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$1 million gift just part of what makes us special

November 10, 2009

Here’s something to imagine — 1,000 people giving $1,000. Or 10,000 people giving $100. Or 100,000 people giving $10.

Or, as we prepare to celebrate National Philanthropy Day on November 12, imagine the impact of a single $1 million gift, like the one that Jane Stephens Comer made as the first woman in Alabama to join the national Women Moving Millions Campaign. Comer, chosen as the William M. and Virginia B. Spencer Outstanding Philanthropist in 2009, made her $1 million gift because she recognized the importance of women supporting the needs of other women. Just a few months ago, she made a $5 million gift to UAB, to be used in partnership with the Alys Stephens Center for a cultural arts education program for Birmingham-area children in pre-school through high school.

In both cases, she sets a standard for philanthropy we can all aspire to. Maybe we can’t give $5 million or even $1 million. But whatever we can give, joined with the gifts of others, can be just as significant in transforming our community forever.

We also can give of our time, as she and the other National Philanthropy Day honorees do. When we honor these top winners and other Volunteers in Philanthropy at the annual luncheon, organized by the Alabama Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, we are honoring the generous heart of our whole community and the power of that generosity to change the world.

In addition to Jane Comer, the annual awards honor Mike Warren, Outstanding Civic Leader; Hannah Franklin, Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy; Tom Armstrong, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Outstanding Professional Advisor; Coca Cola Bottling Company United. Outstanding Corporate Citizen; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham, Outstanding Charitable Organization, and Monty Hogewood, William S. Roth Outstanding Fundraising Executive.

For more about how you can be part of National Philanthropy Day, contact the AFP office or check the organization’s website. And, in the meantime, remember that we are all part of what makes our generous community so special. Find out more about that as part of this week’s 50 Ways to Love Our Community.

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