Chuck and Ruth spent much of the spare time in their professional lives working both at home and abroad to address the root causes of hunger and poverty through improved literacy, nutrition and educational opportunities. Since their retirement, they have stepped up their efforts even more, supporting a variety of non-profits such as Heifer International, Alfalit and others.
The couple, of Naperville, Illinois, work as volunteers for several months each year, teaching programs throughout South and Central America, Mexico and some in Africa. Through a charitable unitrust with Heifer Foundation, Chuck and Ruth have been able to support not only Heifer’s mission of ending hunger and poverty, but also the related missions of Alfalit, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity and Bread For the World Institute.
Chuck is a retired salesman and professional farm manager, and Ruth retired after 30 years as a professor of family and consumer sciences at Eastern Illinois University. “After retiring we decided to focus on a small number of organizations that we believe are making significant contributions. We do a lot of programs with community and religious organizations, working with everyone from pre-school age to a 98-year old woman in Peru to hospital professionals in various countries,” Ruth said. “All the philanthropies we work for are inter-related.”
Chuck and Ruth first heard about Heifer from their friend Alden Hickman, who was the executive director of Heifer at the time. “It was very easy to see what an outstanding organization it was,” Ruth said. “We believe Heifer is absolutely one of the very best organizations in the world that truly changes lives and communities in such positive ways.”
For more than 30 years, they have supported the organization in a variety of ways: Giving gift donations at Christmas in honor of their children and grand children, sharing Heifer’s mission whenever they have the opportunity, and providing long-term support through the unitrust they established with Heifer Foundation.
“Heifer has been excellent and increasingly impressive over the years, the way they help people develop means to improve their lives and those of their families and communities. When they ‘Pass on the Gift’ they help others improve their lives,” Chuck said.
Through their generosity and tireless commitment to affecting positive change in the world, Chuck and Ruth continue to “Pass on the Gift.”