Retired Educators Spend Free Time Giving Back To Their Community

As former educators, Doug and Helen Hatridge are both used to feeling connected to the community they live in. After both Helen and Doug retired, they decided to turn their attention to a different kind of education during the next phase of their lives, community education. It was around this time they both become involved with Truman Heartland Community Foundation. 

"It gives you a real sense of community. There's something very special about seeing your friends and neighbors be a part of something this big." 

Doug and Helen learned about THCF when a friend at church recommended opening a Donor Advised Fund to them. As fund holders, Doug and Helen are able to make grants from their fund directly to the community initiatives and programs they feel passionate about. Helen says what she enjoys most about having a donor advised fund is how easy it is to create a positive change through grant making.

"We both enjoy helping people reach their full potential. It's part of the reason we both became educators. The desire to help others did not go away when we retired and this is our way of continuing to give back. Everyone is entitled to have the opportunity to be the best they can be and we really do believe we are helping people achieve that."

The Hatridges are both highly involved in the community and show no signs of slowing down. Helen is an avid supporter of Community Services League and Doug is currently the President of the Lee's Summit Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. With the two as busy as they are, Doug says what he appreciates most about partnering with THCF is how simple it is to operate their Donor Advised Fund

"What I like about having a Donor Advised Fund is that once you open a fund, your money is invested and you can start utilizing it right away. You put your money in and you can have it automatically distributed to the charities you care about. The fund management system is great. It not only allows us to keep track of how much we give, but to whom or what we are giving. It doesn't get much simpler than that." 

Helen is currently involved with a number of community initiatives with the Foundation, including Community for All Ages Coalition as well as serving on our Scholarship and Development Committees. She says one of her favorite parts of being involved with THCF is that it provides opportunities for her to stay connected with her community.

"That's what makes THCF so different from other organizations like it. They have the people living in the area who help make the decisions about what happens in their community. The Foundation attracts different people from all around Eastern Jackson County. Seeing people from all ages and backgrounds getting involved in philanthropy and giving back is truly something phenomenal."

Author: Lauren Pope

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