By Jared Lindell
The Dr. Suess’ holiday story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is a great children’s tale. In a brief synopsis, the story goes a little bit like this: The Grinch is a mean, green character who hates the people and children (the Whos) of Whoville, and he especially hates Christmas and the joy it brings to the Whos. Therefore, in an attempt to bring gloom and despair to the happy Whos of Whoville, the Grinch rides down from his mountain perch and steals all the Whos’ Christmas gifts and decorations, hoping to spoil Christmas. The next morning, Christmas Day, the Grinch looks down on Whoville to witness the despair, only to see the entire village singing and celebrating Christmas anyway. Realizing that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents, the Grinch’s heart grows three times in size, as he learns the true spirit and meaning of Christmas. The Grinch then rides back down to Whoville and gives everything he has stolen back to the Whos, and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.
However, what if the story continued on, and we just never knew about it? What if the Grinch’s change of heart that one day turned into a lifetime of philanthropy?
(The following is based on Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
With the Christmas season now over, Whoville began returning to its normal life. However, life would never be the same in Whoville, as the once mean Grinch would share his love of the town beyond that one fateful Christmas Day. In fact, the Grinch became Whoville’s strongest advocate, which seemed impossible many years ago. You see, the Grinch felt such satisfaction in his good deed that he wanted to carry the Christmas spirit that he felt throughout the rest of his life.
Yet, being new to Whoville, the Grinch was largely unfamiliar with the community’s needs, and, while Whoville was a bustling community, there were many needs. Then the Grinch remembered a sign he had seen from his former mountain perch, as he was looking down on Whoville…it read, “Whoville Community Foundation.” The Grinch figured any foundation that had the word “community” in it must be a vehicle to help the community.
Therefore, the Grinch went to the Whoville Community Foundation and, after a short meeting, established 15 endowment funds for all 15 non-profit organizations in Whoville. He also made an outright donation of $100,000 to the Whoville Animal Shelter, based on a strong affinity for his dog Max, who had been his sole companion his entire life. It just so happens that in his solitude up on the mountain with no friends, no family, and only Max by his side, the Grinch had established himself quite a nest egg. It seems the Grinch had some money stashed away and was a very shrewd investor (who would have thought!), so he had plenty of money to start all 15 endowments and make other donations.
Now, the happy town of Whoville would forever remain happy, due to the Grinch’s generosity and his utilization of a community asset in the Whoville Community Foundation.
While some liberties might have been taken with this add-on to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, there is a common theme that relates to Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation exists and will forever exist to serve the Chautauqua region. The greatest gift the Foundation will receive this Christmas and has received every year is the community’s support, and, for that, we are forever grateful. From the Community Foundation Board and staff, we wish and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Published in the December 24th edition of The Post-Journal