A LETTER FROM GEORGE KAISER
I suppose I arrived at my charitable commitment largely through guilt. I recognized early on that my good fortune was not due to superior personal character or initiative so much as it was to dumb luck. I was blessed to be born in an advanced society with caring parents. So, I had the advantage of both genetics (winning the “ovarian lottery”) and upbringing. As I looked around at those who did not have these advantages, it became clear to me that I had a moral obligation to direct my resources to help right that balance.
No child is responsible for the circumstances of his or her birth.
I have therefore developed my charitable focus around the concept of providing the greatest opportunity for self-fulfillment for each child, focusing on those who arrive in the least advantaged circumstances. That governing concept has led us to those initiatives which attempt to reverse the generational cycle of poverty, especially for very young children and their families: prenatal health care; early learning and development for at-risk kids, birth to three; family health care; parenting training; job and income assistance for families with young children; operating a robust program to provide alternatives to incarceration for mothers who have committed non-violent crimes; and other initiatives.
My family joins me in my intention to devote virtually all of my financial resources to these same general charitable purposes. We have also chosen to focus these efforts in the community that welcomed my family from Nazi Germany. By doing so we hope to pursue the best approaches, drawing from the experience of others, and make a measurable impact.
If we can be successful, then maybe we will more closely approach the ideal of equal opportunity throughout the United States and the world.