I was raised with the belief that after work and family, the next most important thing is giving back to the organizations that have had an important impact on you and your community.
Location: New York, New York
Profession: Owner and Head Designer, Katie Bartels Jewelry
Twitter Handle: @KNBsparkle
What was the first gift you ever gave?: When I was in elementary school, one of our neighbors volunteered for Meals on Wheels and was in charge of collecting canned goods from our street and surrounding streets to give to those less fortunate. I used to help my mom pick out nutritional and substantive foods and place them in a Rubbermaid box that we put out on our front steps once a month for Mr. Finney to pick up.
What is your charity of choice?: Cornell University, specifically the library
Who inspires you to give?: I grew up in a family that places a high value on philanthropy and volunteerism. As a kid, I watched my dad spend the majority of his free time volunteering for local organizations in our town and serving on nonprofit boards. I was raised with the belief that after work and family, the next most important thing is giving back to the organizations that have had an important impact on your and your community.
What motivates you to give?: When I graduated from Cornell eight years ago, I knew I wanted to devote a large part of my free time to volunteering for the University because my undergraduate experience had been so profoundly important to me. I have had the privilege of serving on several boards and advisory councils and these experiences have allowed me to meet some truly extraordinary people. I have stayed involved and continue to increase my level of giving because of the positive and motivating volunteer environment Cornell has created.
What advice do you have for others to consider giving?: Giving should not just be about writing a check; to have a true impact you must also give your time. And volunteering is the best part: you meet wonderful people and your impact becomes tangible to you because you can witness your actions making a difference!