Generations of Generosity: Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter Honorees.
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves
Attend a fundraising event in Little Rock and chances are you’ll run into the jovial Rick Fleetwood, CEO/President of Snell Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory. His quick wit and authentic charm make him the life of the party as he advocates for countless organizations at galas and luncheons. Instrumental in the beginning of CARTI Foundation’s Ray of Hope Partner Program, Rick was named the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year by Just Communities of Arkansas, is a member of Easter Seals National Board of Directors and is vice president of CHI St. Vincent Foundation. For his generosity and heartfelt dedication, Rick is being honored as Outstanding Philanthropist.
Rick’s commitment to a life of giving began in Monette, Arkansas, participating in his church’s youth group. “I was brought up that you cared for your brother and for those with special needs. So from an early age throughout church, high school, college, military and public life, it has always been part of my DNA to care for your fellow man.”
He supports Best Buddies Arkansas because he wholeheartedly believes in its mission. Best Buddies Arkansas matches individuals with special needs to a typically developing peer. “We as a society tend to square off and only socialize with those who are just like us. Who knows what friendships or associations we could accomplish if we all just worked and lived together. Best Buddies Arkansas tears down all those prejudices and offers a venue for everyone to benefit.”
The gratitude from making a difference is why Rick continues to share his time and resources. “I believe it is our duty to leave our community and country better off than we received. I pray that we are making strides to achieve this and everyone should make their contribution to achieve such a goal.”
Rick draws daily inspiration from other people. “I see patients at work who have lost their arms and legs who strive every day to keep fighting for recovery. I see those with certain terminal diseases who refuse to give up. I see those without a dime to their name who at the end of the day strive to better themselves. I see senior citizens fight every day to live the best quality of life they can. Every day is a miracle and either you see them or you don’t. When you do see those everyday miracles, the world seems a little bit better place to live.”
Philosophy to live by:
“Do not negate your role and responsibility to your fellow man. God gives us seven days a week and 24 hours a day – do not waste any of that time. We all have something to contribute. Go out there and do good in any and all ways that you possibly can.”
For “my health and for the love I receive in so many ways from so many different loved ones.”
“There is a door for which I have no key. There is a door through which I cannot see. Knock and the door shall be opened unto to you and seek and you shall find.” – Matthew 7:7