Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Amy Bair

 

Resourceful Mommy

Amy Bair is one of those remarkable, passionate souls who swoops in with a powerful energy that touches people in a profound way. Amy gets to you in all the best ways — her spirt lifts you and never lets you go. Pretty great, no? Amy’s commitment to her friends, family and yes – the whole the community (and Amy’s definition of community is quite broad) is staggering. Amy raises the bar  - be it though her social media engagement, philanthropy, authoring or parenting  - she brings it way up and she keeps it there. And, she expects the same from those in her inner-circle. Amy delivers all of this with incredible grace and ease and most always with her signature “secret sauce” – a  big, engaging smile on her face and a wicked sense of humor coursing through her veins. There is little confusion as to why those who know Amy adore her –she is a rare gem.

Amy is a teacher by training (this was her first profession), and it shows. She engages with an eye toward honestly advancing the ball for those she loves. I consider myself lucky to be one of her students — learning though her patient but clear directives. I feel constantly encouraged by her giddy laughter and her keen observations of the world around her. To know Amy is a lucky, fortuitous thing – that is for certain!

When I think of Amy, I think of the word - accomplished.  I think of it as an adjective- as in: Amy is an extraordinarily accomplished woman. And also as a verb – as in: Amy has accomplished so very much for herself and for the world around her – not only in present tense (Amy has been a force to be reckoned with in the digital landscape since 2008) but in the longest view as well. And I also think how, through her care and friendship, she has elevated those around her to accomplish great things in their own right.

Meet my friend, Amy Bair!

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

I’ve always believed in giving back, however, how I’m able to do that has changed and grown over the years.  Being able to volunteer time and talents as a teenager has evolved into also being able to give back monetarily and through influence.

 

What is an early or stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world?

When I was 13, one of my best friend’s was diagnosed with abdominal cancer.  I remember feeling paralyzed by a sense of helplessness.  Then I realized that her family could be helped financially.  I organized a group of friends and we set about planning a school dance fundraiser complete with the local radio station as DJ.  Organizing those around me and finding a way to help a friend in need was incredibly therapeutic and also served the family of the friend we loved.

 

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

My family.  My grandmother literally gave until she had nothing left, and growing up, I watched as my parents very quietly and humbly gave to everyone from favorite charities to neighbors in need.  My dad was a stay-at-home dad and spent hours helping local elderly and volunteering at church.  I realized early on the power of simply wanting to help.  I attended kindergarten at a private, Christian school and came home one day, sad that a friend would need to leave the school because of tuition.  I found out years later that my parents had quietly and anonymously covered the rest of her expenses for the year.  That had a profound impact on me.

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

I’m most proud of the impact my giving is having on my children.  At 9 and 6, they instinctively think of those around them as much if not more than themselves.

What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind?

I hope that work that I do for others – no matter how small – leaves others with a sense that they are both worthy of help and also able to help others, even if they believe the impact they can make is small.

What would your kids say about all of this?

My kids love to give as much as they love to receive!  They are happy to have a philanthropic mom and enjoy being philanthropic kids.