“Philanthropy” — it’s a concept that can be intimidating to the everyday person and we often reserve the title “philanthropist” for that upper 1 percent of the socioeconomic population. Those are the folks for whom hospital wings, museums and community centers are named. I believe that many of us do what we can as “donors,” but maybe it is time to give our philanthropic potential a little more credit.
Don Johnson is a recent transplant to San Diego, arriving, as so many of us do, from the East Coast. He experienced the loss of his mother, Ethel, at the age of 7, and his father at 14. While painful, this helped to cement his appreciation of “family” and empathy for those who had to face life’s hardships without that centering force.
“People really have situations and burdens that can drag them down and that has always been a soft spot for me” he said. “I may have been an orphan and my sister and I were passed around, but it was always to family members; there was always family in my life. I can only imagine how my life would have been different if I hadn’t had that backbone.”