From a small coffee shop to a $16,000,000 donation, Mel Heifetz has always put his community first. He has committed his time, talent, and treasure, for the betterment of the LGBTQ+ community, here are around the globe.
On Thursday, after a “lifetime of work,” Heifetz made his $16,000,000 donation to the Philadelphia Foundation for future funding of LGBTQ+ community groups and works.
Heifetz posted on Facebook the following, “It’s a beautiful day and I just donated a lifetime of work in support of the GLBT Community to the Philly Foundation, worth $16,000,000.00 to fund our groups for many years to come!”
His humility and compassion has made him a dynamic force in our community having already given away a small fortune to groups and individuals for the advancement of our equality here in Philadelphia, and across the nation and around the globe.
This cannot be understated. And sadly, words will never suffice to fill our need to express our gratitude towards this incredible person.
Heifetz began his support of LGBT+ people in Philadelphia in his early twenties and as his success as a businessperson grew, so did his activism and philanthropy. A stalwart of the community, he, single handedly, paid off the entire mortgage for the William Way Community Center in 2005.
Heifetz is known as one of the most generous supporters of LGBTQ+ rights causes in the country, and rightly so.
So, what do we do with a person like Mel Heifetz?
What honor should we bestow on him?
I know, these are discussions we usually have after a person passes, but why wait posthumously to honor our favorite gay citizen?
I put forth the suggestion, and I know Heifetz will personally object to it, that the William Way Community Center be renamed the Mel Heifetz LGBTQ+ Center, or as someone has commented on Facebook, the Mel Heifetz Center for LGBTQ+ Engagement.
I think we as a community should unite behind this name change for our community center so we can honor Heifetz in some small way for his kindness, love, and leadership, over the years past, and the years yet to come.
Heifetz’s posted the following, “many of you know I support our community, but far too many have never supported any of the many groups. We are under attack from our own government and each day we lose more (of our) hard fought for rights, we need everyone to step forward and write a check to any group you choose. That would be the best thanks you might offer me!”
Thank you, Mel, for your clear example over the years of how to be engaged in our community for the advancement of our global civil rights!