Past to present: History of philanthropy inspires contemporary giving
I caught up with collections manager Katharine Klein as she worked on rotating objects in the museum's Giving in America exhibit, to learn more about her work—and about how working on the exhibit has inspired her. As the collections manager for Giving in America and head of the museum's participation in the Combined Federal Campaign, an annual workplace charity, Klein has distinct opportunities to draw connections between historic and contemporary giving.
As collections manager for Giving in America, what do you do?
The objects remind me to live each day with a purpose, and that even the smallest gifts—whether they be financial or time—can have the biggest impact in the community around me. I would love to say that I started a philanthropic project like some of the people in the exhibit, but I know I can still make a difference in other ways.
Do you have one object that really speaks to you in particular?
The ALS bucket is really cool. I remember people tagging me to do that challenge. I was like, "no, I don't want to freeze or waste the water"—so I would donate, donate, donate.
It is a simple bucket, something you can find at your local hardware store, but it takes on a whole other meaning in regard to the charity and what so many accomplished with the challenge.