I’ve met many kind and giving people of all ages, but I have noticed that as you grow older, giving back to the community becomes even more important. Some people do charitable giving monthly, annually or out of their last will and testament; however, philanthropy isn’t just about leaving a legacy. Philanthropy means “the love of human kind.” It becomes a way of life for many retired people who volunteer, sit on a board or become an advocate. Not because they have more time on their hands, but because it’s a calling – it gives them purpose. Doing philanthropic work makes a difference in the world.
A Giving Heart
Simone Becker, a resident, is serious about giving. When she stopped driving at 97, Simone donated her old Toyota to Eskaton Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Eskaton. Money raised by our Foundation goes to programs such as resident art, the employee emergency assistance and Kids Connection.
Simone, originally from France and the wife of a WWII doctor, knows the importance of philanthropy. Every few weeks her friend takes her to a yarn store in Nevada City. Simone knits helmet liners for the Daughters of the Revolution to send soldiers oversees. She drops off a few helmet liners and picks up more yarn to knit. “I’ve knitted all my life,” says Simone, “If I had all the sweaters I made, I’d have quite a pile.”
At 100, Simone can be seen working out several times a week during our exercise classes in the Lodge. She says her longevity is because she chose her parents wisely, but I think it’s her kind heart and commitment to her favorite charities.
As part of Eskaton’s social responsibility, we focus on being a part of the community we serve. We’ve been a nonprofit since 1968, first serving Sacramento County and then growing to counties across Northern California. Here in the Grass Valley area, we partner with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, Centre for the Arts, Music in the Mountains, Friendship Club, Nevada City Little League, Forever Young Chorus, Charis Youth Center, the Rotary and local chambers of commerce to name just a few. Working together with other nonprofits we can help our greater community thrive.
What’s the Nonprofit Difference?
I often get the question: Is there a nonprofit difference? You bet there is. The difference can be seen in governance. There are no shareholders. The board is made up of community members who volunteer their time. The profits are reinvested back into the mission of the organization. Business practices are transparent and leaders are accessible. And nonprofits, like Eskaton, have the privilege to raise money to impact the lives of older adults.
I am proud to work for a nonprofit, because I can see firsthand the good work that goes into making our community a better place for today’s seniors as well as the next generation of people to come.