Every year, National Philanthropy Day serves as a reminder of the impact of countless individuals who give their time, talent, treasure and testimony to strengthen the communities across our region.
Last year alone, half of all San Diegans donated to charity and one-third volunteered with a local nonprofit. San Diego County is a region full of generous individuals who value the impact of philanthropy and work to make a difference in the community every day.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that San Diego’s National Philanthropy Day event is one of the largest in the world. Each year, more than 1,000 community leaders, philanthropists and nonprofit organizations in the region come together to celebrate one another and recognize a few select individuals for their legacy of giving.
At the 2019 event, three Regional Affiliate leaders and donors at The San Diego Foundation will be among the honorees that take the stage. Bob Wilson, Marion Wilson and Jack Raymond, each longtime donors with the Escondido Charitable Foundation and The San Diego Foundation, have been supporting important initiatives in Escondido and across the region for years.
Bob and Marion Wilson have given millions to fight homelessness, strengthen education and increase youth development, all to improve quality of life for the most underserved and vulnerable families and individuals. In short, they step up and give back when people need it most.
In 2018, when the Camp Fire swept through Northern California as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, Bob and Marion knew they needed to help. They were compelled to act when they realized that the students in the area had lost more than just their homes and their community. They had lost a sense of security and carefreeness that defines everyone’s teenage years.
Despite never meeting anyone from the community and living at the opposite end of the state, they personally delivered a $1,000 check to each of Paradise High School’s 980 students and 105 employees. The gift totaled more than $1 million for the wildfire survivors to use as they see fit, no strings attached.
What’s most noteworthy is that gift is not an outlier but the norm for Bob and Marion. The couple provided a similar gift in 2014 during the aftermath of the Cocos Fire that swept through Escondido.
Bob and Marion are the personification of generosity and selflessness.
That is also why it’s no surprise that Jack Raymond, a close friend of Bob and Marion, will also be honored at the National Philanthropy Day event. Jack’s impact in the community is equally as significant.
Just glancing at his involvement with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, San Diego County Human Resources Advisory Board, The California State University San Marcos Foundation and The San Diego Foundation Regional Affiliate Program, just to name a few, Jack has nearly done it all.
As a resident of Escondido since 1944, Jack has pursued a lifetime of community work throughout North County and greater San Diego, and worked to break down the barriers between regions to create a more unified approach to matters of community interest.
Most recently, Jack has driven community efforts to build an iconic Giving Arch at the entrance to Escondido. The structure will serve as a welcoming sign to all residents and visitors, and will forever represent the generosity of individuals and families throughout the community.
If you have yet to register for the National Philanthropy Day event on November 4, don’t wait much longer. We will be there celebrating Bob, Marion and Jack, as well as a host of other changemakers who are giving back to the community and advancing quality of life throughout San Diego County.