For many, the desire to give often is sparked from a deeply personal experience. This is especially true for Centerville resident Lisa Hanauer, whose humble beginnings inspired her to help her community later in life.
"Growing up, my family was very poor. We were beneficiaries of governmental programs that helped us get by, so I know what it’s like to be dependent upon others to live from day-to-day," said Lisa, founder of MED-PASS, Inc., a company she launched in 1989 and sold earlier this year to Reynolds and Reynolds. "I always hoped that someday I would give back what I had received. As my business grew, I was able to do just that. Today I see the fruits of my giving, and it’s so rewarding."
In 2000, Lisa and her partner of 25 years, Sue Spiegel, established a deferred endowment fund through The Dayton Foundation and later a Charitable Checking AccountSM to support the causes and organizations they care about most, including the Foundation’s unrestricted fund.
Lisa and Sue also are passionate volunteers. Lisa currently serves on the boards for both The Dayton Foundation and Hospice of Dayton Foundation. Sue volunteers with AIDS Resource Center (ARC) Ohio as chairwoman of its RED Gala for the third time.
"An HIV diagnosis once was considered a death sentence. Thanks to research and medical advances, people now are able to live full lives," said Sue, who has raised more than $875,000 for ARC. "We still need to raise awareness to prevent the spread of this disease. That’s why ARC’s education and prevention programs are so important."
Through volunteerism, Lisa learned the power of participation and community. "Being on The Dayton Foundation’s Board has opened my eyes to the many worthwhile efforts happening in the region – efforts like Learn to Earn Dayton that has individuals and organizations working together to prepare our children for a successful future. It’s so encouraging," Lisa said.
When it comes to supporting their community, Lisa and Sue both agree that doing nothing simply isn't an option. "There are so many needs. If you can't give money, then give your time," Sue said.
"Knowing how I was raised with so little and knowing how fortunate we are today, the idea of not helping others would be unconscionable," Lisa added. "We give not because we can, but because we want to. We care about Greater Dayton and its future. We're here to stay."