Through Gifts She Made a Difference

Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage (1828-1918), known as Olivia Sage, experienced extreme poverty and immense wealth. And she became “one of the greatest female philanthropists our world has ever known.” Through gifts, she made a difference. Early Life The daughter of Margaret Pierson and Joseph Slocum, Olivia grew up in Syracuse, New York. Her wealthy and devoutly religious family were members of the First Presbyterian Church. They opposed reform movements like those involving women’s rights and abolition of slavery.  After the Panic of 1837, her father’s businesses and warehouses failed. He lost his fortune before she reached her teenage years. Sponsored by a wealthy uncle, she attended the prestigious Troy Female Seminary (now Emma Willard School). An academically rigorous school, it quietly advocated for women’s financial independence through education. This influenced Olivia greatly. She considered its headmistress her mentor. She graduated in 1847. Career Olivia became a teacher (one of the few acceptable female professions at the time). She experienced firsthand the limited opportunities, underpaid, and overworked difficulties common for the 19th century woman. The year 1948 sparked Olivia’s interest in women’s rights. It was the year of the “Declaration of Sentiments” in Seneca Falls. In 1852, the Third National Women’s […]

The Best Gifts are Given from the Heart

Hello, December! Tis the season for the hustle and bustle of gift giving and getting. But the best gift is given from the heart. Consider volunteering or giving to worthy charities instead of purchasing that impulse buy you’re thinking of gifting to yourself. Or ask your friends and family to donate in lieu of buying you a gift this season. But let’s talk about how you choose a worthy charity and about one of the charities I support, the American Humane Society. Give Wisely There are many, many worthy charities out there. Unfortunately, there are some organizations that call themselves charities but are less than well-organized or downright dishonest. Before you give to any charity, check them out. There are three charity watch organizations. BBB Wise Giving Alliance  Charity Navigator  Charity Watch Be certain to understand their rating system. Obviously, the watch organizations can’t cover every single charity, especially the small ones. But the ones they don’t cover, you can ask the questions yourself. Ask for the kind of information these charity watch organizations do. Too much work to look up the organization on three different sites? Consumer Reports looked at each of the three charity watches to come up […]