Give Now

Each Family's Philanthropy

By: Jessica Sanchez

In 1993, I was a 5-year-old Latina girl attending mass every Sunday morning with my family. Being raised a Catholic, Sunday mass was very important to my family. As we would arrive to mass, my father always gratified my siblings and me with our weekly $10 allowances, which was a whole lot of money for us kids. However, my parents always made sure to remind us the importance of placing a dollar into the offering basket at mass and helping those in need. At the time, my siblings and I did not understand why we needed to give a portion of our allowance to our church or why we needed to help others.

For my family and many other Latino families, giving to your church is an integral part of your commitment to the church. As we grew older, we began understanding the meaning behind supporting our church community and one’s family. Growing up in a family where my parents were and are involved in their community and participate in many volunteer activities has helped me engage in philanthropy. It also really helped me define the meaning behind philanthropy as not solely a monetary gift.

As a Latina, I was raised to learn informal philanthropy. In my culture, philanthropy is characterized by a one-to-one donation of time and talent to family and friends, which is what I learned from both my parents. As I was growing up, my mother was always the team mom bringing oranges slices to our soccer games, running the tamales sales for our fundraisers, providing rides for my teammates and sponsoring players with items they needed. My father was always volunteering his time coaching our soccer teams, reffing games and setting up the soccer fields before the games. We Latinos look to solve the immediate problems in our communities, and I am happy to say both my parents took that role of showing my siblings and I the importance of supporting the youth community.

Whether we offer a monetary gift or the gift of our time, giving back to those in need has been a value I will carry with me and hope to pass on to my children. As the Donor Relations Manager at the Santa Barbara Foundation, my goal is to continue providing our donors with the best advising practices in philanthropic giving and strategically adding value to the donor experience, which is why I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions about your family’s philanthropy.

Jessica Sanchez is the Donor Relations Manager at the Santa Barbara Foundation.

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