the joy of giving

Featuring local philanthropists Harry Leopold & Audrey Robbins

Long before making their first charitable gift as a married couple, local philanthropists Harry Leopold and Audrey Robbins were learning about the joy of giving from their parents. “My parents always made sure that I knew the importance of doing for others,” Audrey said.

While Audrey grew up in Denver, Colorado, Harry immigrated to the U.S. from Holland in 1951 with his family. “In my 20s, I was earning a decent income and was able to help my parents. It was their joy and gratitude that touched me. So many years later, I gain tremendous pleasure from giving.”

"I want ... to help other people discover their passion and feel the joy received from giving."

Harry and Audrey are a philanthropy team. “Audrey’s the reconnaissance person, out in the community searching for the next impactful project,” Harry said. “She’ll find an exciting project and we’ll discuss its potential impact. We give serious thought to what we will support. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the arts, human services or education. If the project will have long-lasting impact, we will support it.”

A big-picture thinker, Harry longs to discover other non-profit activities and bring them to the Sarasota-Manatee region. “We have to find a way to bring those activities here to excite others to get involved. I want to provide the leadership to help other people discover their passion and feel the joy received from giving.”

Audrey wants to bring potential philanthropists from the sidelines and into the action. “I would tell the next generation ‘It’s your turn, and it’s good for your life!’” she said. “I also want more people involved. Those in their 30s and 40s, it’s not too early. I want people to know that giving to others will create happiness in their lives.”

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