It’s the stories about ‘everyday’ philanthropists and regular people doing things to help others woven through this how-to guide about philanthropy that really catch the attention. Hector Chao’s story is one of these. Originally from Mexico, now a retired accountant living in Los Angeles, he gives his time and talents to help prepare annual tax returns for low-income taxpayers over 60. He does seven to ten returns a day, and is one of an army of more than 34,600 people across the US providing these services free of charge every day.
For the author, anyone who gives their time, effort or money is a philanthropist. ‘Giving’ – the importance to society, the personal and spiritual benefit that the act of giving bestows on the giver, and the need for all of us to give more of whatever we have, no matter how little or how much – is a constant refrain. The author illustrates the core themes of each of the book’s nine chapters by telling stories of people who give, including those involving significant contributions of personal wealth to charities. But it’s the humbling humanity of all these ‘givers’, driven by a simple desire to help those less well-off, that really stays with you … and none of them seem to do what they do in order to avoid paying tax!