by Gabriella Macerollo
Since first stepping into the world of philanthropy, I have seen countless examples of giving back, and supporting those who are in need and want their voices heard. In my experience, at the core of the most successful philanthropic endeavors is the making of genuine connections with others. When organizations, volunteers, charities, and those affected, are able to come together, we can work to cure social problems at their
In working with the Community Foundation of Halton North, I have been able to see first hand how important it is to learn about the different supports we have that strengthen our community, including CFHN itself. CFHN demonstrates the significance long term support can have, seen through the creation of endowment funds. The initial gifts from donors are never spent, but instead create revenue with each year they exist. These funds will establish opportunities for years to come, reflecting CFHN’s philanthropic approach to bettering society at large. CFHN also uses our position to assist and showcase local charities, who are all doing incredible work in the Milton and Halton Hills region. Being able to experience all that CFHN has to offer, I feel I have gained a greater understanding of humanity and how to create change “For Good For Ever.”
There are key differences between charity and philanthropy. The main one being that in charity, we work to fill immediate needs including housing and supplies, whereas the goal of philanthropy is to identify root causes to societal problems and solve them from the inside. This can include speaking directly to those affected, and sharing their story, therefore giving them a platform to be seen. Both charity and philanthropy leave a lasting positive impact on those involved. When starting one’s journey in philanthropy, volunteering with charities or other local organizations is a great way to get a feel for the power of giving back.
In my youth, I always had a passion for making others smile. As I have grown, that passion has translated into doing volunteer work, helping organize protests at my high school, and participating in community events. Through this I have learned that there is no action too small. One could argue that some humanitarian efforts do not address root issues. However, in my experience, every effort made helps to educate people, share our stories, and connect with those from different walks of life. It can make all the difference for one person, and that is enough for me.
Overall, I believe that a small act of service will always be greater than none at all. Community foundations are a fantastic way of learning more about how one can participate in giving back. This could be through connecting with local charities that share similar interests, highlighting local events, or by starting a fund with your local community foundation such as CFHN. My hope is to encourage others to experience creating good for something that is bigger than oneself. There is beauty in selflessness, and looking at life through an altruistic lens will help to sustain philanthropy for many years to come.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” -Charles Dickens