October 12, 2018

Mini Musings - Why I Give

by Jen Voros

When people find out I’m a fundraiser they ask the same question: “Isn’t it hard asking people for money?” The truth is, asking people for money can be tricky. Successful fundraising is about finding the balance between education and inspiration. A strong case for support provides logical reasons why making a gift to McGillis is important:

• Tuition doesn’t cover the full cost of educating our kids;
• Gifts to McGillis are tax-deductible because the School is a 501(c)3 charitable organization;
• High levels of participation show corporate and foundation funders that our community is worth investing in.

But, I prefer to think about fundraising as story-telling. Rather than asking people for money with a laundry list of reasons for why they should give, I prefer to share stories about our School that inspire them to give. And our School is full of stories. Every day, incredible things happen in our building, and every one of these stories is enough to inspire someone to make a gift.

So – here’s my story. This is why I give.

Our family is new to McGillis. After three years at Waterford, the change in my job meant a change for my kids as well. I knew that McGillis was an excellent academic fit. I knew that the teachers were highly qualified professionals committed to meeting each child where they are. I knew that the Jewish values that are the foundation of our community and that guide our program would complement the values we teach in our home. What I didn’t know was how would we fit in? Would my kids make friends? Would they find a home at McGillis?

On the second day of school, my daughter’s teacher came to my office to share something she had written. At the end of the first week, my son’s teacher wanted to check in to share her thoughts on his transition. At the end of the second week, my kids were being invited to birthday parties and playdates like they had been part of this community from the beginning. They begin singing the songs they learned in Shabbat, speaking Spanish, and clambering for McGillis spirit wear to wear to school.

So – I give to honor our community. Our teachers, our students, and you, our parents. I give to say “thank you” for making this place so special, for living our values, and for showing our kids what Kehilah looks like.