John Glazer | I’m a Child of Appalachia Network
John Glazer moved to Appalachian Ohio about seven years ago to help businesses launch and grow in the region. He arrived focused on encouraging the entrepreneurial nature of our region, but he was introduced to a new kind of community, one with a strong sense of home. One reason why John gives to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is because he believes that a lot of gifts combined can have an impact on our community. The Foundation was lucky to have John share more of his thinking on why giving to FAO is important.
Q: When you moved to Appalachian Ohio, what were some of your first impressions?
A: The dominating quality was the extent to which so many people had long-time associations with the community. Their ties went back generations and there was a rootedness. The strong sense of home here was something new to me and was very attractive. There was a sense of belonging and community.
Q: You see the economic development and business sides of our region up close every day through your work. What challenges and opportunities do you see in Appalachian Ohio and how do you think giving to FAO helps address these areas?
A: I believe the reason why I came here professionally was to address a gap in resources. In other areas entrepreneurs have more experience, support, and resources at their disposal. In Appalachian Ohio, the gap in resources is longer, deeper, and more basic than the resource problems of other regions. This is true in the public and social sectors as well.
There is not, however, a lack of ideas, commitment, or of will. There is wealth in the region in these regards, but to turn these advantages into something sustainable is where resources and help are needed.
FAO is in the resource-development business. You get resources in place and connect them to people. Because FAO is bigger than itself – you work directly with communities to grow locally-focused funds – FAO’s work is laser-targeted to where needs and gaps are.
Q: What role do you think philanthropy can play in our region?
A: Philanthropy has the opportunity to put aside other boundaries and unite us through common cause. And we now see new generations looking for sustainable results. They don’t want a band aid. With philanthropy, communities can invest in themselves.
Q: Why do you renew your membership in the Foundation’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Network each year with a gift to FAO?
A: I have started a lot from scratch in my work starting businesses so I know what small resources can do together.
I am not a big philanthropist, but giving helps me express who I want to be. To express who I am, I need to support the values I believe in. I’m a small contributor, but little donations combine. They make a difference when we make them and make them consistently. Giving helps build the kind of community I want to belong to.