This text is from an interview with Jan Frantz for Read and Feed, a Nonprofit Organization
Why is giving back (philanthropy) so important to you? Do you have a story, or one specific instance in your life that started you on the path of giving to others?
My story really revolves around me retiring from my corporate position and finding something to do that would help others. After hearing about a program called Hand in Hand at my church, I decided to volunteer at Northwoods Elementary School. My very first tutoring session was with 5 kindergartners who needed help with the alphabet and numbers. I had one little boy, who kept hiding under the desk every time I showed him a letter. When I talked to him after that first session, he told me he wasn’t very smart like the other kids and that he couldn’t get help at home because no one knew English. I said that I would help him learn his alphabet and numbers if he just promised to try. We made a pinky promise and sure enough he tried and graduated to first grade. After that very first day, I knew I had to do something to level the playing field so children like him could succeed at school and beyond. That’s when I decided to find out why children could not read and what resources they needed for improving their reading skills. Read and Feed became a reality after that experience and to say the least, it has and will continue to be an amazing adventure.
How do you think Triangle Community Foundation has helped donors advance their charitable interests and made a difference serving people and places in the Triangle?
The Foundation has been a great resource to donors because of their focus on guiding the donor to organizations that match their charitable interests. By understanding both parts of the equation, i.e. donor and charity, their service becomes a win/win for all involved.
What impact do you think Triangle Community Foundation has had helping nonprofits serve their clients and making the Triangle a better place to live and work?
The Foundation has played a major role in helping polarize charitable dollars to organizations that will have a large impact in the Triangle arena. Through knowledgeable staff and resources, they have the distinct advantage of committing donor dollars to community excellence.
What role do you think Triangle Community Foundation has played serving as a resource for local issues and raising awareness about them?
Policy issues are always forefront and center for the Foundation. Their recent review of their own strategic initiatives has focused their time and talent into driving resources to the most important needs of the Triangle community.