Power of Philanthropy

The Power of Friendship

16 year old boy holding his gecko

The power of philanthropy can often be experienced through the power of friendship. Choosing to be a friend to someone, because you can and because you care, can make someone’s life better, no matter how well you know them.

My 16-year-old son began asking for a gecko when he was about three years old and first saw our pharmacy’s pet gecko. No matter how many times he has asked me over the years, my response was the same: “We’re not gecko people, we’re fish people.” About a month ago, he texted me from school and asked, once again, if we could adopt a gecko. Instead of my standard answer, this time, I told him we would talk about it later.

When he got home, he made his case. A friend of his had a gecko that she loved dearly, but needed to rehome, because she was moving and couldn’t take it with her. She was willing just to give him the gecko, because she knew he would take care of it, but because of her family’s financial challenges, she had to sell it, albeit at a very discounted rate. After talking it over, we decided he could adopt the gecko, because he felt so strongly about helping his friend.

gecko on boy's hand

As we prepared to get his new pet, he did something that made me know I am raising my teenager right. He asked me if we could give her more money than what she requested. Even though his friend was hesitant to admit it, my son knew her family had been struggling to buy food. Knowing she would not take a donation, he suggested we simply pay more for the gecko. So that is what we did. We slipped the larger payment in a sealed envelope.

When his friend opened the envelope, she sent him a text thanking him and telling him she was in tears, because it meant so much to her and her family. That act of generosity and friendship is an example of the power of philanthropy. It is not a major gift of treasure, but a small, creative act of generosity that made a difference. It is also a reminder that there are many people in need of a friend and compassion.

Moments like this provide me with a glimpse into my son’s future and his philanthropic vision. I am proud of the man he is becoming and confident he will continue demonstrating his real power, which stems from his heart.

Tammy Weinman

Tammy Weinman

Senior Vice President of Support Services

Wichita, Kan.


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