Philanthropy is YOU!

When you think of a philanthropist, do you think about yourself?  If not, you should.

Most of the time, if you’re like me, you think of a philanthropist as someone who has been financially successful.  Many of today’s top givers have done well, and the ones you always hear about are people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett.  They have both done amazing things to help others and should be applauded.

But what about the rest of us?  What if you don’t have millions, or billions for that matter, in the bank or invested in the stock market?  Can you make a difference in the lives of others?

You are in your current position for a reason.  You have interests, connections, possessions, and many other things which may not be large sums of cash that can be used to bless people.

2 Stories of Blessing

1.  Reinbow Riding Academy Hippotherapy Program (West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation) – Gary Stanfill was attending a revival at his church and a gentleman in attendance had a special needs child who was bound to a wheelchair.  Gary is a former rodeo guy and had multiple horses.  They began talking about the therapeutic value of riding horses.  He and a few others were able to get the child on a mare and began walking around the arena.  With each passing moment the child’s legs began to lower and were eventually hanging where your’s or mine would be along side the horse.  I recently spoke about this beginning.  Watch it here.

Gary was blessed with having horses.  He found himself in a unique position to help.  This program is still in existence with over 30 children riding every Tuesday between the months of March and October.

2.  Soles4Souls Wayne Elsey, an executive in the shoe industry prior to starting Soles4Souls, was motivated by some video being shown of during the Asian tsunami.  A single shoe floated up on shore and Wayne had a troubling thought.  “Where is the other shoe?  People need shoes!”  He leveraged his relationships within the industry and quickly raised over 250,000 pairs of shoes for those in the affected areas.  Wayne went on to found Soles4Souls, a 501(c)3 dedicated to getting shoes to parts of the world where people need them, leaving the shoe industry to further use his gifts.  He has documented much of this transition and the way Soles4Souls quickly grew to one of the top 1% of nonprofits within the United States in his book Almost Isn’t Good Enough.

Wayne was in a unique position to organize this venture because he had been in and around the shoe industry since he was 15 years old.  This nonprofit continues to bless people around the world because of what Wayne started several years ago.

In summary, YOU are a philanthropist.  With the recent Hurricane Sandy (#Sandy) devastation, many opportunities for good will arise.  Will you be there to help?  Remember, you don’t have to have millions in the bank to help.  You have unique gifts to offer others.

Please donate now

Please comment – How have you seen others giving back to their community?


  1. I love this article – tithing isn’t just about money, it’s about our time as well. If we find a charitable purpose that we are passionate about we all will give much more than 10% of ourselves, and the return on our investment – the spiritual and emotional enrichment we receive for doing good – is even greater! My passion is dog rescue and I work with Companion Pet Rescue. I also help a little with Redemption Road Rescue (horse rescue – keeps many from going to slaughter) as well as with my son’s school, the Montessori Center of Jackson. There are so many great ways to be involved in our community that it’s easy to find something good to do no matter what your interests are. I have heard amazing things about Reinbow Riding Academy – our community is blessed for having people like Gary Stanfill in it! Thanks Dave for another great article!

  2. DaveBratcher says:

    Thanks for your feedback Dannielle. Gary and Trish Stanfill are amazing. Thanks for what YOU are doing as well. We are all better because of your efforts!

Register to Receive My FREE E-Book!