The wealthy making a difference when government won't

May 13, 2013 

"60 Minutes," not Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Fox News, did two stories about corporations and the wealthy making a difference where government cannot.

The first story was about Jeffrey Tudor Jones, a wealthy former hedge fund trader who founded Robin Hood which, among many works, has built charter schools from ruined buildings for at-risk black youths in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The second story, which I have a personal connection to, was about Zachary Fisher, one of the wealthiest builders in New York City who has built dozens of Fisher Houses for the families of wounded military at bases all around the country. Fisher also built the Intrepid Center for Rehabilitation in San Antonio and is now embarking on building dozens of traumatic brain injury centers at military bases modeled on the one he built near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Our base leadership hosted and my unit provided security for Fisher and his late wife Elizabeth at Travis Air Force Base in 1995 when they broke ground for the second Fisher House on base.

When asked by "60 Minutes" why he and not the federal government was building the centers, he replied, "Well, they are supposed to but aren't, so I am."

As with Robin Hood, there is proof that the private sector with both wealthy and average donors can make a difference despite the belief of some letter writers.

Phil Henning


Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service