The circle of giving

I am sure that many have heard me say “one of the best parts of our work is ...” Well add another to the list. Identifying a favorite part of working at the North Carolina Community Foundation is a bit like trying to identify just one favorite food -- there are so many things to choose from, there really is no way I could I just pick one absolute favorite.  But hearing from grantees tops the list.

Tuesday night I was part of The Art of Giving, a Triangle-based women’s giving circle.  NCCF is proud to support this group alongside the Triangle Community Foundation.  Members pool their money (this group donates $600 per person each year) and then work together to decide how those grant dollars will be allocated. This is one of the ten women’s giving circles we support across the state, including the statewide Women’s Fund. 

I attended as a member to hear from some of the recent grantees. I am so glad I was there. This was the Art of Giving’s fifth grants award celebration, and we provided grants totaling $10,000 this year. One of our recipients was Piedmont Health Services, which received $4,000 for low income uninsured women’s dental care. Our donation will enable them to reduce the patients’ sliding scale fee to $25 and allows them to serve an additional 70 more women this year. We heard pretty compelling stories of the significant need around basic and emergency dental care. They shared that many of the women they’re working with have had to decide to either buy food or gas -- or pay for dental care. This often results in chronic pain and conditions that could be easily treated by a dentist. It made me consider how very lucky we each are, and how much we take for granted.

We also provide a grant to Senior PharmAssist, a great program in Durham that assists seniors with medication management and many other issues. We heard directly from two participants in this program -- and what an impact they had on us. Both thanked us for our gift. One told us: “I take your gift personally -- thank you.” What a wonderful way to express gratitude.

As givers we want to help others and extend a hand out – and what often happens is that we gain so much in return. The power of giving is personal and touching. It reminds us of how very much we have and brings home the power of the human spirit.

It is truly a circle. Coming together to leverage dollars in a giving circle increases that impact.  Call us if you want to learn more about forming or joining a giving circle in your area.