Generosity can be spurred from the simplest moments, during a hand shake or a smile, in the aftermath of a light rain or in the beauty of a sunlit day. For Jan Baucum, that moment came during her childhood, growing up in a tiny farming community in West Texas.
“When I was young, our neighbor’s wife was very ill and the father was left to care for two small children. Recognizing the need, the community pulled together and harvested his entire crop in one day. As a child, I remember vividly the sea of equipment and being proud my dad was doing his part to help. This initial experience developed my first understanding of generosity,” Jan shared.
It was only one moment, but that memory shaped her sense of community and service throughout her lifetime. Her husband’s hard-working parents, who made a point of caring for their neighbors as well, left the same impression on him. Together Jan and Bob have built a life of generosity to their church through their prayers, presence, gifts, and service. “Faith and service go hand-in-hand,” Bob stated. “Our giving is simply an outward expression of our faith.”
This example was not lost on their two children, Julie and Jordan.
Bob recalled, “Before I retired last year from the FDIC, we invited our children to a meeting with our financial planner to discuss our finances, insurance, and long-term goals. In the meeting, Jordan challenged us to think about our legacy – essentially, what would we leave behind, which would represent our values and steward our resources.”
With the establishment of a Donor Advised Fund through TMF, Julie and Jordan would be able to ensure their parents' legacy continued well beyond their lifetime.
Although they are still in discussions to determine which ministries and missions to support, they knew TMF would be the best manager. “I have found TMF to be an extremely good servant of financial resources; first, as an investor in the Methodist Loan Fund and now as a donor to a Donor Advised Fund” Jan said. Bob added, “TMF is a forward-thinking organization and positioned to serve the church today and in the future.”
Their children are equally encouraged by the work TMF is doing. “I value the work TMF does in the areas of Leadership Ministry and I am encouraged by the growth in Grants Ministry. Additionally, I am excited about the work TMF is undertaking to assist church leaders as they reinterpret Christian community and invest in edge ministries,” Jordan shared.
As TMF continues to steward the church’s potential, families who are as passionate about generosity as the Baucum’s will forever shape the impact TMF is able to have and we are incredibly thankful for their witness.