Who We Are
We are ordinary people dedicated to the betterment
of other people’s lives in our own neighborhoods.
Giants of Generosity, founded by D. Jane Albanese, is based on the Pay-It-Forward model of recognizing and encouraging altruism in our local communities as portrayed in Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel of the same name.
Inspired by the rising tide of celebrity philanthropy, and by her friends’ acts of kindness and generosity in her own time of dire need, Ms. Albanese created Giants of Generosity, a non-profit organization. Understanding that life sometimes has a way of bringing you to your knees, and after many years of struggling to survive, Jane realized that in order to heal she must do something worthwhile to help others right here at home.
Life’s twists and turns have taken me from a place of great privilege to a place I hope never to visit again. I have been loved and secure—I’ve been abandoned and I've been hungry. At times I've also been terribly frightened. These experiences have taught me how fragile we are and why we must help one another in order to sustain life. Through my association with my Dad’s hotel, the Clinton Inn in Tenafly, NJ, I’ve gotten to know many wonderful people and experience an extraordinary life of abundance. I’ve studied business administration, owned a successful travel agency and have had the opportunity to travel the world. Eventually, after moving to Florida, I purchased a gourmet food business converting it to a mail-order business. Shortly thereafter, I married my lifelong friend Dominick T. Albanese . . . Finding myself at a crossroads upon his death, I returned to college to study graphic design. One afternoon while watching Oprah Winfrey’s Holiday giveaway program dedicated to the joy of giving, I was reminded of a man I once helped to find his son after a 25 year estrangement. Giants of Generosity was born that fateful day from the raw emotion of wanting to recapture that joyous experience.
A group of like-minded people and I are now helping others in crisis return to the fullness of life. As we embark on the most rewarding and exhilarating journey of our lives, we are experiencing the joy of giving on a very intimate and personal level and invite you to join us
. . . Jane
Meet some of our Advisors
Thomas J. Volpe, mentor, wonderful friend and supporter of GOG is the former Senior Vice President of Financial Operations for The Inter public Group of Companies, Inc., and senior advisor at Babcock & Brown, a global financial services firm. Currently Tom is with Rockdale Investment Management. He serves as Chairman Emeritus of the St. Francis College Board of Trustees having served on their Board for 35 years. Tom has also served 25 years on the Board of the NYC Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis and 7 years as a board member for Englewood Hospital Foundation. He is a former president of the New York Chapter of Financial Executives International
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Resume…Graduate of University of Connecticut with honors in History-1952; resident of Haworth since 1958; Councilman-2 years; Mayor-Borough of Haworth 10 years; Retired Lt. Col, USAFR; Member or chairman of various Boards at Pascack Valley Hospital-24 years; Charter member and President of Northern Valley Educational Foundation-8 years; member Bergen County Community College Foundation-12 years; Past President of Tenafly Kiwanis and member for 33 years…also served 2 years as Lt. Governor in Kiwanis; Past President of Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce; Past Commander Haworth Post 13 American Legion; Past President Van Ost Institute in Englewood; Past President Independent Insurance Agents of Bergen and Hudson Counties and member for 47 years; President and founder of Johl & Co. Insurance Agency in 1963; member First Congregational Church in Haworth for 50 years…four terms as moderator, Deacon for 15 years, Sunday School teacher; board member of several other organizations over the years. Currently and proudly a Director at Large for Giants of Generosity.
. . . John Johl
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Owner of Womrath's Bookstore in Tenafly. Currently he is serving his fifth term as President of the Tenafly Chamber of Commerce. Bob currently also serves as a member of the Tenafly Business Development Committee, is a member of the Tenafly Leadership Council and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockland County Jewish Home for the Aged in Suffern. He was the former President of the Haworth Board of Education, a former member of the Bergen County Attorney Ethics Committee.
Through a Giants of Generosity giving circle, Bob has founded The Sgt. Harry Fund in honor of his late father, a wounded WWII veteran, and serves as a Director at Large on the GOG Board.
. . . Bob Kutik
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Jane and I meet at a Cornerstone Retreat at the Church of the Presentation in Upper Saddle River, NJ in 2004. We shared our life stories with our team members and developed a loving and lasting friendship. In 2007, Jane mentioned she was starting a charity to help people right here in our own communities who are experiencing difficult times, and asked me to come to her first meeting. In these three short years we have grown to where we have a wonderful group of people involved as Board Members and to date we have helped nearly 30 people with all kinds of devastating circumstances. I am proud to be a Charter Member and Treasurer of GOG.
I was raised in Parsippany, NJ and have three daughters, Darien, Dana and Danielle and two grandsons. After working in corporate America for many years, I founded Parties with Panache, in 1994, a small boutique party and event planning organization. I have a passion for sailing and volunteer for Sail Habitation in Ocean County, NJ. We offer community sail days for handicapped children and adults. In addition, I have been a volunteer for the Community Resource Council in Hackensack, NJ.
. . . Terri
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I’m a lifelong active member of my church, and I was a member of the Rainbow Girls, where I held many offices including Worthy Advisor, member of the advisory board, and Mother Advisor for two terms. I attended Oakland University, majoring in music, with minors in English and Greek literature. I also ran my family retail business in Michigan, and worked as a bridal coordinator. After moving to Florida with my family. My position as administrative assistant at Maple Ridge Gourmet Foods mail-order business is where I met D. Jane Albanese. Most recently I have been in law enforcement communications. It is my belief is that the better you make other people’s lives, the better your own will be, and I always strive to see both sides of every situation. I am now a proud member of Giant of Generosity.
. . . Susan
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I treasure the lessons learned early on this journey called life!
My parents were the ones who shared the greatest gifts by their example.
Giving is the greatest joy.
The loss of self-respect creates nothing but emptiness.
Helping others is ones’ most satisfying work.
Peace of mind is the most effective sleeping pill.
Hope is the worst thing to be without.
Faith is our greatest asset.
Integrity is our most prized possession.
These values are exactly what I hope to impart through my involvement
with the giving community of Giants of Generosity
. . . Muriel