The Georgina D. Sanford Family Foundation was created in April of 2004 in memory of Louis’s mother, who passed away in December, 1996. The philosophy of our family includes the idea of giving back to our community. We, as a family, decided to impact our community with the wealth our family inherited and to increase that wealth for the betterment of our community.
To that end, we created the Georgina D. Sanford Foundation and through this Foundation, we have decided on six pathways to create a better community for all of us. We have decided that our community is our country, our nation. While our hearts go out to those in need around the world, we feel the greatest responsibility and commitment to our fellow citizens in need here in our own country, here at home. Our six pathways have led us to six projects which we support and work within to impact our community.
One of our projects is the YES Project, which stands for the Young Entrepreneurial Students project. In 2003, Lou donated Whole Enchilada to the YES Network in Portland and began his favorite charity project, teaching kids to play Monopoly with real buildings. This program is aimed at teaching real estate to kids along with how the credit system in our country works as well as the banking system. Lou started his business training in Junior Achievement and is a fan of that program. It taught Lou how to think like a businessman. As a result of his experience in Junior Achievement, Lou looked at providing the education in investing to kids in high school with the goal of reaching the family as well as the kids.
Financial stress is a major cause of the breakdown of the family. To that end, we have developed an educational program to be offered through our churches and through local school systems to teach entrepreneurial skills in real estate investing and investing in general to high risk youth to show them there are pathways to success other than drugs or gang life. We hope to impact the families of these high risk youth through the programs taught through the church or the school and bring the families into the program as well. Our donations may be both monetary in nature or in the donation of educational programs or tools to further that financial education.
Another of our projects, called Advancing God’s Kingdom, is somewhat related to our first in that we are using real estate investing education to better the lives of our pastors as well as train mentors for our YES groups through churches. Small churches and churches just organized have a hard time paying their pastors a living wage. In addition, pastors have a hard time supporting their families and sending their children to college. We want to offer hope not only to the pastors but to their families that their needs will be met by their own effort, their own goals, and their own talents. We have created a program by which pastors can learn real estate investing and apply what they learn both as mentors of our YES groups but also to relieve the financial stress on their families and themselves. In addition, we are also supporting the spiritual and ethical strength of our investing community by encouraging our pastors to hold short, optional Sunday services at educational events for real estate investors.
Yet another of our ongoing projects is again closely aligned with our first two. This is Our American Heroes project and is designed to offer support in many ways to our Armed Services personnel, both active personnel, National Guard, returning, and disabled personnel. We firmly believe as a family that our servicemen and servicewomen deserve our respect, our admiration, and our support during times of war and times of peace. These men and women elect to serve, sometimes at the cost of their own family’s comfort and future as well as theirs, in order to protect us and our freedoms. Sometimes the families of these courageous men and women are on food stamps as their loved ones put themselves in danger to serve our country. We find this situation completely unacceptable.
To honor these men and women, we are working with the Patriot Project Foundation and other organizations to support servicemen and servicewomen as well as returning veterans and disabled veterans and their families the opportunity to improve their financial future by learning investment strategies and the real estate investment business. Our foundation will offer these veterans and active servicemen the training to begin their investment careers as well as the tools with which to accomplish the goals they set for themselves in real estate, even if it is only the purchase of a home for their families. In addition, we will donate to such organizations as Operation Homeland to support the families while their loved ones are on active duty.
Besides our military heroes, America’s heroes include policemen, firemen, and teachers. These are professions fraught with danger and, in some areas, poor pay. These men and women put their lives on the line for our safety every day and I include teachers in this as they face increasing violence every year in this country. These heroes also deserve the respect, admiration, and support that our military deserve. We will offer the same opportunity and support to these men and women and their families as we offer the military.
Our latest project is called Homeless but not Hopeless Families. Most shelters separate families, men to men’s shelters and women and children to women’s shelters. We want to preserve family structure as we feel family is the building block of our community and families cannot grow together if they are under immediate distress from homelessness, hunger, or separated in a desperate attempt to get help. We support such organizations as The Atlanta Children’s Shelter, the Atlanta Food Bank, the Red Feather Development , Nathaniel’s House, and other organizations which support families in need who are trying and need support to help themselves to a better life. We firmly believe that help with no input from the person or family receiving the help merely enables that person or that family to continue on in their own feelings of victimization and does nothing to give that person or that family the feeling of strength that comes from solving one’s own problems and being involved in the betterment of one’s own life.
While our hearts go out to victims of emergencies overseas, as a family we are dedicated to the relief of families here at home first. While we do not restrict ourselves to problems here at home, we resolve first to focus on the problems families face here at home in dealing with emergencies and disasters. Our fifth project is called American Disasters and through this project we will offer help and support when disaster strikes our country.
Our country has faced hurricanes, floods, and wild fires in growing numbers over the last few years. As a nation, we receive less help in times of natural disaster than any other country. We basically take care of our own. This is of primary importance to us as a family. We take care of our own family and our own community. We resolve to offer assistance through the American Red Cross, United Way, Children of Chaos, local churches, and the Salvation Army to any American family or community who face dealing with flood, fire, wind, weather, and whatever natural disaster thrown at them.
Our memorial project is in honor of Raymond C. Powell of Marshall County, KY who taught his children and his grandchildren by example that when the community needs something, the community must pull together and get it done. While it takes one man to have the vision of the solution of a community problem, it is the community which must stand together and solve that problem. To honor his memory, we as a family have decided to continue his work in his community. We will support the maintenance and management of the cemetery trusts formed to ensure the continuation of the community cemetery where families faced with the overwhelming decisions and costs of funerals can find a peaceful resting place for their loved ones for little or no cost. In addition, this project also includes supporting families through emergencies such as fire, flood, terminal illness of a family member, and any other emergency that would put a strain on a family’s resources, spirit, and bonds.
Family is the cornerstone of our society and belief in a higher purpose that which makes humankind great. It is our mission to support our community by fostering family and faith.