For Bernie Marcus, Philanthropy Brings Life’s Greatest Payoffs

  
Via:  krishna  •  3 weeks ago  •  5 comments

For Bernie Marcus, Philanthropy Brings Life’s Greatest Payoffs
Marcus connected him to City of Hope, a cancer treatment center that ultimately saved the employee's life. "That impact was so important in my life," says Marcus.

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Ask Bernard "Bernie" Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, why he decided to engage in philanthropy and he will say he never decided. "I just did it—you slide into it. I didn’t sit down one night with my wife, Billi, and say, ‘Maybe we'll become philanthropists.'"

Marcus's slide into philanthropy began while he was still building The Home Depot into the world's largest home-improvement retailer. When a young employee shared that he was dying of cancer, Marcus connected him to City of Hope, a cancer treatment center that ultimately saved the employee's life. 

"That impact was so important in my life,"  says Marcus. "I went to [City of Hope] and said ‘I want to join your board.' I had never done anything with philanthropy before…and I didn't have any money, but I worked diligently on that board."

Marcus's early habit of helping to meet the needs of the people around him by giving his time and managerial talent has become a strong theme in his philanthropy. Similarly, but with global consequences,  Marcus observed the anguish of another employee , a young mother of an autistic child. To learn more about the disability, he toured the country's top medical centers and met countless families undergoing the same hardship.

"Honestly, I didn't sleep for nights," says Marcus. "And I said, ‘Goddamn it, I'm going to do something about this.' And that's how we came about starting the Marcus Autism Center (MAC)—because of a need that I saw."  Starting with two trailers in Atlanta , Marcus began to gather the best minds in medicine and other philanthropists to understand and treat the disorder.

But throughout his philanthropy, whether he is supporting the people and places around him or his religious and cultural communities, Marcus's motivation remains the same: "It's really to save people's lives," he says.  "That's the payoff. It's an emotional payoff that I can't explain to people."

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Krishna
1  seeder  Krishna    3 weeks ago

"That impact was so important in my life,"   says Marcus. "I went to [City of Hope] and said ‘I want to join your board.' I had never done anything with philanthropy before…and I didn't have any money, but I worked diligently on that board."

Marcus's early habit of helping to meet the needs of the people around him by giving his time and managerial talent has become a strong theme in his philanthropy. Similarly, but with global consequences,   Marcus observed the anguish of another employee  , a young mother of an autistic child. To learn more about the disability, he toured the country's top medical centers and met countless families undergoing the same hardship.

 
 
 
Krishna
2  seeder  Krishna    3 weeks ago

But throughout his philanthropy, whether he is supporting the people and places around him or his religious and cultural communities, Marcus's motivation remains the same: "It's really to save people's lives," he says.    "That's the payoff. It's an emotional payoff that I can't explain to people."

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Kudos to Bernie for his many wonderful deeds. 

 
 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

While I was involved as a director and officer on an International Children's Charity chapter in Toronto, a wealthy member passed on and willed his farm near the city to the charity.  We investigated what the best use of it could be, and decided that a great need could be solved by making it a home away from home for autistic children.  It was professionally staffed, and the parents were so grateful for having a place where their autistic children would be safe and professionally cared for, so they could take a break now and then from what is for such parents an extremely demanding existence.

There are movies that depict autistic persons, such as Rain Man, and The Accountant.

 
 
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