Where Did You Learn Philanthropy aka Meet My Folks

#fb How did you learn to be kind, to care for others, to lend a helping hand?        

Was it

  • The Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (sounds like the Pay It Forward campaign to me)…,
  • The Girl and Boy Scouts “Do a Good Turn Daily” and “On my honor I will try … to serve others”
  • Were you inspired by a book like The Giving Tree
  • From After School Specials or “Very special episodes” of your favorite prime time shows
  • Your parents

I am a bad person, so it took a little of everything to make me see the needs of others. It continues to take many outside forces to focus me.

However, I will tell you that my family is a major factor. 

Judy and Lloyd Keith - my folks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a link to my Dad http://tiny.cc/keithJpl . No child who can fail Geometry (me) should have to have a dad who is a Rocket Scientist – like a for reals, he plays with stuff they shoot into space rocket scientist. (I call it high-tech space pollution – he calls it the stuff that paid for my college).

Dad and Jax making Project Linus blanket with a SPACE theme.

Dad did not come from money. His parents had elementary school educations and lived through The Great Depression and worked hard. Grandpa was the head custodian at the local middle school and my grandmother was the head cook at a Senior Center. (side note, if you are ever in Hollister and want some seriously good food – drop by her house! If she’s not home, find my cousin Chase – the cooking gene is genetic: I am adopted).

Grandpa and Grandma Keith holding Dad's picture

They had five children, took in numerous foster and troubled children all in a house with one bathroom. Dad grew up in a home where everybody shared everything they had because it was necessary and because it was the right thing to do.  As a result, my aunt and uncles and father are some of the kindest and most giving people you will come across.

Dad and his brothers: Mike,Gary,Dad, Jeff

My mom was my Girl Scout Leader, PTA member, elementary school teacher, Sunday School teacher and can put any 1950’s television housewife/mom to shame. She is the oldest of 4 children and while her mother worked as a grocery store clerk – her dad owned a gas station and then went on to work the high stakes betting window at The Santa Anita Race Track. These grandparents had high school educations, but had the more important knowledge of practicle common sence and frugality. My mother’s grandparents spent a lot of time in the house helping to raise the kids (my uncles were, and still are, handfuls) – and from that my mom was ingrained that if there was a meal that needed cooking, a hand that needed lending, a diaper that needed changing – well – she needed to be the person doing that. If you went into Skilled Care at the hospital, you were going to fall asleep and wake up with my mother in the room. She donates food and school supplies regularly to The Foothill Unity Center and has recently made friends with a veteran who is homeless in the Arcadia Park.

I have been PTA Vice President, a Girl Scout Leader,  Sunday school Teacher, and sat on a variety of my church’s boards and forums. I think, however, that my parents were floored when I became a social worker and a little horrified when I changed from working at a senior center in Monrovia to work on the streets of Skid Row.  You know, with the drug addicts and mentally ill, and the gang members selling drugs and the general feeling of sheet hopelessness that blankets the area. When I started bringing my daughter and cousins there with me – it was uncomfortable for some people.

I believe one of my aunts said to me “Yes, there are people like THAT out there, but little girls don’t need to know about that yet”. So, yah, she married into the family.

You have been reading this blog long enough to know I have lots of opinions and really am not a good person. My secret plan is to do enough good works that I can bribe my way into heaven (umm, can I say that here? I am hoping God doesn’t have the time to read my blog). But, Philanthropy is something that I was raised to think was as normal as Saturday morning cartoons – only better for you.

Where did you learn?

2 thoughts on “Where Did You Learn Philanthropy aka Meet My Folks

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