In this first part of a two part special in the Trudy Jacobson Chats series, we sit down and Trudy chats philanthropy and why it’s important to get involved in charitable causes – and the reasons were moving.
In this special article of the Trudy Jacobson Chats series, Trudy talks all about her desire to get involved in philanthropic journeys. She is a supporter of the first responder and veteran community because of the parallels to mental health topics. But her desire goes well beyond that because of the size of her heart. Trudy wants to help everyone in the world and make it a better place for all of us.
And her philanthropic passion is rooted from both her family experiences and her own struggles of battling bouts of depression.
Interview: Trudy Chats About Philanthropy
JTP: You mentioned you’re involved in some philanthropy projects. Which ones would you like to discuss?
Trudy: We are lifetime supporters of the Jewish community but most importantly the JDRF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Our son has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed when he was 14 years old. So we’re interested in the research surrounding that. Although they’ve come a long way with treatments and easier access, we’re still looking for a cure. Just like other people have interests in certain diseases, this is ours.
JTP: You also mentioned the mental health subject. Can you tell us more?
Trudy: I’m changing my pattern and it’s occurred to me that I want to support mental illness more. I suffer from depression and I think it’s time and it’s been prevalent that people can talk about it. Whether it’s PTSD or seasonal depression or grieving… I’ve gone through that quite a bit. I’ve always had therapy for it and I found that therapy really works so I’m getting more involved in that.
Support for the Veteran Community
JTP: Where does the support for veterans come from?
Trudy: I have a passion for veterans. I’ve always been into what the veterans have done and appreciative of their service. This goes back to when I was growing up and I was on the tail end of the Vietnam war. It really had an effect on my generation. That’s when I started understanding the sacrifices that veterans made. In Vietnam, some of my friends died, some of the locals died. And to be in the world at that time, there were a lot of feelings and emotions going on and it affected the whole generation and generations to come.
JTP: Has anything changed with the more recent global conflicts, especially after 9-11?
Trudy: Then came OIF and OEF (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom) and this affected my lifestyle again. We saw a lot of our drivers at our trucking company become interested in going to war. It involved some people in our community like the younger men and it made quite an impression. It was a different set of dynamics and different set of feelings and I supported every one of them. My heart was with them because we didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.
And I don’t think there’s a person in the world who wasn’t affected by 9-11. I have a picture of two trucks in front of the twin towers, and of course they [the twin towers] are not there anymore, so I treasure that photo. And after that I felt it was important to get involved philanthropically.
Veterans Community Project
JTP: What ways have you supported the veteran community?
Trudy: I volunteered for a project called a Veterans Community Project. The essence of that was to build tiny homes for the homeless and the traumatized veterans we had in our area of Kansas City. The way I helped most was to try to help raise funds and to be one of the first sponsors. It was the best project because I went out in the field and met some of the homeless veterans who really had a kind of a little village as homelessness goes. The feelings of the loss in these people’s lives were so clear.
This group was founded by veterans and it was the most wonderful thing to see it through to fruition. The project was completed within three or four years, and every house is full.
End of Part 1 Interview
Trudy chats philanthropy and really opened up in the process about her background and her own struggles. As being a person who has (and still occasionally does) fight depression, she has finally found relief in helping others.
That is the true definition of philanthropy.
Stay tuned for the second part of this incredible interview as Trudy continues to open up about why she wants to support charities, especially the families of those struggling with PTSD and how she manages her depression today.
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