legacy to the people who matter to you the most. Now is the time to act. Make your legacy one that matters, that is noble, and that makes a difference in the future generations of your family, and your community.
President and CEO