As a promising young student, a scholarship significantly changed the path of Sanjiv Sharma’s life. Newly arrived from India, via Australia – with only enough money to pay for the first year of graduate school in his account – a scholarship put him through a Ph.D. program at Columbia University.
“That one little event changed my trajectory,” he says. “When I moved to Florida, I started earning more than I could consume and thought, ‘Well, maybe I can make a difference, too.’” Sanjiv and Nadine focus their philanthropy based on Maslow’s hierarchy of physiological needs: Basics for health like water, air, food, and shelter are staples of their support. Access to safety needs such as healthcare and education are the next very important steps.
Scholarships were the start – and the heart – of their giving, but Sanjiv’s other passion is the Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, the largest free medical and dental clinic in Florida. Nadine’s is food security.
“If you look around at the people who cut your lawns, board your horses, or cook your food, most of them do not have healthcare,” says Sanjiv. “In 2019, the Caridad Center had 33,000 patient visits – almost 100 a day. We’re proud to direct our philanthropy there – the need is never-ending, but the impact is immediate.