PEOPLE’S CHOICE: The one-minute millionaire philanthropist

Charitable giving fuels much that is good in our society, including the institution we work for. So as we contemplate how to complete our Penn’s Way pledges, we thought we’d give a few people a chance to play fantasy philanthropist. We went to two offices where people are intimately familiar with money—Student Financial Services (SFS) and the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer—and asked, “If you had a million dollars to give to the charity of your choice, who would you give it to and why?”

The answers we got reinforced our suspicion that Penn people really do believe it’s better to give than to receive. Charity also begins at home, however; most of the reasons people gave for their choices were highly personal.

Sherri Darby
Administrative Assistant, SFS

“I would give it to any association that works with breast cancer. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and is doing very well.”

Judy Creighton
Director, Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services

“Probably the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. The American Cancer Society because members of my family have died from cancer—I’d like to see more research done in that area. And Habitat for Humanity because I really believe in what they’re doing. My niece spends the summer with a youth group that helps them.”

Sid Picht
Counselor, SFS

“Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, because I don’t think kids should suffer. I’d also give half to the Red Cross.”

Susan Sheahan
Counselor, SFS

“I’d give it all to my kids for posterity and their future.”

Rae Goodman
Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

“Because I give to the United Negro College Fund, I’d give it to them, because it helps young African-Americans who are trying to get into college.”

Sean Thomas
Accountant, VP Finance and Treasurer

“I would give it to the NAACP. I think educating young African-Americans is an important thing at this day and time.”

Helen Kreider
Associate Treasurer

“I would give part of it to Penn, because I believe in its mission and I think it provides a wonderful education to students, some of whom can’t afford it. I’d give the rest to a group that helps poor children like Save the Children.”

Craig Carnaroli
Senior Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

“There are so many great organizations, I’d find it hard to pick just one, but Project Hope would be high on my list.”

Originally published on October 30, 2003