Donor Profile: Jon Harris

It is a sight Jon Harris will never forget: his Jewish father dressed up as Santa Claus, handing out presents at Ronald McDonald House in Chicago.

“The presents were a pair of shoes and a jacket,” says Harris, who was working as an elf that day. “Seeing the joy and appreciation those kids had for something I took for granted was eye-opening.”

Harris, who is now CEO of Alternative Investment Management, LLC, has not forgotten the lessons his parents taught him about the importance of service. His relationship with Robin Hood dates back to 2000, when he attended his first Benefit soon after moving to New York City from Chicago. Inspired by Robin Hood’s “commitment to accountability and focus on getting things done,” Harris soon became an invaluable member of the team. In addition to serving as a founding member of the Leadership Council, he is a Robin Hood event enthusiast, rarely missing an Investors Conference or Benefit, and has been to almost every Robin Hood concert this millennium.

While Harris has yet to don his father’s Santa suit, he and his wife are committed to making sure their son, Tucker, and daughter, Charlie, continue the family tradition of giving back. Their first family project was setting up a Robin Hood Lemonaid stand, which Harris describes as “a great venue for explaining what we were doing with Robin Hood, and why.” He is now taking this work a step further by helping to build Robin Hood’s new Family Circle, which is focused on expanding opportunities for families to support New Yorkers in need.

It was Tucker and Charlie who inspired Harris to take on a challenge that has left many of his closest friends in shock: running the New York City Marathon as part of Team Robin Hood. As Harris explains on his fundraising page, “I want to be a great role model for my kids in terms of being healthy and taking care of myself so I can be around for many years to come and hopefully take them to more Cubs World Series games. You only get one shot at this life, and I want to make it count.”

But Harris isn’t just a role model for his children — his all-in commitment to the fight against poverty is an inspiration to us all. He set a goal to beat the all-time record for money raised by a Robin Hood runner, and pledged to match every donation dollar-for-dollar until he reached that number. Harris has already surpassed his goal, and continues to set the record even higher — you can show your support by visiting his fundraising page. There’s no telling when the Cubs will reach the World Series again, but you can always count on Jon Harris coming through for Robin Hood.

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