Highlighting Philanthropy: Thomas DeJonghe

By Mark Orcutt, Communications and Outreach Manager

Tom DeJonghe
(Pictured: Thomas DeJonghe)

The East Bay Leadership Council's 2015 Outstanding Philanthropist is that and more. 

Over the course of Tom DeJonghe’s 55-year relationship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area (BBBSBA), he has impacted thousands of youth in need throughout the East Bay region. As a young man, Tom committed to showing up consistently and providing a positive influence in the life of a child.

That alone is a huge undertaking worthy of an award and one that Tom was happy to tackle, as he was well aware of how important it was for him to have strong mentors in his life. And even though Tom’s “Little” just recently celebrated his 58th birthday, they still keep in touch and play a significant role in each other’s lives.

And just as importantly, Tom has continued to show up in a big way for others in need of a caring and consistent role model in their lives. In 2003, Tom joined the board of BBBSBA and has been a major contributor on all levels throughout his tenure, with financial and in-kind support totaling well over $300,000.

And since Tom’s retirement in 2007, he has dedicated even more time to the new program initiatives and fundraising events for BBBSBA. Tom understands the importance of individual donors to nonprofit sustainability. He frequently introduces new people to the needs of the children in the East Bay and the work of BBBSBA. In addition to being a proud member of the BBBSBA family, Tom also supports The Taylor Family Foundation and Save Mount Diablo.

Tom’s commitment to mentorship and philanthropy has changed the lives of countless East Bay children and the East Bay Leadership Council is thrilled to honor him with this award.

Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan