Angelika Sellick has no doubt that philanthropy can be taught. The fund she created at Hamilton Community Foundation, in honour of her parents, illustrates the point perfectly.
“My father is a minister and my mom is an educator. They’re both very giving people,” Angelika says. “Thinking of others and the needs of the community is just something that my parents always taught me to do. They always say, and I say it too, if everyone just gave a little bit, it could really make a difference.”
Angelika quietly made history at HCF in 2004 when she became the youngest person ever to start a fund: The Glenn and Sidney Sellick Fund. “As a child, I observed how my parents consistently gave a portion of their earnings to other individuals and organizations,” she says, noting that with five children in the family, it wasn’t always financially easy to do so.
Angelika moved to Hamilton from Leamington in 1998 to attend McMaster University. After graduation she took a number of contract jobs in education and the arts before leaving Hamilton to teach English in South Korea. “I love the city for its character. It has its struggles and downfalls, but I think the people are great. Before I left, it was important to me to give something back to the city where I had six great years.”
Originally attracted by the ”Growing Roots…Strengthening Neighbourhoods” program because of its grass-roots approach, Angelika’s fund benefits the Foundation’s TPT II: Building Strong Communities which continues the emphasis on charitable grants supporting small projects. “HCF doesn’t say, ‘we think the area needs this’ – it’s the citizens themselves who decide what the needs are,” she says.
“When Angelika contacted us about starting a fund, we were just thrilled,” says Carolyn Milne, HCF’s President and CEO. “Although we know many young people are involved in philanthropic activities, either as volunteers or as donors, she is by far the youngest person to have started a fund with us. It’s a wonderful tribute to her parents, and Hamilton’s citizens will benefit as a result.”
Excerpt from Spring 2005 Newsletter