Couple to donate fortune to Irish charities

An Irish-American couple are using their large sum of money to leave a positive impact on Ireland.

older woman holds pride flag

Irish-American philanthropists Peter Kinney and Lisa Sandquist have recently detailed to The Irish Examiner their plans to donate their life-savings to various organisations improving social equality in Ireland. The couple have chosen to donate a portion of that to LGBT Ireland, along with five other organisations.

The philanthropists have worked with Social Innovation Fund Ireland to choose the organisations to donate to. The philanthropist couple avoid the limelight and prefer not to have their photo used.

They have chosen to donate to LGBT Ireland in order to support the LGBT Champions Programme, which is aimed at services protecting older queer people. The programme works with health and social care professionals to create competency and confidence in their respective fields to improve inclusion for older LGBT+ people.

Other social good organisations that the couple are donating to include Amal Women’s Association, Power To Recover, Stay Safe Work Wise (SSWW), and the Phoenix Programme.

The couple has noted that they see rapid social change happening in Ireland, and want to support Ireland in becoming a more equal place.

“When you grew up in Ireland, it’s really surprising how the attitudes towards people who are different to you have changed, whether that’s marriage equality or the Eighth Amendment.” Peter says.

“In the US, people still have this image of Ireland as this conservative Catholic country, and they’re amazed to hear on the news that Ireland has a gay Prime Minister of an ethnic background, but there are underlying problems and we’re trying to play a small part in bringing those problems to light and to see what we can do about them.”

Lisa defined their mission in saying: “We see equality really as just helping people on the margins, who have difficulty living the same life as people who have rights.”

She adds that meditation and contemplation of mortality have influenced the way her and her partner have chosen to give away money: “Studying yoga and meditation can lead you to think about your mortality and what you want to leave the world, and maybe that’s why it’s so important to me that we’re doing this. It’s really satisfying. There’s a selfish aspect to giving.”

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