William Wadsworth did not always have the means to help people, but now that he and his family have that option, they jump at the opportunity to help people. The foundation aims to help several different groups of people including the “men and women in blue,” the “worthy poor,” “women, children and pets”, and helping to post rewards to apprehend criminals.
After reading about the in the paper, Wadsworth saw another mention of it on Friday morning (Aug. 19) on his way to several important meetings. Before he left his house, he had a conversation with his wife.
“I was running out the door, but I said to my wife to immediately contact whoever is involved to tell them that we want to be a participant,” he said. “If we could do the slightest bit of good with money, we want to do it. A man and woman’s home is their castle. Our country needs to take dramatic action to protect the sacredness of a person’s home and their family that makes up the home. It’s not the bricks and sticks, it’s what’s inside, which is the people.
“I was very moved and concerned with what I read because it disturbed be greatly,” Wadsworth added. “What we did was a tiny, tiny thing. We’re not looking for anything other than the hope that bad people will be arrested and punished severely for the horrible crime of invading a home and injuring the lives of people in that home, emotionally or in other ways.”
Those few minutes reading the paper and the short conversation with his wife led to a toward the reward money for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those tied to the Northford home invasion. The donation, coupled with the posted by the North Branford Police Department, brought the total reward to $10,000.
“Obviously everyone’s very pleased that things did not get worse, but for sure, there will be scars that remain,” said Wadsworth. “But if it’s one ounce of comfort, we’re thrilled to put up a couple dollars to make a statement that this is very, very wrong with a hope that it will help prevent someone else from doing something similar and to flush out the evil people that did this so they won’t be doing it again.”
This is not the first time that Wadsworth got involved in supporting misfortunes in Connecticut. As he lives in Wallingford–close to Cheshire–he was horrified at the news of the Petit family home invasion and has since supported the Petit Family Foundation.
“I’m very close to Cheshire–the town and the people–and what happened to the Petit family is so outrageously horrible that I cannot allow my mind to think it through thoroughly,” said Wadsworth. “We will continue supporting that foundation as long as it exists in honor of their entire family.”
Posting rewards is just one area in which the Wadsworth Family Foundation hopes to make a difference. Wadsworth began the foundation about 10 years ago after years of working with Sir John Templeton, who inspired Wadsworth’s charitable giving.
“He [Templeton] was one of the most wonderful, Godly men I’ve ever met in my life,” said Wadsworth, of Templeton, who created the Templeton Foundation. “His foundation has done very, very significant things over the last 20, 30 and 40 years. During one of my visits with him, we started talking about charitable giving and shortly after, I talked to my family members and formed this charitable, tax-exempt foundation. They were 150 percent onboard from the start.”
According to Wadsworth, the foundation aims to help the “men and women in blue;” the “worthy poor, who are trying hard but a little bit down on their luck” including organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Cheshire Interfaith Housing; “women, children and animals, which may sound corny, but I’m a corny person,” said Wadsworth, who has supported battered women’s shelters and humane societies; and posting rewards like those posted in the Northford home invasion case.
Wadsworth recognizes that his family has been blessed and he has aimed to pass his philanthropic lifestyle on to his four children, 11 grandchildren and seven-year-old great-grandchild.
“We started off in poverty and have been mightily blessed and we recognize that anyone who is mightily blessed ought to share,” said Wadsworth. “Our aim is to maybe provide a little ray of hope for those in need. We just want to do a tiny bit of good with what we’ve been blessed with.”