Day 15: National Philanthropy Day – Recognizing a True Philanthropist


According to the Official National Philanthropy Day website, “NPD is a celebration of philanthropy—giving, volunteering and charitable engagement—that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy—and all those involved in the philanthropic process—makes to our society and our world.”

To commemorate National Philanthropy Day, we have decided to take the time to recognize someone who continuosly contributes to meaningful change throughout the world, through mentoring, managing, encouraging, teaching, listening, giving, and inspiring every individual that crosses his path. He often takes time to recognize the passions and accomplishments of others, while insisting his own are still works in progress or successful for some reason outside his power. He never ceases to amaze others in his compassion toward those in need and he admits his own inability to say no when asked for help.

His life has truly impacted hundreds of lives both directly and indirectly. Whether inspiring someone to start a nonprofit in Nepal, promoting clean burning stoves in Peru, encouraging a friend to establish an organization in the UK, providing a venue for someone to begin their career in the U.S., assisting someone in completing their education in the Philippines, mentoring someone trying to start a nonprofit organization, or simply listening to someone’s dreams and doing everything he can to make it a reality.

To go beyond these general accomplishments, to which we know he would attribute to someone else, we have reached out to a handful of people who essentially “see what we see”:

To me Philanthropy is about showing leadership. Leadership with a strong belief and passion about a cause – to achieve something good for others. A selfless act that often goes unrecognised with the benefits often having such a positive long lasting effect on the lives of others…It’s not one individual act, it’s his ongoing leadership and belief in the different projects..that is infectious – and making a real difference.

-Brad Dorahy, Founder – CISAustralia

He is a man whose kindness and generosity knows no bounds. He is that kind of individual who inspires not only through his actions, but also by how humble he remains. If there was ever a person to aspire to be more like in that regard, it would be him.

-Tiffany Harrison, Outreach Manager –

Never will you meet a person who takes so much pleasure in helping others – whether that is offering a newly imagined job to someone he feels needs a break, giving away his personal possessions after hearing someone mention they need something, or offering to get his hands dirty helping out with the most menial of tasks when someone is overworked. I hope that no-one will ever take his generosity for granted, because if it came to it, he would give you the shirt off his back – and we don’t want to see that!

-Heilwig Jones, Founder – Kaya Responsible Travel

He is always looking for people to help, ways to help, and opportunities in which we can all work together for the better good of all.

-Rachael Vanderwerff, Operations Manager –

I could only sum him up in two words – kind and generous.

-Wimwim Canayong, Director – Volunteer for the Visayans

He embodies the meaning of philanthropy in his very being. Selflessly (and I believe partly subconsciously) he has a natural desire to improve the welfare of anyone around him. Be it a chance encounter, a longstanding friendship, catastrophic event, or a strong belief in a cause, he is always right there, ready to provide support, donate, or share. His intrinsic reactions to events and true love of humanity go beyond charitable financial donations (of which he does more than most people know or realize), to a day-to-day development of the human potential he sees in others and the myriad of opportunities out there to enhance and support their lives.

-Ashley Houston, Special Projects Coordinator –

“He is the embodiment of generosity, goodwill, and a deep caring for others. Even towards people he has just met or will never know in person, he has an incredible amount of kindness and hope for them. He does anything he can to support others and will go out of his way if there is even the slightest chance that his actions can make a difference. I was not in Tacloban when the typhoon occurred but his actions after the event in helping to rebuild houses and his actions in his day-to-day life are the biggest testament to his philanthropy.”

-Nikki Power, VP of Communications –

I witnessed many acts of kindness during my two years in South-East Asia but, when everything seemed to be falling apart around us, I’ve never seen anyone react with as much strength and courage as he did when Typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban in November 2013. Whether driving for hours upon hours to get emergency goods for the people that needed it most, giving us a place to stay when most people didn’t have anywhere to go after the storm or trying to help as many people as possible no matter how big or small the gesture, he was an inspiration in those initial dark days. One year on, it’s great to see the amount of work that has been done on the projects at VFV as well, which is a testament to him and the impact his life’s work has had in the north-east of Leyte.”

-Tom Gore, Senior Placement Advisor – Kaya Responsible Travel

When I first saw him in the smashed remains of Tacloban airport helping his volunteers get out of the Typhoon hit region I was struck by his calm. After all he was standing in what was left of the city he called home. Without hesitation he offered transport for me and my teams from NBC News and ITV News and what’s more a roof over our heads when there weren’t many left. He could see that one of the best ways of getting help to his home, family and staff was to let tens of millions of people in West see what was needed. The UK raised more money in aid than the rest of Europe put together. The aid agencies saw spikes in donations during and immediately after news bulletins. He was unswerving in his commitment to Tacloban, he used short supplies of fuel to contact and see every member of his staff in the days after the Typhoon, not resting until he knew all were safe, a miracle in itself. He put his own needs at the back of his mind, he gave his all and in philanthropy that means he gave everything to others.

-Angus Walker, News Correspondent – NBC and ITV

I’m grateful to meet a person like him. He came right in time.

-Maile Lesterio, Sponsorship Coordinator – Volunteer for the Visayans

Though he continues to insist that my accomplishments are solely the result of my own passion, I will never forget that my accomplishments were made possible by the organizations he put in place. Without him I would have never stepped foot in the Philippines, I would have never had the opporunity to witness the extraordinary outlook on life that he possesses, and I would not be where I am at today. It is clear that without him, many lives would be incredibly different.

IMG_5152On this day, we choose to highlight the philanthropic actions and accomplishments of Troy Peden. His committment to philanthropy in every sense of the world is truly inspiring and his impact on the world will last for generations.

-Elsa Thomasma, Director – GoAbroad Foundation & Content Manager –

We invite you to honor Troy by leaving a message in the comments below of how he has impacted your life or how you have witnessed him change the world.