Each year the Champlin Foundation releases its list of organizations that will benefit from their astounding generosity, and each year we’re amazed at how great of an impact their charity has on the entire state.
Tangibly, what this means for Warwick is that the library will get brand new, renovated restrooms – a project valued at $224,200 – and the high schools will get access to educational materials that would otherwise be out of reach, especially given recent budgetary struggles. It means a $300,000 new pavilion and boat storage space for the Girl Scouts, and smaller projects like repairing the Gaspee replica for our Gaspee Days celebration.
However, at its core, the Champlin Foundation’s mission is one that transcends mere dollar amounts. The initiatives funded by Champlin are often projects or enhancements that would be out of the realm of possibility for cash-strapped organizations – opening up new possibilities for growth and advancement within those organizations and the people that enjoy or rely on them.
The story of Champlin is an inspiring American success story that shows that you don’t need to become an early chapter version of Ebenezer Scrooge to be successful in life. Stanton Byron Champlin made a fortune through hard work and perseverance, and became a driving economic force in Rhode Island. Rather than squirrel the money away, his descendants founded a Foundation in 1932 that has given away nearly $600 million over the years to over 1,000 different grantees, according to their online database. This year the foundation approved 198 grants totaling $18 million.
The causes that Champlin champions are causes that make a positive difference in the lives of Rhode Islanders. They are Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, libraries, healthcare centers, schools, soup kitchens and food banks, public preservation societies, arts associations, tourist destinations and other philanthropic organizations. Many of these organizations are thinly-staffed and without major sources of revenue – relying instead on the philanthropy of others.
To get a Champlin grant is more often than not a game changing development for these endeavors, and that these grants happen annually – not just once in a blue moon – means that even if a specific cause or endeavor does not get awarded one year, there’s always the possibility it could be awarded during another.
As we enter the full swing of the holiday season, we are reminded once again that we are made better as a society when we care more about one another than we care for ourselves. Especially in Rhode Island, where communities share such intimate space and everyone truly does have a feeling of camaraderie with one another – we must be empathetic to our neighbors and their plight, no matter what it is or how difficult solutions may be.
Once more, Champlin leads by example and makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people, and we are immensely grateful for that fact. Although not everyone has the benefit of assets ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars range, everyone can give something – be it their time, energy or more modest monetary amount – in order to make the world a better place.
We encourage every one of our readers to look over the list of grant recipients awarded in this year’s Champlin grants – not only to experience the excitement over the sheer number of groups and organizations that will benefit from this type of generosity, but to perhaps see if a group that you care about didn’t make the cut this year. Seek out that organization, and see if you can be their champion instead.