Why I Give

To many people, giving back to their communities is an important part of their lives.  Whether through financial donations or volunteering their time and talents these individuals leave a legacy in our community that last well into the future.

Seed of Giving

Seed of Giving

Ryan & Jean Hou

“You watch and you learn — that’s all it takes. You don’t have to donate millions of dollars to pass along the seed of giving.”

— Ryan Hou

   Ryan Hou didn’t have much growing up in Taiwan, but his parents still set an example by giving a little extra money to street vendors selling food. When Ryan moved to the U.S. for graduate school and later settled down in Columbus with his wife, Jean, he was introduced to a view of philanthropy non-existent in Taiwan or China.

   Seeing the significance of community in Columbus, Ryan encouraged cultural growth through the founding of the Chinese School by the Columbus Chinese Association. The school helps keep the culture alive in Bartholomew County and educates Chinese on philanthropy. To provide sustainability to the Chinese School, Ryan established the Columbus Chinese School Endowment Fund with Heritage Fund in 2010.

   “The fund is growing healthy due to gaining support from the Board of Columbus Chinese Association and a lot of Chinese families in town. Young, diverse generations are our exciting future, too. We need to support them in any way we can,” Ryan said.

   As co-founder and CEO of LHP, Inc., Ryan also established the LHP Scholarship Fund at HFBC to promote education in computer science and engineering.

   “We need to keep encouraging young students to get into this rewarding engineering career as soon, and as early, as possible. LHP, as an engineering company, wants to do our part to promote, help and encourage young students into this wonderful engineering wonderland,” Ryan, who also serves on the HFBC Board of Directors, said.

    Ryan also credits his decision to establish the funds to the fairness and transparency of HFBC processes and staff.

   “As a board member, I have firsthand experiences on how the money gets managed and the due diligence processes in place to make donors trust the investments.”

   The Hous have passed on the importance of giving to their two children, Elaine and Ethan. When Elaine married, she started a new family tradition of asking wedding guests to make donations to the Chinese School’s Endowment Fund.

It takes a village

It takes a village

Marty Arnett

Marty Arnett had a “giving mentality” ingrained in her at a young age.

Born in Charleston, Ill., Marty moved to Columbus when she was 3 months old and has lived here ever since. Her parents helped support her grandmother with most of their extra money but still managed to be active in, and generous to, their church. To help fund the construction of Columbus High School Gymnasium, Marty’s father even gave an entire week’s paycheck because “that’s just what people did back then.”

Marty attended Central Middle School and Columbus High School before heading to Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. She remembers living through a tumultuous time for the nation. The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during her freshman year of college and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated during finals of her sophomore year. Marty dropped out of college but later attended IUPUC to finish her degree while working. She jokes it took her 33 years to get through college. If she had the chance to do it again, she “would have sucked it up” and gone straight through college the first time.

She was introduced to her husband, Paul, at a Franklin College football game, and they were later married at First United Methodist Church in Columbus. They have a daughter, Jennifer, and Marty is grandmother to Claire, Chloe and PJ (named for Paul). Paul and Marty were animal lovers and Marty’s furry family includes dogs Keyfer (pictured) and BeBe and Socks the cat.

Marty and Paul became very involved with the Columbus community. He was a member of the JayCees and Marty was a member of the JayShes. She is also a strong advocate for Turning Point and is active in First United Methodist Church and its preschool, Learning Tree.

She believes in the adage, “it takes a village.”

When Paul passed away in 2004, Marty established the Paul Arnett Memorial Scholarship Fund for Bartholomew County students attending his alma mater, Franklin College. It was an easy choice because Paul always loved to talk about his college days and classmates from Franklin.

Marty, a devoted supporter of the Women’s Giving Circle, encourages younger generations to become involved in philanthropy. She believes starting the giving mentality early can lead to a lifetime of fulfillment.

Cultivating Community

Cultivating Community

Dan & Susan Arnholt

When AgrIInstitute, an agricultural leadership development program in Indiana, was struggling financially, Dan Arnholt made a plan for raising funds in Bartholomew County to provide support. Since 2007, more than $55,000 has been contributed to the AgrIInstitute Endowment Fund with Heritage Fund.

Dan shared his success with other agricultural communities, and 13 additional endowment funds in support of AgrIInstitute — totaling $336,000 — are in place at community foundations around the state today.

In addition to helping with the fundraising efforts, Dan, program treasurer, helps identify AgrIInstitute graduates to become local leaders. “It’s an agricultural leadership program, but it’s not just farm and ag; it’s community leaders,” Dan explained.

Both Dan and wife Susan were born on farms in rural Bartholomew County. After high school, Dan attended Purdue University for Agricultural Economics and Business Administration while Susan went to Indiana University for Dental Hygiene.

Dan’s first job out of college was with Public Services Indiana (PSI) in Columbus. He worked there for 22 years, the last six of which he commuted to the corporate offices in Indianapolis. However, he felt “disconnected living in Columbus and working in Indianapolis.” A new job at REMC in Columbus provided an opportunity for him to live and work in the same place. REMC was a personally rewarding place to work for Dan. He was “willing to get involved in the community, and the company was willing to let him.”

Susan worked as a dental hygienist for 25 years and then switched to managing their farm. She and Dan bought their first farm in 1968, and she later took on management of her father’s farm as well.

When they chose to make Columbus their community to live and work in, both Susan and Dan wanted to get involved. Along with raising their two sons, Clint and Cory, Susan has been active at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. When their sons were younger, she led the church’s Vacation Bible School. She has also been a member of the bell choir, and a Bible Study Group of ladies, many from the rural community.

At Heritage Fund, Dan has chaired the Grants and General Scholarship Selection Committees and has served on the Board of Directors.

The Arnholts’ Sudan Farms also participates in the Gifts of Grain program, which directs proceeds from grain sales to Heritage Fund.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to give,” Dan said.

With their lifetime of experiences in Bartholomew County, Dan and Susan have cultivated more than farmland — they have cultivated our community.

Dan said it’s important to educate the younger generations about the importance of philanthropy.

Teaching his four grandchildren to give a donation — even at events or programs with free admission — is one such way.

“They need to understand how much you need to do to give back,” Dan said.

Family Tradition

Family Tradition

The Doup Family

Ask Diane Doup how important it is to give back to the community, and watch her father smile.  Actually, beam is more like it.

“These buttons could burst,” David Doup said, pointing to his shirt and laughing when he heard Diane express how philanthropy is “a natural part of our lives.”

“It’s part of my DNA that became part of yours,” he told her. “You always knew you were to share what you could.”

The same philanthropic lessons instilled in him at a young age have been passed along to his own family and serve as a good example of heritage at Heritage Fund.

The Doup family’s connection to Heritage Fund dates back to the foundation’s beginnings. Martha Doup, David’s aunt, served on the committee tasked with creating the community foundation in 1976.

Perry Doup, David’s father, was a member of the first Board of Directors. Martha’s husband, George, later served on the board in the late 1980s.

Today, Diane is in her second year on that very board and has served on a multitude of HFBC committees. David is active in much of the facilities management and maintenance at Franklin Square.

“The Heritage Fund has been an important part of our community and our family,” Diane said. “We definitely have an investment in the legacy all these leaders began. It’s a privilege to serve on the board and an even bigger privilege to continue that legacy.”

As the U.S. community foundation movement marks its centennial this year, Diane credits the progressiveness of community leaders with realizing the potential of such organizations — across the country, and in her own hometown.

Father and daughter say there’s nothing unique about their family’s “pay it forward” approach, though they do want others to realize the joy in giving.

“It’s definitely become a family tradition. I hope other families see how much fun it can be to contribute to your community,” Diane said.

David couldn’t agree more. Giving makes life fuller, he said.

“There’s definitely a spirit of giving in our community — the community foundation is a wonderful way to do that,” he said. “The Heritage Fund is the community trust. It’s the vehicle you can use and we can all make an investment in and be part of. That’s part of the beauty.”

Start by giving time

Start by giving time

Bill and Jody Harter

Bill and Jody Harter believe anyone can “be a blessing in their own small corner of the world.”Columbus became Bill and Jody’s small corner of the world when they moved here after college with Bill’s new job at Cummins Inc. (then-Cummins Engine Company). Bill worked there for 30 years and Jody stayed home to raise their five children — Marjorie, Scott, Jim, Doug and Robert. Jody received counselor training through Grace Lutheran Church, and in the course of her counseling services became aware of the prominence and consequences of domestic violence. She has been a supporter of Turning Point ever since.

Early in Bill’s career, Cummins made it easy to give back by allowing employees to allocate a portion of their paychecks directly to charities. While giving back was always part of their lives, after Bill’s retirement, he became even more involved by working for a nonprofit in Indianapolis for 2 ½ years and then teaching accounting, marketing and other business courses at Ivy Tech and IUPUC. He found teaching to be an especially rewarding experience by seeing the positive impact that education had on students’ lives and how they were in turn able to contribute to the community. He still has former students recognize him and tell him how they found a better job because of their college education. He is in awe of students, particularly single mothers, who are able to balance their family life, job, education, and everything else, and still succeed academically.

Bill and Jody come from a long line of philanthropists. Jody’s mother started scholarships in her father and grandfather’s names and both families actively supported community foundations when they were growing up. They also attribute their Christian faith as a driving force in their desire to help others.

Believing education is a key to a better life, the Harters established the Bill and Jody Harter Scholarship for IUPUC and Ivy Tech students. They chose Heritage Fund to manage the fund because they believed their investment would have a strong return and they could be confident that the fund has an element of permanency. Another benefit they see in Heritage Fund is its tremendous network and ability to identify pressing needs in the community. To help address some of those needs, in 2007 they established the Bill and Jody Harter Community Fund at Heritage Fund.

Now the Harters encourage younger generations to not “wait for high salaries or wages or retirement to start giving.”

Instead, they advise to start by giving time and small amounts of money to discover the rewarding effects — for the community and the donor.

In retirement, along with enjoying their 13 grandchildren, the Harters continue to do what they know best — making their corner of the world a little better.

Why do you give...

Why do you give...

Whether it’s giving back because of family tradition, your love of the community, the impact an organization has had on you or to memorialize a loved one, each donor has a unique story that plays an important role in Heritage Fund.

We would love to hear from you in regards to, “Why do you give?”  Contact us any time as our staff is eager to hear you story.