Generosity is a hallmark of Legates who never fail to impress with their lived faith . . .
Legatus members never fail to impress me. In a world that often seems to be controlled by people with a secular humanist worldview and a good dose of moral relativism, Legates stand out like a sore thumb. And that’s a good thing.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Donald and Michele D’Amour, who are featured in this month’s cover story (Click here for a related story). I learned that they’re successful for many reasons — including the fact that they’re purpose-driven, both in business and in philanthropy. And most importantly, their faith informs their decisions in every aspect of their lives.
The D’Amours’ generosity has not gone unnoticed. In May, Assumption College awarded them honorary degrees. And just last month, the National Catholic Education Association bestowed upon them their highest honor — the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award — for their commitment to higher education.
Shortly before going to press with this issue, I learned that on Oct. 2, St. Louis Chapter members P. Scott and Kathleen Hummel were inducted into the Smurfit-Stone Entrepreneurial Alumni Hall of Fame of the John Cook School of Business at St. Louis University. They founded Our Little Haven, a program for children who are suffering from abuse, neglect, drug exposure or HIV impact. Since 1993, the couple’s programs have helped more than 4,000 children.
Philanthropy and helping those most in need seems to be a theme for all Legatus members, beginning with founder Tom Monaghan. In August, he joined dozens of other billionaires in committing to give away large chunks of their wealth as part of a pact. The Giving Pledge, thought up by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is a $125 billion charity drive that involves some of the world’s wealthiest families.
When Gates approached Monaghan about the pledge a month ago, the Domino’s Pizza founder didn’t think twice about participating. “It’s a great idea to encourage people who have that kind of money to give it to charity,” he told the Naples Daily News. “When Bill [Gates] recently contacted me, I was more than happy to participate. I’ve already committed virtually everything I have to charities.”
All Legates, billionaires or not, use their means and influence for good. They’re among the first to “give back” from what God has given them. They know, too, that any recognition they receive is both an honor and a burden, bringing with it a visibility that can draw an overwhelming number of requests for help. For those embarking on large-scale giving, the D’Amours offer excellent advice like making sure donations go where they can do the most good and following up to see that goals are being accomplished. Those who are willing to stand out like “sore thumbs” are actually giving twice — first to those who receive their help, and second to those for whom they are a reassuring light in the darkness.
Patrick Novecosky is Legatus Magazine’s editor.