Jill Iscol, founder and President of the IF Hummingbird Foundation, makes the important and accurate claim that a commitment to philanthropy begins at home. This is why it came to no surprise to Mrs. Iscol that the United States ranks first in the world when it comes to helping strangers in need of assistance, according to the 2014 World Giving Index.Unknown

It is important that we recognize that philanthropy does begin at home. With that in mind, we would be able to begin motivating younger generations earlier on to devote time and resources toward helping others. In Mrs. Iscol’s case, she credits her comfortable middle-class upbringing along her parents’ selflessness for her involvement in the philanthropic community for over 25 years.

Growing up with such comforts around her, Mrs. Iscol realized from an early age that not every child her age had the possessions and opportunities that she and her family had. Her parents, for their part, instilled the message on her and her siblings that, “from those to whom much has been given, much is expected.” Her mother was the chairman of the board for a nearby orphanage, and took it upon herself to devote individual time to different children at the orphanage. Mrs. Iscol’s father was active within the Jewish community as well as their local community, proof of which Mrs. Iscol and her family witnessed after her father’s passing. The outpour of love from the community motivated Mrs. Iscol to continue with her parents’ mission of giving back.

However, Mrs. Iscol’s situation is not unique. There are countless of stories of individuals who have been inspired either by a comfortable upbringing or by struggles, who have gone on to giving back while expecting little to nothing in return.

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