My inspiration for ‘giving back’ to the community comes from the many needs I see every day in and around the Greater Huntsville area. Seeing these needs in our community confirms my belief that each one of us is called to serve and to use our talents and resources for the benefit of others - whether as volunteers or as financial supporters for those in need. As a co-founder of Village of Promise, I see first-hand the challenges of low-income families. That’s why I answered a call to help break the cycle of poverty one neighborhood at a time. Now, as a member of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, I see great value in how the organization helps to build capacity in our local nonprofits, from the smallest start-up to well-established nonprofit organizations.
A legacy of sharing is one of our multi-generational family goals. It began with Patty’s mother, a pioneer in public school financial management education. It’s rooted in our family’s agrarian cultural values that encourage going beyond tithing and sharing one’s home and harvest with others in need. When we married, the lifestyle of sharing naturally became the foundation of our family values. It shaped our plan for legacy stewardship as our family expanded from children to grandchildren and beyond.
The Huntsville area provides a great quality of life, particularly for those dedicated to the arts and education. My husband John and I wanted to provide support in these areas through a planned gift through the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. The Community Foundation administers the process for nonprofit organizations to submit proposals for specific funding needs. Then, they match donor interests with qualified organizations in order to generate lasting impact. This approach is very appealing because it allows us to donate based on the causes that align with our interests and philanthropic goals.
Our community is fortunate to have many great organizations that improve quality of life for today and for future generations. Before we created our donor advised fund with the Community Foundation, we donated to many nonprofits. Partnering with the Community Foundation helped us think more strategically about our philanthropic activities.
It is our moral and social responsibility to be active participants and supporters of our community. The Huntsville community has been great to my family and we are committed to giving back to others in need. We want to support Huntsville’s legacy as a community committed to education, science, exploration, research, discovery, arts, music and conservation. We admire the volunteers and community activists who devote their life to worthy causes and work tirelessly to assist our citizens. We’re inspired by the work of many, so my wife Cynthia and I supported a broad range of local charities and events.
Supporting organizations that impact and enrich Huntsville and Madison County gives donors a better sense of community. The Community Foundation helps each of us reach our philanthropic goals by connecting us with the many impactful organizations like FOR (Friends of Rescue), the Boys and Girls Club and the Community Catalyst Fund. Giving legacies come in all shapes and sizes.
There is a great sense of fulfillment that comes with knowing that when I had a chance to make a difference, I took that step. My philanthropic goals are centered on improving quality of life in our community and thus helping the families and companies that support Redstone Arsenal. The Community Foundation helped me to connect with multiple nonprofit organizations that advance quality of life initiatives throughout the entire Greater Huntsville area. As a result, I see more families choose to live and work in our community and support critical work on the base.
My siblings and I are proof of what education can do to propel a family forward. My learning experience shaped me and made education my lifelong passion. The Community Foundation allowed my husband Jack and me to quickly convert a property donation into a fund that allowed us to address both our personal financial and philanthropic goals.