Dr. John Howard & Dr. Nicole le Riche

Why we give to CAPE

John and Nicole 2012

By Dr. John Howard and Dr. Nicole le Riche

In the last three years we have been blessed to have three grandchildren.  We marvel at them.  They are confident that the adults around them will look after their every need.  At the same time, we wonder about the world in which they will grow up.  Will they look at their parents and grandparents as having been irresponsible for not having done all they can to preserve and care for the natural world?

Ever since we graduated from university, we have given to organizations devoted to human betterment because we were very aware of the many gifts which we ourselves have been given. Initially, our gifts were motivated by a sense of duty but when we heard someone on the radio say that their motto regarding charitable givings was “to give until it feels good”, this philosophy resonated with us and now we give until, and because, it “feels good”.  We carefully evaluate which charitable organizations we will fund. We spend a lot of time getting to know those charities so as to feel connected to them.   We feel that our donations have made a difference, and we are proud of what we can do to help.

We have chosen not to give to large organizations.  They do a very valuable job but it is hard to feel a sense of personal connection with large organizations.   A million dollar donation may make a minor difference to a very large organization whereas a ten thousand dollar donation can be transformative for a small but mighty organization.

We are well aware of and participate in the great work CAPE does.  We consider CAPE to be a “small, lean, mean fighting machine”!  CAPE does an amazing amount of good work on very little money.   CAPE’s leadership was key in protecting most of Canada from the harmful effects of cosmetic pesticides.  We are impressed with the work of phasing out coal in Ontario – another leadership initiative of CAPE that benefits Ontario residents as well as providing a wonderful example to other jurisdictions. We look forward to CAPE’s campaign on banning the use of “neonics” – chemicals that not only harm bees but, by persisting in the soil and water ecosystems, can harm many other life forms. We feel we must be part of that campaign.  We must do what we can to protect our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

In 2014, we were very happy to give a transformative gift to CAPE.  We have recently redrafted our wills to include a fixed major gift to CAPE, as well as providing a percentage of our residual wealth after we die.  We want to leave this life having given until it felt good.Proud Eco-Leaders


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