I remember something from long ago. One day, there was a knock on our door. My mother went to answer. It was a stranger asking for money. She wouldn’t give him any but told him that if he came in she would give him something to eat. She made him scrambled eggs, toast and coffee. He was very appreciative and polite, and then went on his way. There was no question in my mother’s mind – and since that day in mine – that you would try to help a needy person. Even though we had little, my parents gave $15 to Federation every year – or more if they could. From them, Rose and Dave Miller, I learned such important lessons.
Such formative experiences stayed with me over the years and broadened when we traveled on many wonderful Federation missions, met leaders of the Jewish communities not only in Israel, but in Budapest, Paris, Buenos Aires and other places. There is a wide and wonderful and needy world out there.
There are so many ways we see our charitable involvement and legacy in our children, our grandchildren, and before long in our great-grandchildren. Most recently, I have been struck by what our daughter-in-law, Jessica, has done with Dignity Grows and how greatly these essential supplies are needed. Everyone in the family is proud of this important contribution. Another thing that strikes me and warms my heart is that our grandchildren give their time and money to all manner of charitable organizations – Jewish, education, health, culture, the environment. They understand the legacy of which they are a part. This gives me great pride.
Henry says, “I made my money in Hartford,” and Hartford is very important to him. Although I spend some time away from Hartford, Hartford is where I grew up, and Hartford is where I learned to feed a hungry man when he knocks on the door.