“Letters to Doris”

“Letters to Doris” tells about the philanthropic work of Doris Buffett.

“Letters to Doris,” a presentation about Doris Buffett’s philanthropic work as told by individuals who have benefited from grants from the Letters Foundation, will take place Sunday and Monday in Salida.

Everyone is welcome.

The foundation was started by Doris Buffett and her investor brother, Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest people in the world.

Because of his wealth, Warren Buffett received many requests for help and enlisted Doris to help him respond to the requests. That marked the start of the Letters Foundation, which gives a “hand up” to those struggling with grave challenges through no fault of their own.

The first presentation at 6 p.m. Sunday at Salida SteamPlant, 220 W. Sackett Ave., will tell about the philanthropic work of the Letters Foundation, now headquartered in Boston. Over the years the foundation, through its emphasis on direct philanthropy, has given away more than $6 million and helped hundreds of people. Letters to Doris tells the stories of 23 of those individuals.

A “Learning to Give” Community Brunch follows from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at the Salida Rotary Scout Hut, 210 E. Sackett Ave.

The Monday event includes an interactive workshop led by Harriet Gordon, program officer in charge of grants, and Amy Kingman, executive director of the Letters Foundation and Learning by Giving Foundation. The workshop will explain how how to apply Buffett’s principles of direct philanthropy to our community.

Both events are free.

The events are part of a series being hosted around the country by the Letters Foundation to honor Doris Buffett’s legacy.

Attendees will hear from Kingman, Gordon and co-authors of the book “Letters to Doris,” Anita Mumm, Salida, and Stuart Horwitz, Providence, Rhode Island, who will share their experiences of traveling around the country meeting grant recipients and recording their stories.

Through a combination of text, still images with live narration and short film segments, Letters Foundation grantees spanning a wide range of needs and experiences will be presented, representing a portrait of American society and the challenges that transcend race, class and geography.

“Letters to Doris – One Woman’s Quest to Help Those With Nowhere Else to Turn,” coauthored by Mumm and Horwitz with photos by Stephanie Craig, will be available at the SteamPlant and the Scout Hut.

Proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the Learning by Giving Foundation, an organization dedicated to teaching young people how to be thoughtful, effective givers by creating cycles of education, generosity and connection among people from different backgrounds, locations and circumstances.

“The book is kind of a snapshot of people from all over the country and all aspects of life who were united through letters to Doris,” Mumm said. “You don’t have to be the Buffetts or a billionaire to help. That’s what the brunch is about.

“These presentations are a gift of love to Doris Buffett, who is now 91. The foundation wants to help spread her goodwill as widely as they can and to make these resources available to communities, so there is no charge for the SteamPlant presentation or the workshop.”

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