Philanthropy comes in wide variety of shapes, sizes

T the listing of America’s top 50 donors of 2020 was released this week in an article provided to The Associated Press by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

These women and men are the donors who gave the most in 2020, according to the Philanthropy 50, which is an annual ranking compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The list is interesting, because it includes a number of people who are in the news frequently, like the No. 1 giver, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who gave $10.2 billion to various funds and organizations, but also included people most of us have never heard of, like John and Laura Arnold, a retired hedge-fund manager and his wife. They donated $567 million and were ranked No. 6 on the Philanthropy list.

The complete list, which is a searchable database with more information on the donors and their beneficiaries is available at philanthropy.com.

The list is admirable, as it’s good to know that many wealthy Americans do give big to nonprofits and other charities. It’s almost a bit intimidating, too, because most of us will never be able to hand out those kind of contributions.

But you know what? That’s perfectly OK, because we know that a large number of Upper Peninsula residents donate to charity at levels that are impressive in their own right because they are contributing a great percentage of what they have.

Plus Yoopers are known to give something else precious: their time. They show up when a local organization needs support with a project or when a Yooper neighbor has fallen upon trying times.

Yoopers give from their hearts and while there is no list to acknowledge that kind of charitable spirit, we can all do well to say thanks to those who give as they are able — even if the donor isn’t seeking praise.

So we thank each and every person reading this who found a way to make the world a bit better by helping someone, especially in the crazy year that was 2020.

We hope in 2021 we all are able to do something, big or small, to make life better for humankind.


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