Circle of Giving: Donors’ Stories of Wisdom 19 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 9 September 2008 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Giving/Philanthropy About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.
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Walter White, the central character of the television series “Breaking Bad,” is a middle-aged chemistry teacher who becomes a drug dealer after learning he has terminal cancer. During an on-campus public discussion with President Drew Faust last month, the show’s creator, Vincent Gilligan, said that White’s terminal illness freed him from the fear that had held him to the straight and narrow.Harvard College’s Class of 2014, whose members will receive their diplomas at Thursday’s Commencement ceremonies, should consider their own futures with a similar fearlessness, Faust said. But where White’s selfish motivations led him into a downward spiral, she urged graduates to “break good,” “face outward,” and act for the betterment of the larger community.Faust addressed the graduating class during the annual Baccalaureate Service in Memorial Church. Dating to Harvard’s earliest days, the service is restricted to members of the graduating class and is a personal farewell from the president and clergy.Good work, Faust said, doesn’t just accomplish admirable aims through a task; it can also bring out the best in others. She quoted South African leader Nelson Mandela, who admitted being fearful during his long struggle for freedom, but who also said that by appearing brave, he inspired others, and it was their hopeful response that ultimately gave him the strength to conquer his own fear.“We are interdependent. Our work and our lives depend on others, as theirs do upon us,” Faust said. “With the right combination of luck and learning, humility and compassion, we do not break bad. Instead we can create moments of grace with and for one another.”The Baccalaureate also served as something of a dress rehearsal for Thursday’s Commencement ceremonies. Seniors wore their caps and gowns and lined up in the Old Yard in front of Holworthy Hall just before 2 p.m. They processed past University Hall and the John Harvard Statue, and into Tercentenary Theatre before entering the church.The service was presided over by Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. Speakers read scripture selections from several religions in their originating languages, as well as in English, causing the church to echo with holy words in Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Sanscrit, Punjabi, Greek. and English.Walton opened and closed the service, offering welcoming words and a reminder to the newly minted graduates that although they may feel as if they’re nearing an end, their graduation is really a beginning.“This week is neither one of culmination nor conclusion,” Walton said. “It is Commencement. It is just the beginning.”Seniors were anticipating their hard-won graduation with a mixture of feelings. Emily Hu, a Currier House human evolutionary biology concentrator, said she was excited that Commencement was at hand. After graduation, she plans to work in a laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.Margaret Wittenmyer, a Kirkland House government concentrator, enjoyed the diversity of religions represented at the service, particularly since some of her friends gave readings. Whittenmyer, who is heading to law school at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, admitted being a bit nervous herself.“It’s just kind of shocking to find yourself at the end,” Wittenmyer said.Wittenmyer is part of a class that traversed a winding path through Harvard. In her speech, Faust recounted some of the important events that marked the seniors’ tenure, including the Boston Marathon bombings, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and superstorm Sandy. The students attended Harvard’s 375th anniversary celebration, turning a rainout into a muddy dance party. They studied through last winter’s polar vortex, and sent some classmates to the Olympics. The football team beat Yale in The Game four years straight to bring the streak to seven years, and the men’s basketball team went to the NCAA tournament three times.Through it all, Faust said, the class has put its stamp on the University, as it will on the world in the years to come.“Visitas gets canceled, so you reinvent it. The 375th is hit by a deluge — you dance in the mud. A cheating scandal rocks the College, so you successfully advocate for an honor code. Bombs strike the marathon, so you take care of one another and you run again,” Faust said. “Reach beyond what you do for yourselves to what you do for another. If any class can do this, it is yours. The world has never needed you more.”
Government must solve border crisis Long considered a political talking point, the immigration crisis poses both a humanitarian issue and security threat.The former can be ascribed to those fleeing violence, poverty and government corruption, while the latter arises from gang-members looking to terrorize.Frequent headlines illustrate each reality and have been exploited by both parties to gain popular support in addressing their preferred priorities.Brutal trafficking conditions by unconscionable smugglers are heart-wrenching, as is the separation of children from their parents upon arrival. Moreover, gang-related murders and the infiltration of drugs is equal cause for resentment. The only reason that would merit the recent 35-day government shutdown is the incapacity of our representatives to solve the problem.Mirroring these immigrant factions, past reform bills have failed over the competing interests of amnesty and border security, mutually exclusive, in that improperly vetted immigrants gaining citizenship is not secure and motivates further smuggling. Meanwhile, a steady flow of caravans gives resonance to the request for a largely symbolic wall, which would be better positioned along Mexico’s southern border.Attenuating illegal entries would then free resources to hire more immigration judges while temporary legal status is granted to illegal migrants.If our government is unable to resolve an issue pertinent to public safety and welfare and distracts from foreign aid initiatives that could treat the problem’s source, then perhaps it shouldn’t remain open past this three-week spending bill.Stephen DansereauAlbany I’m writing in response to Mr. Belardo’s Feb. 8 letter and his diatribe against “dumb liberals” and the identification requirements to enter federal facilities. I thank Mr. Belardo for his service in World War II, but he has the facts of the ID requirements all wrong. In the aftermath of 9/11, measures were introduced in Congress to enhance our national security. In 2005, both houses of Congress were controlled by the GOP and the president was George W. Bush.They passed the requirements that go into full effect in 2020. In 2020, it will be necessary to have enhanced identification to board a domestic airliner, enter a federal building, among other things. New York state was one of a few states that complied with the new rules by offering enhanced IDs early on. Sorry to correct you Mr. Belardo, but you are barking up the wrong tree. Thomas BensonSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDems focused on downstate interests Distressed about the state of the countryI’ve been watching the news and seeing how completely malfunctioning our government has become in the last few years that it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Don’t dictate what’s defined as murderIn response to Elizabeth Lerner’s Feb. 7 letter, I ask where her authority to define murder for the rest of us comes from? The law? It was once legal to beat slaves. Jim Crow was the law of the land in the south. Nazi Germany provided for the legal elimination of undesirable or those afflicted with mental-health issues. So the legal argument does little to bolster a moral stance.But then, I was astonished to read her definition of the abortion we are all talking about as the “removal of immature non-breathing, non-conscience (sic) cells.Science clearly has third-trimester fetuses as viable, feeling living human beings. For Ms. Lerner to cling to that outdated, minimalist definition of a baby is both ignorant and appalling, considering we are talking about a child’s execution.There’s no medical reason for a late-term abortion to occur other that the convenience of the mother. That does not qualify as “health care.” I can only react in horror at the level of indoctrination it takes to justify killing living babies and making it out to be some sort of right. Killing a bald eagle egg is a crime, but killing a child in vitro is “reproductive health care.”Patrick WalshGuilderland In his Jan. 30 letter I think Howard Schlossberg doth protest too much about New York state Democrats largely representing New York City and downstate interests.When you look at the type of agenda that the governor and his Democratic allies in the Legislature have pushed in the past few weeks, it’s clear there is no real upstate agenda for Mr. Schlossberg’s Democratic Party. There’s no greater example of that than the governor’s proposal to rip over $60 million in state funding from the budget for our upstate towns and villages that depend on that funding to provide services and keep taxes down.Late-term abortion, giving free taxpayer dollars for college tuition to illegal aliens, and further eroding our Second Amendment civil rights are just some of the other low-lights of a downstate-driven agenda of Mr. Schlossberg’s Democratic Party, which is drunk with power and cares very little for upstate New York’s values or economy. Just wait until they pass the single-payer, government-run socialized medicine plan and legalizing marijuana, which is next on their agenda.With the Democrats’ agenda, thousands have already left the state. If Mr. Schlossberg is the last one left upstate after the Democrats have their way with our economy and way of life, please make sure he turns the lights off.Joanne Hwaszcz Schenectady Inmate pay raise is moral and practicalThe Gazette’s Feb. 8 editorial attacking state legislation (A.1275, S.3138) to raise wages for prisoners is wrong on several fronts. First of all, the prison minimum is proposed to be raised only to $3 per hour. It’s now as little as 10 cents, a fact that was not mentioned in the editorial. Leadership of the Department of Corrections knows management and security depend as much on incentives as coercion. I have no strong opinion on any of our presidents since Clinton, but the actual Congress and Senate are nothing but schoolyard bullies posturing to each other with no care for the country itself or the people.For years, the reality television shows have made us look like fools to the world. But now our politicians are the joke.A lot of television shows claim to be non-biased, but the only television shows I watch that truly follow that are Kelly & Ryan Live, The Talk and David Muir. I was listening the other day to my music library of my favorite songs and two of them made me contemplate these days. One was a song from a movie I saw when I was 14 called “One Tin Soldier,” from The Legend of Billy Jack in 1971.A Disney movie, Pocahontas with the song, “Colors of the Wind” in 1995. They made me almost weep because both time periods made me dwell on what is going on currently.I know comics used to make a joke of this saying, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Why can’t we? Kathryn HardingSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists As a religious volunteer in the prison system for seven years, I saw how incentives can be effective.Opportunities for compensated work, education classes, better living quarters and other elements give inmates a reward for good behavior, reducing the burden and risk to guards and civilian staff, visitors and volunteers.Correctional Industries (CorCraft) provides skill development for inmates, but unfair compensation. CorCraft produces furniture for public agencies at below-market prices and returns a healthy profit to the State treasury. Perhaps taxpaying private sector furniture makers deserve a playing field that is not so drastically tilted toward the prison competitor paying its workers 65 cents per hour on average. Raising the wage would be fairer to these companies and their workers as well. Like a lot of good legislation, the Assembly/Senate bill is not only practical, it’s morally correct.As we observe Black History Month, we should reflect on the abusive systems of slavery, mass incarceration and injustice that have characterized so much of minority workers’ experience in the American economy over the centuries. The time for “corrections” is overdue. Gordon BoydSaratoga Springs Don’t fault libs for ID requirements
Last year, the company said it would spend over $13 billion on data centers and offices in the United States in 2019.The tech giant’s total costs and expenses surged about 19 percent at $36.81 billion for the recently reported fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.Topics : Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it would invest more than US$10 billion in offices and data centers across the United States this year.The company added that the new investments will focus on 11 states including Massachusetts, New York and Ohio.”These investments will create thousands of jobs – including roles within Google, construction jobs in data centers and renewable energy facilities, and opportunities in local businesses in surrounding towns and communities,” Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.