Meet the Schapiro Family

Engaging the next generation

Dara Schnee and siblings, Jill Mull and J.M. Schapiro, are committed to helping those less fortunate than themselves. “Our grandfather, Marvin Schapiro, created a philanthropic fund for my siblings and me,” says Schnee. The fund, known as the Poppy Schapiro Philanthropic Fund, is administered by The Associated’s Center for Funds & Foundations. “My grandfather and grandmother, Jane Schapiro, were especially interested in supporting Israel and Jewish causes, so the bulk of our money goes to Jewish or Israeli organizations,” explained Schnee. “We try to honor our grandfather’s memory by giving to causes that would have been important to him.”

The Schapiro grandchildren were raised to appreciate the importance of family, Judaism and providing for those in need. “We were raised with philanthropy,” Schnee recalls. She finds managing the fund is a good learning opportunity, and also a way to engage in meaningful activity with her siblings. “We meet every three months to discuss how we want to allocate the money,” says Schnee. “We also try to be involved with the process of giving. When possible that means making a site visit, and seeing how the money is being used. We also do follow-up to find out if the project we funded was successful.”

Schnee tries to make her young children aware of the need to help others, by setting an example of being philanthropic and also by engaging them in activities where they can contribute. For example, she takes them to Mitzvah Makers, a program of The Associated’s Jewish Volunteer Connection in which young children and their parents can participate in volunteer activities together. “There are three ideas I try to instill in them,” she says. “First, be a good person, next, give back, and finally, know that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.”

Originally published in fall 2010.

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