As my youngest child has her sweet sixteenth birthday today, I remain in disbelief that she has grown up so fast. Yet I still look pretty good (it’s OK – you can chuckle!), albeit with much less hair than when I first held her and told her I loved her!
I will not bore you with the details of her childhood. But as I write this, I am truly amazed at what philanthropic milestones have occurred over the same 16 years. Just looking at a few events in healthcare made possible through philanthropy:
- Immunizing the third world – the Gates Foundation invested $2.5 billion to immunize some 750 million children – more than twice the population of the United States – against diseases which the developed world largely has not seen in decades.
- Allen Institute for Brain Science – Paul Allen has given some $500 million to endow this center which studies how the brain processes information; basic brain structure; and what goes wrong in the brain to develop neurological disease and disorders.
- Nothing but Nets – little did Rick Reilly know when he authored that now-famous column in Sports Illustrated almost 10 years ago that he would ignite a worldwide push to eradicate malaria in the world. People all across the globe provided over 400 million mosquito nets to allow people to sleep without fear of mosquito bites, annual malaria deaths plummeted over 350,000.
Many more successes have happened and those stories need to be told about the transforming power of philanthropy in areas such as arts, education, animal welfare and so on. Sixteen years have flown by so quickly in my household and I have seen my daughter grow into a beautiful, smart, and talented young woman. Throughout those same sixteen years the world has witnessed many remarkable triumphs, as well as tragedies. So what do you dream might happen in the next sixteen years?