Philanthropy

The DesBrisay Sigler Family Foundation
In 1999, Greg DesBrisay and I started the DesBrisay Sigler Family Foundation, which is an independent private foundation. We serve as officers and board members of the foundation and have sole control of the grant-making decisions. Our Foundation does not make grants to individuals; but it does serve a few interests that are important to us:

National Parks

If you know the theme of our kids’ names, you know that National parks are important to us. The National Park Service is woefully underfunded for the amount and types of resources under its management and it cannot possibly adequately support the number of yearly visitors to the Parks. The National Park Foundation website has an enormous amount of information on the Parks’ needs and is a good place to start to learn about the projects and needs of particular parks. If you don’t know much about the NPS, check out the parks in your area or take a look at the stellar Ken Burns’ film about the parks – America’s Best Idea.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder is, simply put, when the senses do not work together properly. There are three main areas of sensitivity: tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses. Some of these sensitivities are developmental, like the ability to sit and concentrate for long periods of time. Kindergartners are obviously learning this and upper graders have already learned it, but many children (and adults) need help in this area to occupy their bodies so that they can concentrate. Stress balls and small movement items are what adults use in meetings to fulfill this same need. Sensory Processing Disorder routinely is misdiagnosed as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper-Active Disorder)

Greg and I have done a tremendous amount of research in this area and to that end, I worked with the staff of the San Carlos Charter Learning Center to write several grant applications to the Peninsula Community Foundation to put equipment in each of the classrooms. I urge you to take moment to learn more about this disorder and the main proponents of research surrounding this disorder, Carol Stock Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller.  These books are also a helpful place to start: The Out-of-Sync Child; The Highly Sensitive Child; and Too Loud, Too Fast, Too Bright, Too Tight.

Literacy and Financial Literacy

Education is important and literacy is at the root of any good education. Financial literacy is very important to make it through life successfully and the most common teacher is the school of hard knocks. All kinds of questions arise around financial literacy  — How much money do you need to live? What kind of an apartment or house can you afford? How do you save for a rainy day What happens when you car breaks down? Can you really retire at 65? Can you afford to pay for college? Can you balance your check book? All of these questions and many more are important to answer through education specifically related to financial literacy.

There are many websites that have a lot of good information regarding literacy and financial literacy.

Book Recommendations:
  • Raising Money Smart Kids: What They Need to Know About Money and How to Tell Them, by Janet Bodnar
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What to Teach Their Kids About Money — That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not, by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter

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