Social Change: One Family’s Legacy

Social change runs deep in some families. It’s a tradition passed on through words and deeds – a legacy as sure as those marked by names on buildings.

That’s the case with one multigenerational family we’ve come to know. Their commitment to helping others started years ago at home and spread far beyond. You can see it in Stephanie, the middle generation. We’ve changed her name but not her story. She recalls growing up with a supportive father who found interest in anything that interested her. Then, when Stephanie struggled with addiction, he was there too. By her side. Always.

Stephanie went on to have children, pursue an education, and become a social worker. It’s in her day-to-day work that we see the seeds of giving being planted in the next generation. When visiting underserved families, Stephanie would often bring her daughter along.

Now a college student, that daughter, whom we’ll call Leigh Ann, is keenly self-aware and following in her mother’s footsteps. Her mission: helping the homeless. Leigh Ann regularly volunteers at local shelters when she’s not fundraising for international causes to support homeless children or managing her college coursework.

And Stephanie’s father, who started it all? He’s a big part of Leigh Ann’s life as well. He consistently forwards articles about homelessness and provides donations when his granddaughter is fundraising for her favorite international nonprofit. Leigh Ann acknowledges him and her mother for instilling in her a behavior of giving – a lesson passed on through their strong sense of well-being and love.

Yes, social change runs deep in some families. It is a legacy. A legacy with meaning and purpose.