Entrepreneurship Stories Of Real Entrepreneurs

How Gary Kaplan and the Kaplan Foundation are Creating Charitable Waves Across the World

Brooklyn, NY native and international businessman Gary Kaplan left New York over 30 years ago to launch a new life of travel, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. These works of love and the specific dedication Gary Kaplan shows these charitable endeavors have blossomed into the HG Kaplan Foundation. This non-profit is committed to assisting children growing up in underprivileged and underserved communities, supporting each child’s hope in what is on the horizon and making certain these kids are given the best opportunity to succeed in the future. By providing monetary resources and mentorship for healthy and happy life development for the children of each community he works with, Gary Kaplan and the HG Kaplan Foundation are giving children the ability to dream of a future full of possibility.

Gary Kaplan’s Many Travels Inspire His Philanthropy

Kaplan’s vision for the foundation was inspired by his travels all over the world in his early adulthood. Travelling to and getting to know life outside of New York, like on the island nation of Cuba in the Caribbean or in places like Zambia, Africa where women traveled miles from their communities for necessities as simple as water for their families.Gary Kaplan was continuously culture-shocked to see how many necessary (to live) resources were basically unavailable to these people. Fetching these essentials was the cause for the women’s daily trekking for miles.

A natural businessman, Gary Kaplan simply looked at these communities as a sinking fortune 500 company that was in need of a little capital and a leg up to get back on the positive path to health and harmony. Each situation and community that Kaplan encountered was simply viewed as a “problem” and Gary Kaplan very quickly went to work finding a solution for it. 

Gary Kaplan’s Foundations are Focused with a Solution-oriented Approach

His solution-focused approach in Zambia kept Kaplan focused on a completed fresh-water well that was piped into the town quickly and consistently from a river that ran almost 7 miles from the village. Once Gary Kaplan and the Kaplan Foundation completed that project Gary turned his devoted attention to the purchase of building supplies and in the hiring and training of certain local townspeople to make building and structure repairs as needed. These charitable acts and donations gave Gary Kaplan a very special drive and focus in his heart-led work that makes a difference to an entire community of people and can change lives. These acts are intertwined into Kaplan’s daily doings and. Allocating and setting aside dedicated time to these work projects is a central priority for Gary Kaplan to fulfill his life’s callings and the mission of the HG Kaplan Organization, one foundation among many that Kaplan leads.

In his plan to simply help and to encourage these communities down the road to success, Gary Kaplan’s long list of leadership and entrepreneurship skills like his ability to prioritize and organize are deep-seeded in his philanthropic spirit. These skills are put on display in his everyday charitable efforts in the communities near his home in Costa Rica. 

In an interview with Everything PR, Gary Kaplan explains how he creates and determines his priorities:

1. Things I need to do for my children

2. Things that people ask me to contribute to

3. Requests from the Humanitarian Foundation CR

4. Requests from the headmaster in Uganda

5. Report cards to see how the children we sponsor are doing.

6. And onward, etc. etc.

By breaking down every action he takes throughout his day and placing them into one of these key categories, Gary Kaplan is able to maximize the production and charitable giving coming out of each of his foundation’s daily, starting with the things that matter most to him and his family.

These specific methods of productivity have been nothing short of successful for Gary Kaplan and the HGKa plan. Based in Costa Rica, the HG Kaplan Foundation is committed to bettering the quality of life for communities in Costa Rica and throughout all Latin America. At any given time, the foundation is managing or contributing to 50+ projects centered around enhancing the well-being of the local population. Many projects center around healthcare, education, community development as well as providing basic needs to those families who go without. The HG Kaplan foundation strives to create a positive influence in the communities assisted, offering a fulfilling cultural experience to both parties in the process. The initiatives supported are high-touch involvement, creating strong relationships and partnerships with those people that are affected by the outreach along the way.

The four pillars that dictate that project path for HGKaplan Foundation are:

  • Innovation is a Must
  • Integrity is the Way
  • Solidarity
  • Every Penny Counts

By focusing on these values, the core of the foundation can continue to create new opportunities for community enhancement while being careful and mindful stewards of the funds offered to maximize the impact. To make sure of this, administrative costs are kept low and volunteer’s hands-on involvement in every project is key. Gary Kaplan himself takes great pride in his own physical service and personal involvement and reach on projects.

These four basic programs make up the infrastructure of the foundation to maximize the benefit and pinpoint the needs of every person involved:

  • Health Education Program
  • Daycare Center
  • Bed and Basic Food
  • Clinic Projects

Health Education Program

By providing basic lessons in health, hygiene, and nutrition, the foundation is able to stave off illness and potential family issues and give children a strong start for their journey into adulthood. Aside from the basics, this program also offers emotional support in the home, sports and community development and projects to give a safe sense of love and trust for children at risk.

Daycare Center

On leading problem for families with young children or no school, system access is childcare to allow one or both parents to work, making the daycare center a key difference-making branch.

Bed and Basic Food

By providing basic needs to families and children, new possibilities are opened for income, hope, and a future. To headstart this program, the slogan “A Bed for Every Child” led to volunteer-based workshops dedicated to building beds for children. In addition, they have created strong ties with grocery chains in order to provide food and water to populations.

Clinic Project

Rounding out the foundation is the Clinic Project of 2004. The HG Kaplan Foundation has put time, love and effort into providing a health clinic for the community of La Carpio, Costa Rica near Gary’s family home. The foundation’s Clinic project garnered so much attention and brought so much support to the area that the medical clinic was no longer necessary and was later converted to a holistic health center with massage, counseling and a variety of services. Today, the original structure that was built for the Clinic Project houses a recreation center and library for the community.

Gary Kaplan’s dedication to both the HG Kaplan Foundation as well as his long list of philanthropic efforts is an impressive investment of time, money and resources that can make daily differences for countries in need. His strategy and business-minded approach to “getting things done” gives this non-profit an extremely productive culture and provides hope, health and happiness to the communities served.

Lindsay Shearer
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