“A family foundation enables us to teach our children about our philanthropic values,” Patricia Douglas said. “It’s easier to get children engaged in helping our community if they see their parents actively involved and have a chance to participate themselves.”
Patricia Douglas said she and her husband measure their children’s success by how they treat others. “We believe in the values of loving humanity and helping others. Sometimes all it takes is a warm smile or a friend willing to listen to lift someone’s spirits; often more is required to lift someone out of a hole. We want our children to learn to step up when either is necessary.”
Their three children, who are in their teens and early 20s, have embraced the responsibility, she said. “They are open to the cause we support, but often question why and advocate for ares in our community that they think are underserved. The best part is that they are exposed, invested and involved.”
“Growing up watching my parents give back to the community has not only made me thankful that we are lucky enough to be in a position to give back, but it has also made me appreciate giving because you truly want to, rather than giving because you feel obligated.”
“He was brilliant. He was loving. He was very accomplished. He was Matt,” Ginny Klein said. “He tried to help as many people as he could, but he couldn’t help himself.”
The Kleins said their youngest son spent a lot of time research the causes he supported, so they turned to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to help them continue his legacy. Through the Kwyjibo, they continue support of environmental and social causes Matt cared about. And they want to help others avoid the kind of addiction that plagued their son.
“God only knows addiction is a huge, huge problem,” Bill Klein said. “That’s why we’re trying to dedicate Kwyjibo to fight addiction and educate young people, which is the only way to try to keep kids out of it before they start.”
Bill Klein passed away on Nov. 9, 2014. Donations to the Bill Klein memorial fund can be made here.
Nancy and George met in Pittsburgh while she was attending nursing school. Nancy then worked for more than 20 years at various hospice locations, coming to HPH Hospice in 2003, where she became Senior Vice President for Clinical Services. In February 2013, Nancy was diagnosed with late stage cancer. By March she was homebound. She passed away in May. Even with Nancy gone, George was determined to keep their commitment made many years before.
“Both Nancy and I felt a lot of people did things for us over our lives,” recalls George. “We wanted to give back. We had a warm spot for helping those who can’t necessarily help themselves.” For Nancy and George, helping others meant volunteering at the HPH Hospice Children’s Assistance Program (CAP) spring camp. At the camp, boys and girls from 5th grade through high school who have recently experienced the death of a close family member learn coping skills and gain a better understanding of the grief they are experiencing.
“I personally enjoy being with the boys, getting to know them, and listening to them,” says George. “You hear kids say, ‘I thought I was the only one’.”
When Nancy died, George established the Nancy L. Brown Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to make ongoing contributions to the children’s program. He said he believes in the program because he sees the changes it brings about in the lives of the children who attend.
“We simply could not have a program like this without people like the Browns,” said Laura Finch, manager of Adult and Children’s Bereavement Services at HPH Hospice. “Our staff loved Nancy. She was always a strong advocate.”
“Our successes have come from the community and we felt like our giving should go back to the community that has made life good for us,” Mrs. Ferman said.
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has been a longtime partner in the Fermans’ philanthropy.
“From the beginning, Jim and I saw that it was the right thing to do. It was a vehicle, and a resource, and it was a way that we could do what we wanted to do without having to hire more people to handle things,” she said. “The Foundation saved us money, we felt safe that they were going to do the right thing, that we could trust that it would be done expediently, and we’ve never been disappointed.”
“He didn’t elaborate, but you could tell a lot of his feelings by what he didn’t say rather what he did say,” she said.
When she heard that the Franciscan Center in Tampa needed support for a series of retreats aimed at helping first responders – police officers and firefighters – deal with the stress of the traumas they see every day, she wanted to help.
The focus of her giving through the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, she said, is support for programs that “involve people’s relationships with one another individually and collectively. … If you walk the walk that someone else has to walk, all you have to do is mentally put yourself in that place. As long as I can help somebody else -- physically or monetarily or however -- I will.”
Barbara Ann Cole’s support is making a difference, said Sister Anne Dougherty, President and CEO of the Franciscan Center. Hundreds of first responders have been through the five-day retreat since the program began in 2013.
“I’m seeing the hope and the restoration of the men and women who come,” she said. “We need more people like Barbara Ann in our lives, and the first responders need to know that here’s a person who has the compassion and is willing to sponsor them in coming her for a retreat.”