As fairy tales often do, Jean urges parents and schools to start teaching kids to be giving and compassionate at a very young age. In their own way, children should learn that everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. They can participate in small and age-appropriate projects like bake sales, selling lemonade for a cause, or toy drives, for example. Parents, too, can learn a lot from their own children.
Jean shares her passion for animals with her daughters who are also involved in animal rescue. Her work with Southampton Animal Shelter has raised millions for the “no kill” shelter. Its annual “Unconditional Love Gala” enables the adoption of dogs and cats. Throughout the years, the family has fostered many dogs and even adopted two pit bulls, a breed that’s often rejected due to stereotype. They spread their love of animals globally to friends, too. Sting’s (yes, that Sting!) daughter, Mickey, even adopted a dog that was rescued by the family during a trip in Panama.
“This year I traveled to Central America four times for animal rescue. We go and meet the people. We go into very poor neighborhoods and then meet with animal rescue groups and fund them. We bring back dogs to the U.S.. I am now helping my daughter with the start of her nonprofit - Global Strays.”
Whatever charitable mission you choose to support– whether it’s fighting homelessness, helping children, assisting in providing healthcare, working towards equality or pay parity for women, or animal rescue–Jean’s advise is simple: Educate yourself and just do it.
“Never underestimate your value, what you can offer and the changes you can make in this world. So many people are hesitant to take the first step. They think philanthropy is about donating large sums of money. But everyone’s value matters and you can actually make a difference in helping others. Start small. Remember that you count. Believe in yourself, and you will be able to help others.”
Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give is a practical guide to modern giving that redefines philanthropy for today’s era. Far beyond making monetary donations, philanthropy today encompasses giving time and knowledge, resources that can be just as valuable as financial contributions. Successful Philanthropy offers the practical guidance and inspiring perspective that empowers all of us to take part in building a better world. Learn to identify your passions and interests and discover how they can guide your philanthropic work. Find the best ways to choose a charity that will offer personal fulfillment while also making the best use of your contribution to the cause of your choice. Successful Philanthropy features a special introduction by Georgina Bloomberg who discusses how she paired her background as an equestrian and as a philanthropist to launch her charitable venture, The Riders Closet. Available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble bookstores.