PHILANTHROPY is helping and caring for the good of the public and the individual. Philanthropy extends from organizations and individuals who give time and money to build museums and colleges, endow the arts, fund research and educate those who volunteer to provide care, food and clothing to help serve the needs of the community.
National Philanthropy Day, now in its sixth year, will be celebrated Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Inner Harbor, says G. Jeremiah Ryan, chair of the Baltimore area celebration.
Ryan, who is vice president of marketing, planning and development for Harford Community College in Bel Air, says awards will be given, including those chosen by the Youth Philanthropy Award Committee for 1991. They are as follows:
* From high schools, the SMILES volunteer group from Havre de Grace Senior High, where 25 percent of the students participated, will be honored for donating more than 4,000 hours of community service and raising $1,503 for projects such as Thanksgiving dinner for the indigent, children's holiday shopping tour for the needy and a senior citizen prom.
* Lauren J. Ross, in the middle/junior school category, is a student at the Eastern Intermediate School in Silver Spring and will be honored for individually raising $11,380 in four years for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by getting donors to pledge money based on how many books she read. She was among the leading fund-raisers in the nation.
* And, in elementary schools, the Student Council of the Fort Foote Elementary School in Fort Washington will be honored for raising $2,000 to provide curtains for the school's multipurpose room. All classrooms participated.
In America, philanthropy dates from the early colonists, who provided help to improve the quality of life for their neighbors, according to Ryan, who with his wife Gail lives in Havre de Grace. Ryan volunteers his time on many boards, including the Red Cross and American Lung Association.
Ryan says in 1989 some 98 million Americans volunteered 20.5 billion hours to volunteer organizations. Their time, in dollar value, was $170 billion, Ryan notes.
National Philanthropy Day is sponsored by the National Society for Fund-Raising Executives, a professional association of ''people who make their living getting," says Ryan.
Tickets for Thursday night's celebration are $40. For more information call Ryan at 836-4408.