What role does generosity play in your life? What motivates you to give of your time, talents, and resources? Our Executive Director, John Buckley, had the privilege of sitting down with our long-time board member and advocate, Sheldon Clark, to discuss this topic and hear from his perspective the power of generosity.
Like most of us, life experiences strongly influenced and shaped Clark’s approach to philanthropy. When asked why he wanted to get involved with Independence Health & Therapy, Clark first describes a couple life events.
The first story he shared was about his childhood. “I lived oversees as a child and I remember walking down the streets of Calcutta very early in the morning. You had to step over people, not because they were sleeping but because they had died… this made a massive impression.” He goes on to describe how he witnessed the richest of the rich as well. He saw the dichotomy of abject poverty and extreme wealth. “The people in poverty couldn’t do anything to help themselves,” says Clark.
Next Clark shared about a horrible accident he had when he was a youth. “I was left along side the road for dead. It took several years to recover. I was never supposed to use my left arm again and never supposed to walk much… but a few years later I was playing sports.”
These major life events left an imprint. Clark states, “My life experiences have helped me define how to give back.”
He has run campaigns for United Way and other organization but wanted to give more directly to help people get out of their situation. When he learned about Independence Health & Therapy, he recognized that it was a way for him to do that.
When asked what Clark gets out of supporting us, he responded, “If we can have groups like Independence Health & Therapy to help our community and the rest of our population, then we are doing the right thing. And what do I get out of it? I can’t describe the depth of satisfaction. I don’t want accolades. I don’t want anyone knowing anything about it, other than there is this organization called Independence Health & Therapy that has deep resources and broad expertise that we can either directly help out people or find other resources to pull in and then assist people in the community.”
We are grateful for the generosity of people like Sheldon Clark. We could not do what we do without this kind of support. We are also grateful that he was willing to share his reasons for wanting to be a part of our organization. We hope it will inspire you to adopt a spirit of generosity and be intentional about how you approach giving back to your community.