You are a philanthropist.
Yes … you, dear Eleventh Stack reader.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Me? A philanthropist? Because let’s face it: when we think of philanthropists, we usually think of someone like …well, our good friend Andrew Carnegie.
But here’s the thing.
When it comes down to it, philanthropy is simply the practice of performing charitable or benevolent actions. I like this explanation because it gets right to the heart of the matter: making great things happen with our time, talent, or treasure for the benefit and betterment of others. A philanthropist is simply someone who does this – often.
You’re probably wondering who, exactly, is this person talking to you about philanthropy and charity. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Melissa F., the Library’s new Manager of Grants and Research (and the newest volunteer blogger for Eleventh Stack). It’s serendipitous that my first post in this space happens to fall on National Philanthropy Day because since I’ve become part of the CLP staff (I work at CLP-Main), I’ve been amazed at just how many people care so deeply and passionately (and in so many ways!) about our Library and its future.
In our collections, there is a wealth of information about generosity and philanthropists. Examples of giving back start with the concept of sharing, and children can learn from their friends the Berenstain Bears, the Muppets, Pittsburgh’s own Mister Rogers, and more. Our children, teen, and adult collections include many books, DVDs, and other materials on cultivating a spirit of giving.
On the second floor of CLP-Main, The Foundation Center is a fantastic resource. In addition to being able to access the Center’s extensive databases, there is a library of books pertaining to all aspects of the nonprofit world. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that, before becoming a CLP staff member, I didn’t realize that The Foundation Center’s books actually circulated. Now, I’m quickly becoming a regular on the second floor.
Along with today being National Philanthropy Day, today marks one month since I’ve been working here at CLP-Main. A brief time, to be sure, but I’ve already seen countless examples of philanthropy at work.
When you’re walking in the footsteps of a pretty impressive founder, that’s awe-inspiring.
“My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.” ~ Andrew Carnegie, Presentation of the Carnegie Library to the People of Pittsburgh, November 5, 1895.
Happy Philanthropy Day to you, Andrew.
And to you, too.