PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Center City real estate investor is marking his 82nd birthday with a grand gesture that will benefit Philadelphia’s gay community.
Mel Heifetz made a pledge to himself in his mid-20s, about the time he realized he was gay.
“I decided in life that if I were successful, I would do everything I could to help my community,” he said.
So he’s donated more than two dozen properties valued at $16 million to the Philadelphia Foundation.
“The purpose is to support the gay community in years to come,” Heifetz said.
But his philanthropy isn’t focused on just one area. He has spent a lifetime funding progressive causes and candidates.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “When I’m asked when I make a large contribution, ‘What is it that you want?’ And I say, ‘I don’t want anything, I just want honest, reasonably good government.'”
Heifetz does want something else.
“Now, what I’m only asking people is to reach in their pocket,” he said. “Give $25 to any organization that you’d like to support.”