Teach your grandchildren about giving

By Marie Torrans

As the seasons change and fall is upon us, opportunities arise to spend quality time with family and friends, and one of the greatest pleasures and learning experiences is enjoying time with grandchildren.

Sharing family experiences and transmitting those valued traditions and history constitute a wonderful way to carry on a legacy of family ties.

Nurturing takes on a new meaning as we embrace the “food-for-thought” realm by engaging the active interest, intellect and ingenuity of youth in a long-term commitment to our cherished ideals.

Whether enjoying a walk, attending an outing or visiting a museum or zoo, the joy of experiencing and teaching the art of philanthropy is a legacy commitment while planting the seeds for the fulfillment of a vision for the future.

The passing on of our values and customs to future generations is critical for survival of our most important institutions and community services.

A visit to a local shelter, soup kitchen, child care center or employment center that provides services to persons with disabilities can create a lasting impression and open a whole new vista and horizon for the future — a unique, quality learning experience.

We can easily transform the current moment through an active modeling and sharing component — one designed to promote giving, understanding and an appreciation of the charitable and philanthropic interests of grandparents.

Understanding the meaning of philanthropy — from the Greek word meaning to love humanity — and its true implications for the greater good, coupled with an emphasis on what a difference one person can make, is a significant accomplishment and a custom to be carried on into future generations.

As the eyes are the gateway to the soul, a studied glance can ignite creativity and enable dreams to come true.

Consider you own initial introduction to charitable giving and philanthropy, whether through your church, or other community endeavor.

What motivated you?

How did you feel?

How did you educate your family and friends?

What commitments did you make?

Have your re-energized your passion for giving?

Begin today and build for a future of understanding philanthropy for the elders of tomorrow by taking a few minutes to share your insights and thoughts with loved ones during the upcoming season, holidays and weekend gatherings.

Your commitment today means a life long journey for sharing and caring for others.


Marie Torrans is managing director and charitable gift planning officer for United Way of South Hampton Roads Foundation in Norfolk, Va.

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