How Russell & Sharon give back to the community.
The 'Russell and Sharon Schmidt Endowment Fund' was set up in 2009 with the Toronto Foundation. This endowment fund preserves capital of all donations made, which in turn is invested and the annual profits are distributed to chosen charities. The endowment fund continues in 'perpetuity', passed forward from generation to generation.
As a child from a poor family I experienced the generosity of others especially at Christmas and as an adult my gratefulness has motivated me to be generous in a variety of ways. I started by contributing to a few charities which expanded to the point where it became difficult to track and manage.
A chance conversation with another entrepreneur introduced me to the idea of a family charitable foundation. The notion appealed to me for several reasons. It would simplify my current situation; it would provide a lasting legacy in that my generosity would continue in perpetuity; it would involve my current family and future generations in philanthropy. I was directed to The Toronto Community Foundation by my colleague, liked what I saw and established The Sharon & Russell Schmidt Family Foundation.
The current main focus of our giving is directed to Cancer research as a result of being a survivor of prostate cancer and losing an older sister to lung cancer as well as several other family members who are living with cancer. Another focus is assisting young people in underdeveloped countries. We also sponsor children and support local arts endeavours through contributions outside of the Family Foundation.
Our goal is to reach a minimum capital target of 1 million dollars for the Foundation in our lifetime. This capital is expected to at least retain its value relative to inflation and will disperse a minimum of $50,000 per year in perpetuity.
I am grateful that I have the ability to make a contribution in many ways to this wonderful world we live in and especially through the Family Foundation. A person, whether a little boy like I was, or one who will benefit from medical research, or one who needs a leg up will experience our generosity and pass it forward .