Celebrating Carol Rees and John Foley
For Carol Rees and her husband John Foley, abundance feels best when shared. Generosity is simply a way of life for these two.John, a former lead solo pilot for the Navy’s Blue Angels, is a successful keynote speaker who inspires corporate teams to focus on a purpose larger than self. Carol, whose early career as a stuntwoman followed by over 20 years producing photoshoots for high fashion brands, now focuses on overseeing their private foundation and is a leading supporter for communities around the world. She’s been sponsoring children through Plan for the last 33 years!
“It’s just a joy to know I’ve been able to positively affect a lot of lives in 30+ years!” she says. “Not just the kids but their families and their communities have all benefited from Plan programs.”
This altruistic nature led Carol and John to create the Glad To Be Here Foundation in 2012, which supports charitable organizations they believe are making the world a better place. Before this, John had been waiting on making more money to give, but things weren’t happening exactly as he imagined. “… I decided to just start the foundation and give 10% of all my future revenues,” he says.
With a positive, future-focused mindset like this, the Glad To Be Here Foundation has recently reached a milestone of donating $2 million to charities working in 57 countries! From organizations curing the needlessly blind in developing nations to feeding hungry children across the United States, Carol and John have extended a helping hand to the world. “I hope that people will be more aware of all the good deeds and organizations that are out there,” John says. “Our job is to support those who are doing the good works.”
Their foundation’s support expands on Carol’s long-standing commitment by sponsoring children in 48 countries where Plan has sponsorship programs. Carol’s trust in Plan’s promise to uplift girls and children to overcome oppression and gender inequality is what inspires her to continue partnering with the organization. “I had been supporting Plan since 1987 and liked how they worked, liked being able to sponsor kids and have a relationship with them,” she explains. “Since we don’t have children of our own, it’s a good way for us to share with all of these kids that do need some extra support.”
Big-hearted people like Carol and John are the reason why girls can stay in school, stay safe in their neighborhoods and receive essential health care. For anyone thinking about making ever-lasting change with a gift to Plan, John has some advice. “Do it now and reflect on your gift every evening when you go to bed. You’ll feel the joy of helping others.”