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#MyGivingStory: Nancy Horowitz

We know that every act of giving has a story behind it. Join us as we learn what moves our donors to dedicate their time, talents and financial support to changing lives within Florida.

What inspired you to start giving? 

Watching my mother donate her time as a volunteer for many organizations. As I was growing up my mother volunteered for many organizations on all levels and was President of several. I would help prior to an event and she would take me to for example a rummage sale and other events to help.  The most inspiring thing she did was she transcribed novels into Braille as a volunteer and received recognition for doing this from The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In those days each letter was punctured by hand within the cell, many years later the Braille typewriter came along which she used for many years.

What does giving mean to you?

The most meaningful thing about giving is to make a difference in someone’s day or life. On any level being a volunteer I try to have fun and create that environment for others so their experience is special. When some people get out of their comfort zone, or try something new for the first time the smile on their face is extremely rewarding. When you give you get lots in return. There are two quotes  that say it all, “What one leaves behind is not engraved on a monument, but what is woven into the lives of others.”  Anonymous. The other quote  is “People will forget what you say, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou. There are so many people that were part of my life that made me into the person I am.

Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?

Continuing volunteering is special  for several reasons. I go back to my Four F’s Fun, Family, Friends, and the Future. All of the above makes things happen. Networking, making friends, creates a family atmosphere, along with enjoying what takes place. Having volunteered in schools, camps, senior centers, with people of all backgrounds and abilities I think of the future to bring in new volunteers that will take over as the torch is passed on is rewarding and enjoyment are the smiles and achievements the participants have made.

What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back?  Share a piece of advice that will help them get started?

The most important thing is to find something you like and enjoy and the rewards can be overwhelming and uplifting. Volunteers do not get paid because they are priceless, and they give of themselves to make things easier for others or to experience something new that they never did before.

Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.

My inspiration story is from way back in 7th grade that made an impact on me for the rest of my life. I was a very athletic kid who played every sport with boys and girls. I met a girl in my class that had polio. We became friends. She invited me over to her home on the weekend. When I arrived, her mom took me into the room she was in, much to my amazement she was lying in an iron lung which helped people with polio. That image stayed with me and I knew from that point on I would volunteer to help people with disabilities, along with any other organization that I wanted to give time to.

We want to hear your giving story!  Email to be featured next.