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The Editor | A Letter from Liz Green
Welcome to our annual Giving Issue, without a doubt my favorite issue of the year because it highlights what I appreciate most about this incredible community we live in: our philanthropic nature.
There are many things to love about the greater Charlotte Harbor area. We have a thriving arts scene. We have a wide array of restaurants and bars catering to everyone’s tastes. On any given weekend, there are more festivals and special events than you could ever hope to attend … at least during season. And, of course, we have our great outdoors and year-round sunshine. Yes, this is a mighty nice place to live.
But even better than all of that is our community’s love of giving. I am continuously amazed at the generosity of people in Charlotte County and our neighboring communities. Despite our smaller size, we actively support the more than 200 nonprofit organizations found in our 2019-2020 Charity Register, published this year in cooperation with the Charlotte Community Foundation. In reality, we support many more because as much as we try to make our list all-inclusive, every year I discover nonprofits missing from our register. So please, if your organization has been overlooked, tell us and we’ll add you to next year’s list.
Each year as we begin planning for this issue, we choose several organizations from our Charity Register to highlight—no simple task as they are all more than worthy of a story. And each and every year as I edit the stories our writers have assembled, I tear up. Every. Single. Year. This year in particular, I had to take several breaks to dry my eyes while reading about The Twig, a boutique in Venice that has served more than 1,600 foster children in its short existence. The Twig’s staff and volunteers go out of their way to make these children feel as if they are the most important people in the world. Their caring and compassion touched me…and made me cry.
And then there is Erik and Diane Hoffer. While their story didn’t make me tear up, it did inspire me. Every year in this issue we highlight nonprofits in our community, but we have never really written about the people who support them—the givers. Often times the givers prefer their privacy. Erik and Diane used to feel that way. And so I would like to personally thank them for coming forward and sharing their story. In deciding to speak out about their philanthropic efforts through the Hoffer Family Foundation, Erik and Diane hope to encourage others to get involved in whatever way they can. They hope that if you are able to give financially, that you will consider doing so now, while you are alive, so you can see the impact you have on your community. And for those who are unable to give financially, give of your time, your ideas, your talent. Just give. Don’t wait until you are gone for your legacy to begin. Establish your legacy now.
I hope you enjoy the issue, and that it inspires you to give.