Thanks to many of you, we are almost halfway toward the required $50,000 for ISAAC to receive interest income from our Endowment Fund! As of the ISAAC Breakfast on December 5, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation has received ISAAC Endowment Fund gifts and 2018 commitments of well over $23,000! Huge thanks to all of you who have already contributed. If you haven’t yet, please join us in making a 2018 tax-deductible donation or a charitable distribution by December 31. Make your check to Kalamazoo Community Foundation, with “ISAAC Endowment Fund” in the memo space, and send it to Kalamazoo Community Foundation, 402 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo MI 49007.
Rick Welch spoke at the Breakfast about his decision to make a gift to the ISAAC Endowment Fund:
My beginning at ISAAC was quite simple. My first ISAAC event was a banquet at the Bernhard Center at WMU hearing the author David Kennedy speak about intervening in group violence. As a member of First Congregational Church, we had heard about ISAAC for years. We were one of the founding congregations. A former member was Executive Director before Dr. Charlae Davis came to the organization. And, First Congregational has historically hosted the monthly Leadership Board meetings. One of our members was tasked with organizing the space for the meetings and asked me for some help. That got me started, back in Feb. 2016.
Since then, I have worked on the Youth Violence Prevention task force where we developed round table discussions for Youth discussing bullying. Then, we canvassed neighborhoods to determine the next 2-year cycle of community issues to address, which gave us our current tasks of Anti-Racism, Anti-Poverty and Housing.
The biggest overriding feeling I have of my experience in ISAAC is one of belonging to a greater family–the community. That feeling is one of knowing the community more broadly, of getting beyond the cocoon of my own church family and getting a broader perspective. So that is the greatest energizer for me this far.
One of the issues with ISAAC and probably most community efforts is the funding aspect. Many of the events are centered around fund-raising. So, this event is an ask for help too. I saw that, as well as working for justice, we need to help where we can. So, last year I became a GEM (Give Every Month). And then, last December Tobi Hanna-Davies explained the ISAAC Endowment Fund just started at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. This fit with the required distributions from my IRA and is a tax-advantaged way to give. So, my attitude is that the more funds we can have saved in our endowment, the less time we need to spend in fund raising and the more community building we can accomplish. Please help in that effort too.
– Rick Welch, First Congregational Church representative to the ISAAC Leadership Board