Larry Siegel has been a Daily Giver since 2021. When he first signed up, he was a proud grandfather of nine. Fast-forward to February 2023, and Larry has increased his daily contributions in honor of his additional grandchildren, which now total 12.
How it started
In 2021, Larry heard about Daily Giving from Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz. Rabbi Leibowitz stressed the importance of the work that Daily Giving performs and encouraged people like Larry to join the organization. Larry was inspired by how one person could exemplify the importance of tzedaka for the next generation by signing up for Daily Giving.
“What better way to teach your children and grandchildren the power of tzedaka than by suggesting that they give a dollar to charity every single day?” Larry said.
Giving by example
Larry increases his gifts with each new grandchild for several reasons. One reason—and perhaps the most important—is to teach his family the importance of giving tzedaka as part of a daily routine. He and his wife Lisa pray that their grandchildren will feel grateful knowing that they have a unique role in making the world a better place by helping those in need.
“First and foremost, giving means acknowledging that everything you have comes from Hakodosh Baruch Hu,” Larry said. “If you can keep that front and center—and it’s not always easy—then you realize that whatever you have is given to you by Hashem, so you ought to make it a priority to share what you have with others.”
Larry’s oldest grandchild is now seven years old. “Being a grandparent is the greatest club you can join,” he said with a laugh. “But, of course, giving tzedaka isn’t limited to grandparents. Every individual, no matter his or her situation, can help those in need.”
Larry said that he and Lisa always encouraged their children, as they grew older, to give charity, no matter the amount. Larry knows his grandchildren are being raised with those same values.
“There are times to push as a parent,” Larry said. “Is the younger generation willing to stretch? When I think back to my parents, they stretched. Their generosity showed that they understood the importance of helping others. Our parents’ insistence to help out, no matter how much or how little they had, is what has inspired Lisa and me.”
Larry’s father, as well as Lisa’s mother, passed away at early ages. However, they left their families with the understanding of the priorities they should have in their lives. “We have so much hakaras hatov to our parents,” Larry said. “We learned from them. Even as my mother-in-law battled cancer, we kept discovering how much tzedaka and chesed she did behind the scenes. At the core, our parents inspired us to be givers.”
Larry said that showing your grandchildren how to be givers can be done in various ways, such as by attending a charity concert that raises tzedaka, or by visiting a person with special needs.
“Who knows how much they process initially?” Larry asked. “But as they mature, the foundation of giving that you’ve helped build within their mindset is solid.”
The Daily Giving difference
Larry joined Daily Giving when the total donation intake for the organization was $9,000 a day. Today, it’s $14,000 and counting. This year, Daily Giving is poised to donate more than $5 million to individuals in need and to other charitable organizations.
Larry said, “Someone may think, ‘One dollar a day? I give other charities much more than that each year. Why should I give a dollar a day to Daily Giving?’ To me, it seems pretty simple. We each can participate according to our individual abilities, even at a minimal level. This is the appeal of Daily Giving. All our donations are essential. I always reinforce this idea when I’m involved in communal projects. We need to engage everyone, no matter at what level they can give. That’s meaningful and beautiful.”
Larry is inspired by the fact that the Hebrew word natan, meaning “give,” is a palindrome; it reads the same backwards and forwards. “Giving is a boomerang,” he noted. “When you give, you receive.”
“It’s been inspiring for me to watch Daily Giving’s growth since 2021,” Larry added. “I can’t wait to see it reach an intake of $100,000 a day, G-d willing.”
Larry Siegel lives in West Hempstead with his wife Lisa and works in healthcare analytics. Lisa is a physical therapist working in a long-term care facility.