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Charitable giving is an important part of a financial plan.

This article was originally published by the Santa Barbara News Press on April 29, 2023.

When we give of our time, talent and treasure, we can help create a better world for everyone while providing valuable tax deductions.

In essence, you will either give a portion of your monies to the government via taxation or give it to a charitable organization where you and the organization will benefit. It’s a way for individuals and companies to give back to their communities, support causes they are passionate about, and help those in need.

Whether it’s donating money, volunteering time or contributing resources, charitable giving can make a real difference in your life and the lives of others.

C.S. Lewis is a great example of a true “charitable giver.”

He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1898 and passed away in 1963.  Lewis was a noted Oxford academic, Cambridge professor and author of more than 50 books.

He was known for his generosity. Once while crossing the street with a friend, a panhandler came up and asked Lewis for some money. Lewis emptied his pockets and gave all he had to the man.

As the beggar ambled off, Lewis’s friend scolded him saying, “Why did you give that man money? He’ll just go and drink it!”

Lewis responded, “Yes, but if I’d kept it, I would have drank it!”

Lewis characteristically tended to be more readily suspicious of his own motives more than second guessing the motives of others.

In his lifetime, he set up a foundation he named the Agape Fund, which continues to help those in need today.  After Lewis’s death, his solicitor, Owen Barfield, said Lewis gave away 80% of his income — including all the money he made from his books and lectures.

He served as a model of magnanimity and generosity.

Lewis said that all his giving came back tenfold in many ways throughout his life and continues today.

Larry Crandell was one of the most important people in the Santa Barbara community for decades because of what he did for charities. He was my mentor as I began my career in financial services in 1983.

He gave me great advice from a business standpoint, helped me join the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, and I had the pleasure of serving on the founding Westmont College Foundation Board where Larry was the chairman.

Larry continually emphasized just how important charitable giving is.  He told me the “psychic income” one receives from giving is priceless and that “your efforts will come back to you ten-fold in ways you can only imagine.”

Larry was born on April 5, 1923 in Lynn Mass and passed away in Santa Barbara in 2016. He grew up poor and virtually fatherless in the Great Depression.

He was just 19 in 1943 when, like so many of the “Greatest Generation,” he answered the call of duty and volunteered to fight in World War II. Larry served as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator in Europe, and narrowly escaped with his life when his plane was ditched in the Adriatic Sea.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for his service.

Larry rose to early success with Arthur Murray’s ballroom dance business in the 1950s, became successful in his real estate investments and then found his true calling for decades as a community leader and preeminent emcee in Santa Barbara.

Known as “Mr. Santa Barbara,” Larry was a volunteer without peer in Santa Barbara’s charity world.

Larry rubbed shoulders with the likes of Michael Douglas, the Dalai Lama, U.S. presidents and NBA champion coach Pat Riley as well as countless other important and famous Santa Barbara visitors.

One estimate puts the amount Larry Crandell rose for charity at more than $250 million.

He was “playfully serious and seriously playful.” He had a tremendous ability to use humor to inspire people and “turn good fun into fun for good.”  Larry amazed all with his quick wit, humor and especially his desire to help.  Once he was the master of ceremonies at a dinner event with over 300 in attendance where he helped raise over $500,000 for a charity.

The next morning, I was at breakfast with Larry, and he noticed a distraught woman at the table next to us. He paid for her meal without her knowing and told the waitress, “Tell her an admirer paid the bill and that things will get better!”

Larry Crandell’s life was filled with giving.

What a tremendous example he was to me and so many. His legacy lives on in Santa Barbara. Charitable giving can bring important tax deductions, but the most important benefit can be the “psychic income” that comes with helping others.

Give of your time, talent and treasure, and stay the course!

Contact Tremblay Financial Services financial advisors in Santa Barbara today.