Every year, November 15th is dedicated to nationwide acknowledgement and celebration of philanthropy. This day is meant to share stories of the good people are doing for others and recognize the effects these efforts have on the communities around us. Philanthropy Day is an annual event hosted by The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to bring together fundraisers from all industries and sectors, share ideas and insights, and foster new relationships within the local community.
On November 18th, I attended my second Philanthropy Day Conference held by the Long Island Chapter of AFP and it was incredibly impactful and motivating. The day was filled with learning sessions that were taught by seasoned professionals with years of experience in a given segment such as social media, video production, grant writing, etc. They were all so eager to share the wisdom they have, that only comes with experience. During the lunch segment several key people who have poured their heart into philanthropy and growing the community were honored. These individuals shared a few words regarding their journey and how they fell in love with giving back. We also heard from keynote speaker, James Sheehan, the Bureau Chief of New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.
As a young professional, months away from graduation and about to embark on my career journey, I am inspired by how passionate and generous the professionals in attendance were. I met people from all walks of life who are all striving for the same thing, creating a world with more love and giving. The lessons I learned and the stories of these impactful individuals, I will carry with me in my personal and professional life.
Congratulations to all of the Honorees:
Sandra Atlas Bass - The Horace Hagedorn Outstanding Philanthropist Award
Patrice Frank - Outstanding Fundraising Executive
Diana O’Neill - Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer
Arnone, Lowth, Wilson, Leibowitz, Andriano and Greco, Inc./Greco Planning Group - Outstanding Corporation
London Rosiere - The Gilbert Tilles Award
Tyler Fazzari - Leaders of Tomorrow
Smile Farms Inc. Intern
Many can agree that everything in life happens for a reason and any small impact can create a ripple effect and have a tremendous outcome. Growing up I have always considered myself extremely blessed. Over the years I have been given incredible opportunities and I have been extremely fortunate. Throughout life I realized that I cannot take anything for granted and I need to give back to my community. Parallel to realizing this, I learned about Smile Farms.
We all talk about giving back to the community and helping those in help and this is my opportunity to do just that. As I got involved and became an ambassador for the organization, I began to work with such an amazing team. The people behind the Smile Farms Organization are a perfect example of those who practice what they preach. They are all extremely passionate and have the mindset to create jobs for their neighbors and give everyone an equal opportunity.
The organization has inspired me to dedicate my time to giving others the same opportunities I have been given. America is home to hard working individuals trying to provide for themselves, so why should people be discriminated based on their ability? Smile Farm Workers are given the same opportunity that any other individual is given, and to us, our mission is to make sure the world knows they are capable of anything. I am grateful for the opportunity to volunteer for an organization that plans to change the world just with one smile at a time.
Smile Farms Inc. Ambassador
Last night, 50 guests from the Long Island, NYC, and New Jersey community gathered for an evening of lively conversation, delectable food, and camaraderie at the exclusive Bouley Botanical. Chef David Bouley prepared an exquisite menu that paired perfectly with wine sponsored by the one and only Nino Franco. During the remarks, our guest speaker, Katy Cole, gave a moving testimonial on her experience volunteering with the employees at Smile Farms at IGHL and the importance of rallying rallying neighbors to create more jobs, promote locally grown goods and bring increased awareness to a much deserving population.
The support from our attendees is helping us grow a collaborative organization that fosters a world where people with differing abilities are always fully included. We hope everyone continues to get involved and helps spread the Smile Farms message.
Smile Farms Inc., Intern