Our sons both play high school basketball. Through their experiences we have come to know and love some of the most amazing philanthropists I have ever met. Yes, I have met a lot of great philanthropists in my 22 years in the non-profit sector, but none quite like Jim and Peggy Taylor.
Although I don’t know for certain, I suspect that Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have never made a six-figure financial gift, but they have given tens of thousands of hours of their time and talents. Mrs. Taylor has kept the score for girls and boys basketball games at our high school for 30 consecutive years. During that same time, Mr. Taylor has assumed a variety of roles from game announcer, assistant coach, special advisor and loudest cheerleader.
They travel to every pre-season scrimmage, summer camp, Christmas tournament, and away game no matter how far to keep the score and cheer for the team. Last year, Mrs. Taylor even traveled with us for games in New York City. They would never consider themselves philanthropists, but they are in every sense of the word.
Philanthropy comes from the Greek philanthrōpia which means love of human kind. Love is a word that Mr. and Mrs. Taylor embody and embrace. The love each player, coach, and parent in our program past and present. They encourage us all and pray for us. They take time to get to know us beyond basketball. They are the kind of volunteers every school or non-profit wishes they had. They give because it truly brings them joy.
Their last child graduated from our school in 1993. They could have easily graduated with her and moved onto other things, but they chose to remain engaged. They chose to continue to give generously of their time. They chose to be philanthropists, and we are grateful.
During this season of thanksgiving and celebration, I am thankful for the many people in my life who have lead me by their own example. At the top of that list is Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, true models of philanthropy. Thank you!