Albert Camus once wrote, “I know of only one duty, and that is to love.” While I’m not sure he was referring to love in a “love of mankind that spurs us to do good in the world” sort of way, I think it is applicable to our situation. The word “philanthropy” literally translates to the love of humanity. Chinquapin depends on donors fulfilling this duty of love to keep our mission alive. Though our metrics are fantastic (over 85% of our graduates go on to graduate with a four year degree!) people rarely support us solely on an intellectual basis. They choose to support us based on the emotional uplift that interacting with our students brings. They love both what we achieve and how we get there. They love the impact our students have on their families and, ultimately, the greater Houston community.
Bob and Maxine Moore’s vision inspired a multitude of students, teachers and kind souls to find a place in their hearts for Chinquapin. Not only do our donors “keep the lights on” but they provide experiences for our students that they would not otherwise have. Because of Doug Davidson with MaxBowl, our students get to go bowling for free every Valentine’s Day (see the pictures in this issue!). Because of the Service League of Baytown, we have a birthday party once a semester with cake, ice cream and the rare treat of sodas! From plays, to opera, to sports tickets to summer programs, so many of you have made sure that our students’ education goes beyond the academic. Your support teaches our students the good a little love can do in this world. Most importantly, it models for them the impact of love on the broader human community, a virtue we emphasize through our community service component.
In the midst of the celebration of romantic love brought on by Valentine’s Day, I am thankful to you all for showing your love of humanity to our students in ways big and small. We feel the love!
Laura Henry, Ed.D.