Love You Little Man

There are countless individuals and philanthropic organizations who do wonderful things in this world. A few of the largest foundations and endowments are the Lilly Endowment (over $10.2 billion), the Ford Foundation (over $11.9 billion) and the largest charitable foundation , The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has given $53 billion in grant monies since 2000. The Gates Foundation has tackled some of the most serious afflictions and calamities faced by our world. In 2007, the Gates Foundation partnered with Rotary International, providing $100 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. In 2020, $1.75 billion was given to accelerate the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Gates Foundation has for years provided access to computers and to the internet for thousands of students. Another of our great philanthropists, Warren Buffett, provided more than $30 billion to the Gates Foundation in 2006 to help further their work.

Locally, the Jamestown area is blessed with many giving foundations. The Jesse Smith Darrah Foundation, the Hultquist Foundation, the Lenna Foundation and of course the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation are only a few examples of our local community’s charitable foundations. Because of your support of these institutions, they in turn are able to support other local charities and non-profits, benefiting the entire community.

In early April, our five year old grandson Anthony had his tonsils removed. After suffering from numerous throat and ear infections it was deemed necessary to remove “Ant’s” tonsils. He at times felt so bad that he actually looked forward to the surgery. His surgery was scheduled at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters Hospital in Norfolk, Va. Tonsils are now an outpatient surgery, a far cry from when I was a kid, as the removal of tonsils required at least three days in the hospital, with lots of jello and ice cream. Everything went great. The surgery a success, Ant is now running, eating and playing as normal.

So you might ask, how does the story of Ant’s tonsillectomy have any connection to the great philanthropic organizations mentioned above? Well, and I can’t help but be speaking as a proud grandfather, Anthony has a birthday coming at the end of May. One week removed from surgery, when his mother asked what he would like for his birthday, his response shocked not only her, but all of us. Ant’s reply was, “I don’t really need any more toys/presents. Could we ask my friends to bring toys that I can donate to CHKD (Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters)?

“I really want every kid that doesn’t feel well in the hospital to feel special,” Anthony said.

He asked if he could give his presents to the kids he saw at the hospital while he was there for not even six hours. WOW!! With his parent’s help, Ant has a special page on Amazon with lists of toys, activities and supplies the hospital has recommended for the kids. Our daughter said it melted her heart to hear Ant say he would rather give to kids in need than receive any presents himself. Word got out and the gifts are streaming in for Ant to distribute. After his birthday party he will be delivering all the gifts to the Children’s Hospital.

My wife and I have six grandchildren ranging in age from two to ten years old. They are all special, caring, lovable kids; hey this is grandpa talking; and they will all do wonderful things in life. Anthony falls right about in the middle of the pack of the six. In his family he is the middle child. He has always been a bit of a character as middle children sometimes are. I have said in jest, “Anthony will either be the reason the world ends or he will be the one to save the world. Could go either way”! But if his caring, giving spirit are any indication, the world will be a kinder, better place to live. Who knows maybe Ant will be the next Warren Buffett or Bill Gates! If not, that’s okay too. He has already melted hearts! Love you Little Man!

Hugh Golden is the General Manager of Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown. He has worked in the death care industry since 2012.


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