Making Community Impact a Family Tradition

Making Community Impact a Family Tradition

Susan Wray has always felt driven to contribute to the community she lived in and loved. As a teenager in Des Moines, Iowa, Susan started volunteering at her local library. She jokes that she volunteered in so many different positions at the library that eventually they had to offer her a paid position.

“Giving back has just always been a part of me and back then, my time was the only way I could give back,” says Susan. “Plus, volunteering is a great way to learn about a community.”

Now the Assistant Director and Chief Operating Officer at Mid-Continent Public Library, Susan continues to volunteer, but also offers financial support to her favorite charities, like Children’s Haven in Joplin and Community Service League.

A self-proclaimed “hybrid giver,” Susan uses her donor advised fund at THCF to make regular, targeted charitable contributions while also making one-time donations to help specific causes and events.

“The Foundation makes giving convenient. With Truman Heartland, I don’t have to worry. And events like the Grants Luncheon help me learn about all the different organizations in our area that are making a positive impact in our community.”

As a THCF fund holder and Advisory Board member, Susan reviews grant requests for the foundation’s competitive grants program and is invited to attend Behind the Scenes events at area nonprofits. These opportunities have given Susan new perspective on the needs of her community and helped her make donations that are better-informed and will have a greater impact on the issues that are close to her heart.

By establishing the Wray Family Charitable Fund with her daughter Lucy as the successor, Susan can share this experience with Lucy and make charitable giving an important part of their family, today and well into the future.

“I’ve always believed that if you do well, you’ll be well. That inspires me to give back.”


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