Your End-of-Year Support Helps Us Help Others
December 2022 · Donor Stories, Forward in Hope
We’re well into the Christmas season, which makes this a good time to reflect upon the season of giving and the end of the year. We all give in different ways – whether it’s our time, knowledge, experience, volunteer work, or money. We know through research that acts of giving and kindness create “good feelings” through the release of endorphins in our brain. In short, it makes us feel good to both give and receive. As I think about our beginnings at Saint Francis, I can’t help but think about how one person’s vision through community support has led to an organization that now serves more than 11,000 children and families.
The Reverend Robert Mize Jr. founded Saint Francis Boy’s Home in Ellsworth, Kansas, in 1945. Before state contracts, Saint Francis received funding through generous donors, foundations, churches, and planned giving – thanks to the hard work of “Fr. Bob” and the Saint Francis team. According to a 1947 article in TIME magazine, a bank vice president once said of Fr. Bob, “This man is Christlike, all right, but he’s a genius at raising money.”
If you’ve ever had to ask for money, you know it’s tough to do. Yet Fr. Bob knew that asking for money wasn’t about him, but about the children and families we serve. It was, and remains, about supporting our work.
This is the same message we carry forward at the Saint Francis Foundation. We meet with our programs teams to learn how we can best support their efforts, and then we go out into the community and talk about the good work they’re doing. By sharing the stories they encounter daily, we ensure that the message of Saint Francis gets told, even as we advocate on behalf of the children and families in our care. The stories of transformation and redemption and families restored to health and wholeness inspires us and those willing to support our work.
Ultimately, we hope to create a community of individuals with which to guide a culture of philanthropy at Saint Francis. What does this mean?
It means that as a collective group, we are engaging our communities and asking for their support in meeting the needs of our children and families. It’s about owning our success and collaborating with our communities in support of our cause – because our work is both vital and important. In the past several months, I have seen this happen on numerous occasions as we have stepped up to ensure children in foster care have gifts for Christmas and to find funding for beds for a single parent so her children can return home.
The Foundation team looks forward to continuing to work alongside our colleagues at Saint Francis and with our community partners so we can truly become an innovative and collaborative culture capable of doing what it takes to support our teams, children, and families. Thank you for your friendship and support.
– Cristian Garcia, Chief Advancement Officer