Throughout my childhood, my family went to church and Sunday School every week; we lived our values during the week. My siblings and I learned to be “doers” by the example set by our parents. We learned to be kind and forgiving to each other and respectful to our elders. Since my dad was a Naval aviator, we also learned to appreciate the sacrifices our military service people and their families made for our country.
My mother volunteered with the Navy Relief, an organization of officers’ wives who worked together to help Navy families in need. I learned to sew and knit making baby layettes for them with Mom. Mom was also active in the Women’s Circle at church. Dad was a flight instructor and loved to tell us stories of his students – it was clear to us how much he cared for them and their families. When he retired, he worked at the church as the chief building and grounds expert almost as many hours at he had at his full time job.
Mom and Dad made their philanthropic choices together. They made plans in their estate for all of us, but also for their favorite charity. I am grateful for the legacy of caring for others that my parents built for us, and I am heartened to see my daughter, my siblings and their children continuing the legacy in their families.