Reaching out to help others

John Garoppolo

John Garoppolo

John Garoppolo

When John Garoppolo needs a reminder of how important it is to contribute to nonprofits that address health issues, he just has to reach out his hand: His guide dog, Garner, was trained and donated to him by a charity that he actively supports. When John wants to reach out and help others, he donates to Americares.

"There are people all over the world in desperate situations and Americares gives them what they need," says John, a Connecticut retiree who is visually impaired. "After a disaster, Americares is first on the scene and they stay. And I like their efficiency; I know that most of my donation is helping others."

A high school industrial arts teacher for several decades, John bowls and keeps active with his wife, Patricia, and, of course, Garner. John, 80, regards his life as a lucky one. "I'm very fortunate," he says.

His visual impairment has made him more aware of the plights of others and when he hears of people in need, John wants to contribute. "I feel very strongly about that," he says. "It makes me feel as though I'm doing what's right."

When John received an inheritance from a relative, he donated the sum to Americares. Then, he named Americares as a beneficiary of his IRA and chose to participate in Americares Legacy Match Challenge, which resulted in an immediate, substantial match gift from two donors wanting to encourage legacy giving.

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