Good Samaritans of SWLANovember 2022
A Strong Dollar Makes Europe a Great Travel OptionNovember 2022
by Haley Armand Tarasiewicz
A common goal of philanthropic organizations is the empowerment of individuals and groups to raise their voices and become active players in efforts to solve problems within their own communities.
“Making a difference gives people a sense of pride and identity, and a sense of meaning and purpose in life beyond themselves,” says Kay Barnett, former founder Family Foundation trustee chair. “Putting energy into something bigger than us expands our perspective on community needs and fosters accountability.”
Alone, the words community and philanthropy hold significant but varied meaning depending on the situation and individual. But joining them together creates both a form of and a force for locally driven development that strengthens community capacity, builds trust and most importantly, taps into local resources. Evidence has shown that areas with community philanthropy are better able to sustain and adapt to changing needs—even when receiving external support.
The Southwest Louisiana community is no stranger to receiving external support, especially over the last few years, having faced multiple federally declared disasters—COVID-19, Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta, Winter Storm Uri and historic flooding. With the generous aid directed our way from across the globe in all forms of time, talent and treasure, our local philanthropic organizations served as centralized locations to ensure efforts were dispersed appropriately for maximum relief and recovery. They kept track of the literal and figurative community pulse.
Philanthropy from within a community can come in any one or more of the following forms:
Time devoted to community needs and improvement
Thoughts, ideas, knowledge and experience
In-kind contributions, i.e. tools, equipment, venues, food and beverages, etc.
“Part of our obligation as citizens is to give back to the community,” says Philip Earhart, former founder Family Foundation trustee chair. “Whatever that may look like for you, the goal is making our community a better place.”
Community philanthropy is a critical ingredient to long-term development and change efforts in all seasons—steady, responsive, recovery, growth. Every individual, family, business and organization has a passion that relates to a mission, a responsibility to act and the power to create a better tomorrow.
About the Family Foundation
The Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana promotes philanthropic activities and works to connect donors, philanthropic organizations, foundations and corporations to community priorities that will enhance the quality of family and community life for generations to come. For information or to get involved, please call 337-436-9533.