Philanthropy, the true calling

A word from our director....

When you hear the word “philanthropy” what comes to mind?  Is it rich people giving away tons of money to causes that are important to them?  We probably all know people directly or indirectly who do just that.  In fact philanthropy means: the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

When I read that definition, it sounds a lot like what Jesus asked of us. Love others and give generously.  Of course, he knew that if He could inspire us to give of ourselves to others we would be the beneficiaries.  It is in fact better to give than receive…..really!  When we recall how so many here in our community give to others out of their own poverty we are so humbled.  

When Marilyn and I could no longer suppress the innate desire to do something about wrongs or injustices that we long looked upon, we did what we knew was asked of us. We did what we could, with what we had to give. We were then prompted to give more and in different ways and we did. That meant, for us, moving into the Regent Park community of Detroit from the comfort of our Grosse Pointe home only a few years after we had launched Lifebuilders.  For you that might mean something very different; maybe volunteering a day with youth or making sandwiches for those in need. The ‘desire to promote welfare to others’ is expressed in any way you can give it.    We can all be philanthropists.  It is not just a term for the wealthy.

So, what is the calling that you are hearing? Each of us hears a call every day, and each of us can give what we can, with what we have.  Our  encouragement to you is to not miss the opportunity to give yourself away to something when you are continually burdened by some great wrong or injustice.  You can suppress this desire to lend a hand, to make a difference but you will only fully realize real joy when you see the light of hope come on in a person’s life or even a great wrong made right as a result of you saying “I’ll do it, let me help, let me go”. How can we at LifeBUILDERS help you live out that calling?  Whether big or small, philanthropy changes us and changes those around us, and we want to continue to see the change for good in Detroit!

-Larry Johnson, LifeBUILDERS Executive Director