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See One, Do One, Teach One: How the Johnson Family gives back
/ November 11, 2015

Drs. Sandra and Brad Johnson of Greenwood, AR

Drs. Sandra and Brad Johnson live in northwest Arkansas with their two children. The couple discussed giving and other financial issues before they even married, and have instilled their charitable values on their kids since they were babies. As part of our Family Giving focus this month, we asked the Johnsons to reflect on their giving. Each week, we will feature thought-provoking and inspiring answers. Read how these two doctors have applied the medical philosophy “See one, do one, teach one” to their giving.

How would you describe your giving philosophy?

An attitude of gratitude makes a big difference. In our family, we try to remember that we are part of something bigger. We are not the most important people on this planet. It is up to us to always think how to help the other person. We have been blessed to have a great family and given the resources we need to get by in life. It seems the more we give (with a cheerful heart) the more we are given.

How did you develop your family giving plan?

When Brad and I were planning to marry, we discussed our long term plans. We both know how important it is to give back some of the blessings we have been given but yet did not want to be limited to tithing to our church. Arkansas Community Foundation helped us to create a plan that accomplishes what we want. That plan means giving some of our time, talents and treasure to our church, our schools and our community. We have a plan and give from our “head,” but when a need arises that tugs at our “heart,” we also contribute to that cause.

Do you learn more about philanthropy from observing, doing, teaching or reading?

In medicine, there is a phrase of “see one, do one, teach one.” I feel like that applies to philanthropy and all of life. See others do good (be generous), we do good, we help others do good—that makes the world a better place.

What is your family’s highest priority when considering grants?

We value investing in the future. We value education and community. We place a high priority on “building”—building actual structures and programs that will impact the future.

What did you learn about giving from your parents?

There are two sayings my parents have instilled in me: “To whom much is given, much is required” and “Your life is God’s gift to you and what you do with it is your gift to God.”

What do you want your family’s philanthropic legacy to be?

We would like to be remembered as kind generous people who left the world a little bit better. In a dream world, we would like a trail system to incorporate our community of Greenwood with Fort Smith and extend north to the NWA trail system.

 

   

Are you interested in learning more about how Arkansas Community Foundation can help establish good giving habits with your family? We've compiled a list of resources that you can find here: 

FAMILY GIVING RESOURCES

 

   

The holiday season reminds us of all of the things that matter most to us – family, home, community, faith. How will you express your values through your year-end giving? 

Read the full article from our CEO, Heather Larkin, in Talk Business & Politics' latest publication by clicking below.

SMART CHARITABLE GIVING STARTS WITH YOUR VALUES
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