This post is part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who are making a difference in their communities.
Heather Kahlert, Vice President, The Kahlert Foundation.
What inspired you to start giving?
My Grandfather, William E Kahlert, who was a very successful and generous man. He started our foundation, and now as a third generations philanthropist, it is my responsibility to uphold his beautiful legacy.
What does giving mean to you? Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?
My mantra is 'GIVE MORE.' Aristotle once said, "the more you know, the more you know you don't know." At this time I would like to echo that sentiment in relation to philanthropy.... 'The more you give, the more you realise the infinite depth and worth of the human soul... the more you realise there is so much more to be given.'
What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back? Share a piece of advice will help them get started.
GO! Just start! Do it, don't quit! Even if you feel like its small, even if you feel like it won't make a difference, IT WILL! You will! You do! It reminds me of the epic old poem 'The Starfish' where the childs' last confounding words to the old man were, "It mattered to that one."
Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.
After a long long successful board meeting... With all the wonderful grants we have approved, and all the numbers and zeros swarming my mind and dreams, I wanted to take a moment and talk about loss, and the massive amount of energy and emotion that goes into philanthropy. Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the numbers, but I had an experience last week that I wanted to share.
After two exhausting 14 hour days (yes 14) in a row, I walked to my car in Salt Lake City, at 9:30 at night, got in, sat down, and cried.... and cried.... and cried. I cried for the children who are sick, who may never get better, for the Veteran I recently met with PTSD who didn't leave his house for two years, for the homeless men, women, and children who are hungry on the streets, for the families and caregivers of the sick and dying, for the children who can't read, and the promising youth who opts to not go to college because he / she can't afford to, and for so many more..... But, after the crying subsisted, I sat in awe and wonder of these peoples strength, and tenacity, with a reborn vigor to do more, to help more, to give more. If you are struggling with something in your life, may I kindly suggest to get up and go serve someone. There are opportunities everywhere. Charity will never fail you.