The Healing Powers of Donating

night song detail 2

Night Song, detail, 1997, enamel on aluminum, by Dorothy Gillespie

Making a donation of money or materials is an act of altruism – a way of connecting to others and helping to ‘repair the world’.  An unforeseen outcome of donating is how therapeutic it can be. This is not surprising if you think about our attachments to things and the way they carry associations to people and memories.

On many an occasion we have been moved by receiving donations from people mourning the loss of a loved one. We are repeatedly told that donating to MFTA proves itself to be an affirming and comforting way of paying tribute to a loved one’s legacy.

fantasy garden

Fantasy Garden, 1986, ink on paper, by Dorothy Gillespie

gillespie lincoln ctr3

Lincoln center Poster, 1989, silkscreen on paper, by Dorothy Gillespie

We got word of the late Dorothy Gillespie (featured art below) when her son reached out to us about making a donation. His admiration and affection were apparent, as he proudly shared some of her accomplishments:

“ The Patrons of the Boca Raton Museum of Art joined friends and family this past Monday evening at the reinstallation of Dorothy Gillespie’s “Celestial Presence” in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden in commemoration of my mother’s life and work.

The Director of the BOCA Museum described “Celestial Presence”, its importance to the museum and thanked the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation once again for the gift. I had the honor to say a few words about my mother the artist/sculptor.

 A special thanks to those who were part of this night to remember.”

Warm regards,


dorothy gillespie installaton

dorothy gillespie text2

 This came from another donor, John Mason:

“… I did find the experience of donating my late mother’s arts and crafts supplies to be therapeutic because it kept me busy doing something rather than feeling bad about what had happened.  While going through her things it also made me realize what a talented artist she was…..I’ve filled up my car more times than I can remember and brought my donations to MFTA and on one trip I was invited to a donor luncheon taking place that day.  I was able to tour the impressive warehouse and see what happens to donated items when they are received….In addition I get many thank you letters via email from the people who “shop” at MFTA.  How nice  to know what you’ve donated was already “scooped up” and put to good use, especially in these  difficult economic times when schools are not allotted a sufficient budget for their art programs…. having received so many thank you notes I realized that a part of my mother has lived on in a way she never could have fathomed.  Her creative energy has influenced all these other projects which came to MFTA looking for supplies and  found something I donated on her behalf.  That is very fulfilling to me …”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

This entry was posted in Donor Spotlight, News, Recipient Spotlight, Reuse Art and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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