9 Weeks Already? Where did the time go?

It seems like just yesterday I was slamming my head against a wall trying to get my first blog post to load properly. Now look how far we’ve come. Also, there was that whole philanthropy thing, but that kinda pales in comparison to my newfound ability to post words about things on a web site for people posting words about things on a web site.

In all seriousness, today was a lot of fun. The Quantum House was not at all the way I expected it; it looked and functioned completely like a proper home. They really do work for a great cause. One thing I noticed was the big, colorful piano in the main room. I was intrigued by it, but only as I left did i realize the design on the music stand. There were three figures holding hands and it reminded me of the artwork of an old friend of mine.


He did a lot of abstract work, and I always saw figures in his paintings much like the figures on the piano in the Quantum House.

Operation Troop Support was great too. We got a chance to visit the newly placed home of a Vietnam War veteran named Frank. The cause that Operation Troop Support works with is crucial. Team OVO definitely made the right choice in organizations. Frank pointed out to us that Operation Troop Support basically offers end-game residencies; he said it himself, “I ain’t going anywhere else.” The people who work with Operation Troop Support must have enormous strength to know that they are supplying the coffins in which many people may die, but they will die at peace and under a roof -possibly with family members, possibly not.

After Operation Troop Support, we visited Scripps Research Institute. Scripps was the focus of the team Cure of Life, which consisted of me, Charlotte,  and  Vincent  . They had a great campus and a great facility. The tour guide showed us one of only a few robotic science thing machines in the entire country (I didn’t write down the name nor am I smart enough to recall it). Jaime, our tour guide, mentioned that he was a first year graduate student working on two cancer therapy systems. The fact that a first year student could be working on a cure for deadly disease proved to us that Scripps was a worthy organization.

Then we paid a visit to the Palm Beach County Food Bank. They had a very large facility which consisted of a giant refrigerator and a giant freezer. Though it may seem like an odd thing to say, the giant freezer held great nostalgic value to me. Some of my family owns an ice plant in New Jersey. When I was younger, I used to go up to visit them and I’d hide around pallets of ice twice my height in the giant freezers. Going into the freezer in the Palm Beach County Food Bank brought back a lot of memories, not necessarily good memories, not necessarily bad memories, just memories. Getting back on topic, the Palm Beach County Food Bank clearly does a lot of work for a community that truly needs them.

Our last stop was Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. At Peggy Adams, I ran into my sister’s friend, Brianna.photo

I can’t spin the picture so just tilt your screen a bit. Peggy Adams was definitely well equipped with the tools they needed to save animals. I couldn’t help but think of one famous incident of animal cruelty that has reverberated in my mind for a while now, the “Eres Lo Que Lees” art show in Costa Rica. I did not attend this art show, but the conceptual idea of it haunts me as an artist. In this art show, an artist tied up a street dog and left it to die. navitividad2es3

Here is a picture of Natividad, the dog that died in the name of art in this show. If there were more organizations like Peggy Adams, I feel that these kinds of atrocities would not occur. Natividad was a street dog; if he were properly in a shelter like those of Peggy Adams, he would not have met his ultimate end in front of uncaring or unprepared gallery goers. Also, Peggy Adams screens people before they adopt their dogs, so that would have been another layer of prevention for occurrences like these.

So today consisted of: children in need of medical treatment, memories of an old friend, a man being given the place in which he will most likely die, discussion on deadly diseases, hunger, and animal cruelty. These things all seem morbid. Having heard this statement, you could guess that we had a miserable day. We didn’t have a miserable day. Why? Hope through philanthropy. We spent our day presenting checks that would give those children a home, that would give more veterans happier places to live, that would potentially cure deadly diseases, and that would prevent animal cruelty. Through all the problems in this word, sometime all the solution you need is a little philanthropy.



An Interview and Maybe Some Other Things

I interviewed my friend Patrick Composto. I chose him because I’ve known him for a while but I’ve never really had the chance to get to know him. I wasn’t surprised much by what he said. I did not know he worked with animal shelters and went on mission trips. Learning this about Patrick was interesting, but not necessarily shocking. Patrick did seem to have a good grip on life. He talked with me about how getting a dog changed his life because he suddenly had great responsibility. He also said that he thought the secret to a joyful and fulfilling life was to do what makes you happy, to help those whom you care about, and to pursue your passions once you find them. His work with philanthropy and volunteering has clearly changed his perspective on life.

Non-Profit Panels and Impressive Scientific Jargon

The Main Street Philanthropy class for weeks 5 and 6 consisted of panel meetings from invited representatives of various non-profit organizations. Scripps sent two representatives, their head of philanthropy and a graduate student. Scripps really represented themselves well. I was so impressed by not only the official Scripps worker, but also their model student. I honestly did not know Scripps had a graduate school. I had already been considering Scripps seriously as a recipient for our funds raised, but their representation at that panel meeting really reinforced that thought. I was disappointed that I couldn’t be there for the week 6 panel meeting, but I heard Sanford Burnham represented themselves impeccably.

Blog Post 5: Generic Nomenclature

Through the Mainstreet Philanthropy program, I had had my heart set on To Write Love On Her Arms. Eating disorders and self mutilation are serious issues to one’s health. This issues can be effectively prevented through education. Because our group’s focus is health research and education, I felt that To Write Love On Her Arms was our most qualified  non-profit. I knew Scripps did health research, but I only recently learned that they also have education programs. Scripps scored a 14 on the quantitative rating while To Write Love On Her Arms scored a 12.  Evaluating these organizations is not hard. I was shocked to see how Scripps stood taller than To Write Love On Her Arms. Both are great organizations, but I did not see that coming.

A Blog Post Weeks in the Making

In the last philanthropy class, we went over tax forms. Locating the 990’s for To Write Love on Her Arms and Scripps was actually very easy. To Write Love on Her Arms had them on their web site and and Scripps was on Guidestar. It is really important to look over the tax forms because they are really the only places to find the honest numbers. A company can say anything they want, but filling out tax forms incorrectly is illegal. After looking at the 990’s, I think those non-profits are worthy of the funds we raise.

TSRI logo To Write Love on Her Arms