Joe Allen via Crowdrise
October 14, 2012
BENEFITING: COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF ROCKLAND COUNTY
EVENT DATE: Oct 01, 2013
TOMORROW'S HOPES: THE GENE AND IRMA ALLEN FUND
It's not very often that you get an opportunity to do some good and positive work in this world and try to make life better for someone else. And even though doing so is a focus of all major faiths and societal communities, opportunities don't always arise and timing is not always in your favor.
Over the past several years, I have been lucky enough to serve on the boards of several nonprofits and other agencies working to help those in need. It has been the most important professional journey of my life and it has allowed me to keep my heart and mind well aware of those who do without. As president of People to People, Rockland County's largest food pantry, I've watched as 5000 men, women and children each month get food they would otherwise not have had access to. As a member of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board, I was lucky enough to be involved in the opening of the Active International Cardiovascular Institute, which has saved nearly 2000 lives through open heart surgery in the five years it has been opened.
I am also incredibly proud to have launched the charitable arm of the company I work for, Active International. In the years since we began Active Cares, more than 600 nonprofits have worked with us and we have donated funds, services in-kind and other items in the name of company’s employees. In fact, any employee in can come to Active Cares and ask us to support a charity they are involved in, and we will do–happily so.
Accepting the fact that there are haves and have-nots in our society and realizing we all can help ease the burden on those who go without has been the most important life lesson I have learned. It began when I was a young kid and my brother, Stu, and I were fortunate enough to have parents who understood about helping those in need–whatever that need was.
One of my vivid memories was sharing an ice cream with my father when one of the other kids sitting with us dropped hers onto the ground. Without thinking twice my father handed her his ice cream so she wouldn't be without, so she wouldn’t suffer the humiliation that comes with being without and saw his satisfaction at seeing her stress and agitation level dropping back to normal. I learned from my mother that charity can be inspiring as I watched her lead youth groups that had philanthropy at their core.
Most of all, Stu and I watched and experienced their emotional attachments and unabashed love for children as they worked in leadership positions in order to pay for my brother and I to go to summer camp. Gene and Irma were magnets for kids, especially those experiencing problems, be they large or small. My mother and father gave each sad-faced kid time, open dialogue, compassion and encouragement to help them solve whatever issue they faced at the moment. Our parents were true believers in caring for others and they taught their own children that what counts is what kind of person you really are.
My brother, Stu Allen and I and our families are extremely proud to announce the launching of “Tomorrow's Hopes, the Gene and Irma Allen fund.” This new charitable fund, which will be based in Nanuet, New York, will follow in our parents' footsteps and will address the needs of children who have suffered physical, emotional, economic or other traumatic events. We will seek to financially support activities that ease the return of these children to normal lives after a traumatic event.
Tomorrow's Hopes will address children who are victims of poverty, physical abuse in the home, bullying, or are the children of emotionally challenged returning veterans of combat and those who are contemplating or have attempted suicide.
It will be Tomorrow’s Hopes’ mission to secure or provide funds for programs, direct assistance to children or families or other kinds of help for these young people. We’ll do so via events held in the community, staged via our event team led, by Stu Allen.
It will be Tomorrow’s Hopes’ mission to maintain a database of available services for children who have suffered traumatic events to receive assistance.
It will be Tomorrow’s Hopes’ mission to create and distribute information about traumatic events and publicize the need provide such help. Materials such as documentaries, books, blogs and other communication devices will come from Tomorrow’s Hopes.
It will be Tomorrow’s Hopes’ mission to provide funds to targeted aid organizations to assist children who have suffered a specific trauma. Donating funds to establish feeding opportunities for children in poverty is an example of working with established organizations.
Tomorrow’s Hopes will look to the community for private and corporate donations. The lifeblood of an organization and its ability to continue to provide services is to be able to raise critical funds necessary to do so. You can help Tomorrow’s Hopes aids children who have suffered a traumatic event, some unspeakable, and helps them overcome it and return to productive lives. Please consider making a gift, either one-time or ongoing to Tomorrow’s Hopes. As part of the Rockland Community Foundation group of funds, Tomorrow’s Hopes can provide a 501(c)(3) funding opportunity to all donors. Your tax-deductible donation will be used to help tomorrow be a better day for a child who has suffered trauma.
There are far too many children who have suffered, we all know that. In the footsteps of our parents, Gene and Irma Allen, we hope to make a difference in the lives of as many as we can.
Joe and Stu Allen