CPA/Managing Partner at Lopez, Teodosio & Larkin, LLC
From BLOCS donor, to CPA advising clients about EITC participation, and now long-time Board member, Bill Larkin has worn many hats for the scholarship organization. In our next edition of Board Spotlight, we caught up with Bill about life as an Irish Catholic growing up in the Northeast, and his passion for supporting Catholic education.
Tell us about your family.
I was the middle child of five siblings in an Irish Catholic family in Northeast Philadelphia. All five of us attended Maternity BVM for grade school and Archbishop Ryan High School. My parents believed strongly in Catholic education and taught us to hold it in regard based on our Catholic faith. Even if you had friends who attended a rival [Archdiocesan] high school, you knew that everyone shared the same values-based foundation – highlighting respect and service to others.
My parents instilled these values in us early on – a legacy that was certainly felt the day of my father’s funeral. My parents had recently sold their home of sixty years, and we gathered to celebrate his life at the parish where I grew up. It felt good to be surrounded by so many family members and friends, who in some cases, like my Dad’s sister, (a 93 year old St. Joseph’s nun, formerly of St. Hubert’s and Bishop Conwell – now Conwell Egan), also played a significant role in raising us.
How did you come to work with BLOCS?
I received my B.S. in Accounting from La Salle University and became a CPA. Because I’ve always felt it was important to give back, I spent over ten years as a BLOCS donor. I felt great about supporting the organization and recommending it to my clients not only because of my personal commitment to BLOCS’ mission, but also because of the top-notch operational efficiency and transparency with which BLOCS runs their business – there is a confidence knowing that a majority, [over 95%] of every dollar donated goes directly toward a student scholarship.
I had been referring many of my clients to participate in the EITC program for maybe fifteen years or so when I was approached by a staff member to sit on the Board – a position which I gladly accepted.
I’m impressed with how BLOCS is so nimble. As a donor, you can feel really good knowing you’re not funding an organization who is all about themselves.
My clients share the same passion for supporting the mission – many of them participating in LLC’s with undesignated donations, which will be distributed to the areas and families with the greatest need.
Why is donor support so critical?
My wife and I have been parishioners at a few churches throughout the years. At each new parish, we have encountered others who have been passionate about tithing, and who introduced the notion to us as a part of Catholic
life. As a CPA, I’ve witnessed firsthand how, of my clients who consistently tithe, they are also those who realize the most success – personally, professionally, and financially. It’s a part of how I was raised by my parents – we are givers, not takers.
Having served on several boards over the years, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not going to solve the world’s problems. I can take great comfort in knowing that with my contribution, I can help maybe seven or eight families…hopefully I’m making a small difference.
But when you look at donor support as a whole – it adds up to serving more than 16,000 students, and that’s a significant impact. There is a need today, but there will always be a need to be filled tomorrow, too. That is why what we do is so critical.