Not all stories are shared. So it is for donors’ stories, too. I usually feature a specific donor in this section, but this time I will do my best to highlight Donors – the 3,000 or so people of all demographic descriptions who share of their time, energy, resources, estates, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and possessions to become a pebble in the pond, creating a ripple of effect that extends far beyond the physical location of the NCSML.
Each donor’s act of generosity is like a pebble in the pond, creating a ripple. Sometimes the effects stay separate, like concentric circles on the water’s surface, and sometimes the ripples of many donors combine to form a wave that has a significant impact on our programs. The NCSML’s matching gift challenges, like the recently completed Michalicek Community Challenge, are a good example of the additive effect of donors’ support.
Our donors and visitors come from all 50 states and eight countries. Surprised? Not only does the effect of our programs reach out well beyond the boundaries of state lines, but the effect of donations on our ability to serve arrives from far reaches.
Our donors range from ages young to “young at heart.” Contributions also come from those who have passed away, members of our Legacy Society who have used their estate plans to continue their support of the NCSML.
Donations come from people of Czech or Slovak heritage, or not. While pride in one’s heritage can, and does, inspire many to donate, the grander vision of the NCSML touches many, no matter their background. “We are a museum that celebrates life. Czech life. Slovak life. American life. Through extraordinary experiences, we tell stories of freedom and identity, family and community, human rights and dignity that connect yesterday with today and tomorrow.”
The one trait common to all the donors whose stories of generosity we honor is that all believe in our mission and entrust us with their resources to continue the mission and vision. We are honored and humbled by the ever-growing support.