By Sharon Smith, Program Director
One of my most memorable days at the Dekko Foundation—and I’ve had lots of memorable days—happened one summer about ten years ago. One of our grantees from Lamoni, Iowa named Benita Booth, was driving through Indiana on her way to the east coast. She wanted to stop in to see our office, say hello and meet our president.
Since we go out to visit our grantseekers, we don’t have that many office visitors—especially not people from out of state. We welcomed Mrs. Booth and sat in our president’s office for some polite small talk. That’s when she dropped a thought so profound that I think about it to this day.
“You know,” she said, “the money you give us is really important. But what you really do is give us hope.”
What an amazing way to synthesize the impact of grantmaking. Giving hope to schools and nonprofits that want offer their young people the very best learning experiences. Giving hope to communities that their young people will be ready for rewarding careers and independent lives.
When Mr. Dekko started our foundation in 1981, he left us with this mission: To foster economic freedom through education. He believed that education offered all people hope that they might lead lives of economic freedom.
Thanks, Mrs. Booth, for giving us a new and memorable way of looking at things.
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