Doing the right thing, Harris Rosen on Philanthropy.
Many years ago, after having achieved success beyond my wildest dreams, I realised that it was time for me to give back. My decision was quite simple in nature, as I clearly believed that it was “the right thing to do.” The framework for my philanthropic model has always included a much-defined educational component.
My thought process was, and remains, that, by providing opportunities for educational advancement, the entire landscape of our communities could be radically impacted and improved on many levels. To reiterate, my reason for giving, I would submit, that I do it, simply speaking, because I can and want to share my personal blessings with others who can seek to benefit from my efforts.
Doing the right thing – My obligation to help children succeed
Growing up on New York City’s lower eastside, where my grandparents settled after arriving from Russia and Austria, never did I imagine that I would achieve what I have achieved. One day, on the way to the public library located near the Bowery, my brother and I overheard a tourist say, “So this is how they live.” My brother and I didn’t know what she meant and when we got home so we asked our Mum what the lady meant. Mum had to explain to us that ‘not everyone lives where we do and that if one day we would like to live in another neighbourhood, we would have to do well in school and get a good education’.
From that point on, education became the forefront of my plans. I believe that we have an obligation to rally support for children who, through no fault of their own, are starting life in poverty, and are sorely lacking in the educational support and moral guidance that every child deserves, and quite frankly needs, to succeed.
My inspiration and hero
Growing up, my inspiration was Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to play in the Major Leagues. When I was about 10 years old Jackie visited my school and personally autographed a picture that I had drawn of him. What a thrill it was for me to be side by side with my idol.
My hero, however, is my son Adam. Adam, who passed away at the age of 26, last November, battled a rare form of brain cancer for two and one half years with incredible strength and courage. We have started a foundation in his name to support families dealing with paediatric cancer. Although Adam’s time with us was albeit, far too brief, his spirit and lust for life lives on in all of us.
Doing the right thing – my hope for the future of our community
It is my hope that other individuals will replicate our Tangelo Park and Parramore programs throughout the nation. It is our dream that when this occurs and others begin to replicate our program in underserved communities throughout America, we will change America one underserved community at a time and hope will be restored for all of the children and families living in our underserved communities and help transform America into a nation where every child will have an opportunity for a quality education, which they so very much deserve.
Doing the right thing – inspiring others to give back
My advice to individuals who are fortunate enough to be in a position to offer a helping hand to those in need, would be to follow your heart and your passion. There are so many wonderful opportunities to offer assistance, very much like what I have done with my emphasis on educational initiatives. I would therefore encourage individuals to hone in on a cause that they identify with on a very personal level and then begin to provide some level of assistance to support their dream.
Here is Harris Rosen’s podcast episode on Hope through education. His passion and commitment for giving back comes through loud and clear in this show. You can listen through your browser here:
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