Remarks on the Observance of National Philanthropy Day
you very much. I have just read a clipping this morning from the United Press
that shows how the private sector is spreading and things of this kind in
philanthropy; that the First Lady of the
I was a lad growing up in the
Just like every other kid in our town, I was a beneficiary of this spirit of community. I did a lot of talking about this out on the campaign. Part of it for me meant being a member of the YMCA Boys Band; I was the drum major. And during the recent election there'd be some high school bands at the political rallies, and I would tell some of these young people the story about what happened to me in that band. We were invited to go to a smaller town nearby on Memorial Day and to march in the parade. And we found out that we were at the head of the parade. The only thing in front of us was the parade marshal on a big white horse. And we started off down the street; and I'm with that baton, which was bigger than I was. And suddenly, he rode back down the parade line to make sure that everything was coming along all right. And I'm going down the street, leading the band and the music began to sound a little faint. [Laughter] And I sneaked a glance back. He had caught up with the front of the parade just in time to turn the band down an intersection, and I was walking up the street all by myself. [Laughter] I cut across backyards and so forth and scrambled to get in front of the band about another block away.
Well, over the last decade, I think the American people didn't like where they were being led. Philanthropy and personal involvement were giving way to Federal programs and bureaucratic solutions. I remember as a Governor, one of the nearby States had a most successful -- in its leading city -- program for preventing dropouts in high school. And then the Government came along with a program, and its first task was it just simply did away with that very successful private program in that nearby city.
Right from the start, I think one of the major goals of our administration has been to reinvigorate the American spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. We made encouraging private sector initiatives part of our agenda at the White House. And wherever I speak, I try to bolster local campaigns and give a well-earned pat on the back to some great Americans. And of the accomplishments of this administration, one of which I am most proud is the success that we've had in this area. Over these last 6 years we've witnessed an outpouring of charitable giving, voluntarism, and community spirit that was beyond our wildest expectations.
figures are in for the period from 1980 through 1985. Total charitable giving
in that period increased by 82 percent. The figures for last year, 1985, which
are the latest statistics, show giving was at an all-time high, almost $80
billion, exceeding the 1984 record high by almost $6 billion. And during a time
of low inflation, these are figures that indicate tangible change for the
better going on in our society. Furthermore, people are donating their time.
More than 89 million Americans volunteered their time and effort and talent in
1985. Other countries who've been paying attention to
the job creation and economic expansion going on in the
I'm very pleased that 10 days from now this subject will be discussed at an
international conference in
Tomorrow marks National Philanthropy Day. For the first time in our nation's history, a day has been specifically designated to pay tribute to this fine American tradition. Philanthropy, as you know, is defined as an affection for mankind. Well, I think this benevolence flows from human freedom. It's when people are helping one another, not because they're taxed or coerced into it, but because they want to, that concern for one's fellow man becomes part of a nation's soul. And, also, from freedom flows a desire for peace.
was trying to capture that last night when I addressed the Nation about some of
the issues surrounding our dealings with the Government of Iran. Our relations
with the Islamic Republic of Iran have been almost nonexistent for these last 7
years. And during this time there's been turmoil in the
that has been accomplished can be laid to courageous diplomacy. We have, and
will continue, to pursue every possible option to remove the causes of
terrorism. In short, we will talk when talking is productive, and we'll be firm
when firmness is required. But when terrorism does occur, we will act decisively
against those who are responsible. There has not been, and will not be, any
ransom for hostages. Let there be no doubt the
Thank you all, and God bless you.
The President spoke at in Room 450 of the