This is news in Philadelphia primarily. But it is something awesome and I would like to share it. Someone I have known most of my life because one of his siblings is a friend, has donated with his wife on behalf of the family, $16 million dollars to the cash strapped City of Philadelphia for educational needs and programs. I am speaking about John Middleton.
The Middleton family has done a lot of good deeds like this over the years. Generally you don’t hear about them because they like to fly below the radar. They definitely don’t toot their own horn. John has always just been hard-working, a nice guy who likes to run. He has honor. Just like his father before him, who was awesome and who I adored.
I was thrilled to hear this news, and not in the least surprised.
In the world in which we live, it is nice to know that decent people still exist who do things like this. And they don’t do it for the publicity, but because it is the right thing to do.
You know, he was just a friend’s big brother growing up. Still is. And in spite of how busy he is, when my father died, he was one of the very first condolence calls I received. It was also one of the kindest calls I have ever received in my life, and still means a lot a few years later.
Today’s news brings to mind a rather famous quote and when you hear about people doing fabulously selfless things like this you realize how unimportant some of life’s other minutia and annoyances are.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963
The Middleton family, which made its fortune in tobacco and owns part of the Phillies, will give $16 million over four years to the School District of Philadelphia and to other educational institutions for training in workforce and professional development.
When Mayor Nutter and John Middleton announced the donation Tuesday at a City Hall news conference, most of the 200 people attending stood up and cheered.
“This is a game-changer for Philadelphia and one more sign of the commitment people are willing to make to the city’s greatest asset, our children,” Nutter said.
Middleton and his wife, Leigh, will give the money to the School District of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Philadelphia Youth Network and Philadelphia Academies, Inc., both nonprofits focused on career development and training.
John Middleton said the gift symbolized his family’s desire to help the disadvantaged and to make Philadelphia a better place.
“In every great struggle, there comes a tipping point, that critical moment when an infusion of resources – people, effort and assets – is necessary to prevail,” he said. “For the school district, we believe that tipping point is now.”
One of the Phillies’ owners and his wife have made a four-year, $16.2 million donation to the struggling Philadelphia school system and other educational institutions in the region.
Mayor Michael Nutter announced the donation by John and Leigh Middleton on Tuesday. He says the money will go toward educational needs, workforce training and professional development programming.
“This donation will build the educational infrastructure and create learning and workforce opportunities,” Nutter said. “Building a system of great schools and career-oriented programs, we ensure Philadelphia has a 21st-century workforce, ready to compete in the global economy.”