Collins English Dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight with good intentions.”
Just reading that definition greatly increases my desire to seek wisdom in my life and to surround myself with people who far outpace me in the wisdom department.
I had that opportunity last week at Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund Luncheon. This is an annual event that brings WLF contributors and friends together to discuss community issues and award funding made possible by the collective donations to the fund and honor women who have impacted our lives professionally and personally.
I have learned in life that there are just some questions and answers that are best to avoid. Of course we all know from basic party etiquette to avoid politics, religion and controversial topics in certain situations like a family reunion, but the questions I am talking about are not nearly as weighty and can come out of nowhere.
They are seemingly innocent in nature, but can still pack a wallop if not handled with care. I am talking about the “do these pants make me look fat?” or “what do you think of my new headshot?” variety of inquiries. Depending on who is asking and who is answering these types of Q and A’s can cause a wide range of reactions. In the role of answerer one is never quite sure if the questioner wants an honest response.
$250,000 will go to Southwest Florida organizations providing critical community programs
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Southwest Florida Community Foundation announced today that applications are now being accepted for local nonprofits to access support through their new granting partnership. Last month, the two foundations announced they were collaborating to create a vibrant grant program
that will enable and support critical social innovation in the region of
Southwest Florida. Today, they invite organizations working in the region to apply for support.
Projects and programs of particular interest are those led by nonprofits that are collaborating to address the region’s most pressing issues, from youth development and post-secondary education to climate change and environmental stewardship to economic development and equitable access to services. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is overseeing and executing the granting process, which will culminate in a portfolio of projects and programs primarily serving the residents of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.
In partnership with the Florida Next Foundation, the Impact Forum is a setting to generate social enterprise projects to find innovative solutions to community challenges.
Three new WLF ‘Angels’ honored
The Women’s Legacy Fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation presented $30,000 to the Literacy Council Gulf Coast to support its Helping Women Thrive Through Literacy program during its annual fall luncheon held on Thursday, Oct. 23 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Gulf Club in Fort Myers.
Literacy was selected by the Fund’s contributors to be this year’s area of focus, as the grant will help local women improve literacy skills, focusing on reading, writing, speaking and understanding English. It will also assist women in improving their financial literacy knowledge by offering topics in basic financial literacy incorporated into typical classes, expand GED preparedness classes to help women advance to higher educational levels thus increasing their economic empowerment and independence, and offer regular informative sessions educating women on domestic violence and human trafficking issues to help break the cycle of abuse.
This year, our family committed to riding our bikes to school with our first grader and preschooler in tow. It’s hard to justify idling in a carline when we live about one mile from school, but others do it all across Southwest Florida and justifiably so. As a working-mother, I felt uncertainty about fitting a ride into our crazy schedule and scared of the dangers. I wasn’t sure we could endure the ride with a backpack, lunchbox, and sometimes a violin.
If you have children or grandchildren, it’s likely you walked or rode a bicycle to school. Today, and particularly in Southwest Florida communities where neighborhood schools are becoming extinct and infrastructure is designed for single-occupancy vehicles, it is getting more difficult to provide children the opportunity to start and end their school day with some freedom, fresh air, and a little exercise.
I’m going to Stanford. That is something I have always wanted to say, but actually have never applied knowing full well that my intellectual and financial capacity to attend was lacking.
But all of that is changing now. Nothing has actually shifted in the area of my intellect or financial resources, but the world of technology has allowed me to sign up for a Massive Open Online Course better known as a MOOC at this previously out of my reach University. I am even considering cheering for the football team and ordering a sweatshirt now that I am enrolled.
I remember how shocked I was when I first heard that Barbara Streisand suffered from nearly debilitating stage fright. As a person who is almost completely tone deaf, I have always imagined that if I could sing a single note I would do so any chance I could get. I have often wondered what it must feel like to possess a talent that would cause others to take notice. It must be humbling and somewhat frightening to realize people are critiquing you at every turn.
I cannot claim any such talents or gifts that generate this level of scrutiny, but I must admit that three years ago when I began writing this column I suffered from write-fright- a word I made up to express my terror of generating 500 words a week that could even touch on the topic of giving and the generosity that exists in our community.
Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, will serve as a panelist at the City Leaders Forum, to be held in Tampa on Oct. 15.
Owen’s panel discussions is called “The Power of Collaboration: Local College Access Networks” and includes Councilman Mike Suarez, City of Tampa as moderator and other panelists including Caroline Altman Smith, senior program officer, The Kresge Foundation, Jeanna Keller Berdel, senior strategy officer, Lumina Foundation, and Stacy Carlson, Ph.D., vice president and program director, Florida Transition Years, Helios Education Foundation.
Twelve agencies in the five-county area receive $350,000
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation announces that 12 nonprofit agencies in the region have been awarded $350,000 in funding. These grant awards are the first of the Foundation’s newly-enhanced grants process designed to simplify the granting process for the nonprofits, and to include more potential collaborations and additional funders for projects.
The Foundation currently administers more than 350 endowed funds that were created through the generosity of local donors who planned for the future through establishing an endowed fund at the SWFLCF. Through the power of endowment, the funds are invested and a portion is granted annually by the Foundation honoring the donors’ guidelines.