By Susan Assouline
Giving has been a part of my upbringing since I was a child. I loved “trick-or-treating” for UNICEF and have always believed that it’s important to help through both volunteer work and philanthropy. I’ve moved beyond the door-to-door collection of donations to the writing of checks. Whenever I write a check, I know that there will be individuals on the receiving end who will either have their lives enhanced or their pain eased. That has certainly been the case with the philanthropy to the Belin-Blank Center. The lives of children, their teachers, and their families have been enhanced through the generosity of our founders and benefactors. They are an inspiration to all of us, and I aspire to have some impact in the way they have.
My campus giving is the Belin-Blank Center, which has given so much to countless numbers of educators, children, and their families. We have so many problems in the world; the solution to those problems will come from our children through education.
The power of philanthropy cannot be overstated. Philanthropy makes possible educational opportunities that more traditional sources of revenue cannot. Without private giving, the Belin-Blank Center would not exist, the programs and services we offer would not exist, and the changes that we have affected in education and psychology would be either non-existent or less impactful.
The word philanthropy is a noun; however, I think of it as a verb, a conscious action. Consciously supporting education means that you intend to do something that matters – that makes a difference. Fundamentally, I believe that we are given skills and ability to make the world a better place; to build something. Philanthropy has allowed me to make the world a better place and, ultimately, it is an honor to be able to be counted among those who build through giving.