To my family:

We have a wonderful family legacy – of caring, of compassion, of community rootedness. I was raised by and among compassionate role models who believed in taking care of family, neighbors, and community. The extended family of the Webbs and Crafts worked and played together. I believe we can explore and extend the legacy through the work of a foundation.
This is an intensely personal thing for me. I’ll never forget the sight of my grandfather working our land in South Carolina behind his mule and plow. The smell of dirt after he plowed and of sweet corn nourished by that soil are very real memories. Most of all I recall how each year at least three generations of the family brought in the harvest together. We shared a sense of closeness that extended well beyond harvest time. We knew what was going on in each other’s lives. We supported and took pride in one another.
I wish I had been able to give more things and more comfort to my grandparents while they were alive. They gave so much to me. I realize now that a family foundation is the best way possible to honor them and to carry on their sense of family and community.

I like to think of The WebbCraft Foundation as a New Age version of the family gardens my grandparents and their grandparents tended and harvested over many decades past. Work in the planting fields brought successive generations together. Now, our joint work in philanthropy can, I know, continue the bonds our grandparents gave us. After all, the family garden has changed only in the crops we are planting. Instead of fruit and vegetables, we are planting seeds of human kindness to nurture the human spirit, tend children, to ensure a more humane future, and care for the earth, just as my grandfather did.
In addition, I think The WebbCraft Foundation can be a wonderful learning laboratory. It can teach all of us how to use wealth to make positive changes in the world. Those of us with wealth should not forget how fortunate – even lucky – we are. The simple rule of reciprocity suggests that we owe something in return to the world that made our wealth possible. The WebbCraft Foundation gives us the opportunity to discover our responsibilities as trustees not just of the organization but, more broadly, of society; it allows us to discover how best to express that collective responsibility in the world.

I believe that through the Foundation we can make our communities better places to live for our neighbors and particularly those less fortunate than we are. I want my children, nieces, nephews and generations that follow us to believe that the world can be transformed – one person, one forest, one disease at a time. In the end, our foundation’s credo must be that investing in people is the surest way to create and sustain good communities. The WebbCraft Foundation allows us to test these ideas – and our own values.
And finally, I was brought up to be a generous person. I was surrounded by generous people. Generosity for me has always been a pleasure, never a duty. And as I have given over years, I have received back a hundred fold by seeing others change, grow, become healthier, and more in control of their own lives. My life is abundant and I am happy to continue sharing and giving. For me, The WebbCraft Foundation allows each of us to express our generosity and make things possible for many others. Our example may, we can only hope, spur the generosity of others.

Joy Craft