Thank-you notes and gifts are common ways to show appreciation for a favor or kind gesture, but, several years ago, Longboat Key resident Sheri Lublin discovered a new way to say thanks: After giving her neighbor a ride across the state, the neighbor returned the favor by making a donation in Lublin’s name to an organization that planted trees in downtown Sarasota.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is terrific,’” says Lublin. “This is something that she’s clearly interested in that she thought I might be interested in. And it was something that everybody can do. I felt so silly — why do I automatically go to what I care about? So, I started trying to find things for other people.”
Lublin says ever since receiving that gift, she’s had a new outlook on expressing her gratitude. She says one of her and her husband, Gerry’s, favorite things to do is to use Gulf Coast Gives to find projects to which they can donate on behalf of friends and acquaintances who have helped them in some way. Even a small gesture can warrant a donation, says Lublin. At a recent social event, an employee went out of his way to get Lublin her favorite drink, and she went home and donated to a project in his name.
“Now, hopefully, he can feel extra good about his gesture, because it helped provide for a local classroom,” she says.
The Lublins are passionate about a variety of causes, and it’s a lifestyle they’ve passed along to their children. Both of their daughters work full time in nonprofit positions.
Of all their interests, the couple says education is one of the causes about which they’re most passionate.
“Education is big for me,” says Gerry Lublin. “It’s the basis for getting a job and moving ahead in life; it’s important that everybody is able to get education or skilled-job training.”
Through the Gulf Coast Gives website, the couple says they’ve found a myriad of opportunities to donate to causes relevant to their and their friends’ interests, but they also say the process has helped them learn more about their community as a whole. They hope their newfound way of saying thanks will inspire someone else the same way it inspired them.
“I’m hoping we can spark someone else’s imagination, and they would do something similar, or look on Gulf Coast Gives and find something that a classroom needs, or any project,” says Sheri Lublin. “I can’t imagine any of our friends wouldn’t be happy to do that.”
BY THE NUMBERS
1: YEAR OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE GULF COAST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
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