Hi, my name is Claire and I have been lucky to call Fresno my home for most of my life. Recently, I found myself wanting to give back to the community but didn’t have much time or money. I also wanted to see my friends more since we are all busy building our careers. So, I got to thinking and came up with the idea to fuse the two desires together in to a “dinner club” where we provided dinner to Terry’s House – a hospitality home for families of critical care patients at Community Regional Medical Center – prior to going out to dinner ourselves.
|Left to right: Craig & Claire Meredith, MacKenzie Hartung, Allie & Ian Wieland after they made dinner at Terry’s House |
My peers and I are considered to be “millennials” and are generally seen as a generation that thinks about ourselves a lot. But I was taught there is more to life than you or I; there is a community at large. I wish more people realized the gift of giving back is far greater than any gift we could give ourselves. I believe it is important to expose my generation to the “joy of giving” in order to create a culture of young philanthropists.
So my hope with the “dinner club” was to show people that philanthropy can be fun AND easy. I contacted my close friends and soon enough, our "dinner club" was created!
On June 4th, we collected $250 and purchased12 pizzas, salad, non-perishable pantry items and laundry detergent. We left the pizzas and salads in the kitchen for the residents to come and eat as they pleased. We stood back and watched the kitchen fill with people. This was the best part of the night. We had directly impacted people's lives by simply ordering pizza. It was such a wonderful thing for us to experience. After we left Terry's House we went out to dinner and caught up on life. All in all, it was a wonderful night and something we will never forget.
So next time you find yourself going out to dinner with a group of friends, think of Terry's House. Maybe you could pick up an extra pizza for Terry's House? Or maybe you have toiletries from your most recent vacation you could donate? The house is run solely on donations and is grateful for anything received. If you are interested in donating to Terry’s House, please contact Community Medical Foundation at 559.459.2670
or visit www.TerrysHouseFresno.com
I interpret philanthropy to mean giving back to those in need. We are all at different stages in our life and have different means of giving back. Whatever your means, it is important to give back because even the simplest gesture of kindness can go a long way.
Special thanks to Pilar Mitchell, Ian and Allie Wieland, Mackenzie Hartung, Anthony Waters, Faith and AJ Driscoll, Karen and Davinder GIll and Craig Meredith for making this possible.
We are currently brainstorming for our next donation scheduled for August…
Stay tuned! Claire Tuttle Meredith
Terry’s House Donor – Guest Blogger