Posted by: mydarkestplaces | May 2, 2013

What I want to be when I grow up

A great Maine philanthropist passed away recently. Al Glickman is a name that’s pretty well known throughout Portland. From the Glickman Library on the USM Portland campus to the Glickman Family Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, Glickman’s philanthropic giving touched – and will touch – the lives of hundred of thousands of children, young adults and far beyond.

While this view may be jaded (okay, while this view is jaded) I find that there are a lot of multi-gazillionaires who give of their wealth, but for the write off. Because their publicist says that’s the thing that they should do to recover from some PR snafu. And no, when you reach the bottom line it doesn’t really matter why X or Y organization is getting a gift of $1 million, it just matters that they are getting the gift of $1 million.

But Maine philanthropists seem to be different. There are so many people like this in the state of Maine. Brenda Garrand, Leon Gorman (one of my heroes!), myriad others that fly under the radar. People who have the means to give, and to do so generously, of their time and their money because it’s the right thing to do.

At this point in my life, I don’t have those means. Well, not the monetary means. I do what I can to donate my time, and when I have a spare alm or two I will pitch it towards this, that or the other organization.

Which is all a long preface to me saying this: I’ve finally decided what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a philanthropist. I want to start a scholarship fund at St. Lawrence University. I want to give beaucoup bucks to the United Way. I want to help headstart and other early childhood education organizations thrive.

The problem is getting to a point where I have beaucoup bucks to give, but I figure that’s just a small (big) speed bump along the way. With the wishing, comes drive. I’ll get there eventually. And when I do, I’ll help my community to the best of my abilities.

Cross your fingers it happens sooner rather than later.

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