FEATURE – Over the years, many of us learn that the act of service is one of life’s greatest gifts. St. George Health & Wellness wanted to highlight ways that our community can give service this holiday season. We decided to learn more about the Wade Family Foundation and the wonderful stories that have come out of some of their initiatives.
Executive director Monty Magleby said that one of the primary reasons for the foundation’s existence is to provide opportunities to give service.
“We want our employees and families to have opportunities to serve …. It is a blessing in their lives,” he said.
Magleby relayed an inspiring story from recent years that exemplifies the blessings of service:
“Someone brought to our attention a young, single mother whose infant had a rare form of cancer. It was necessary for her to take her baby to Primary Children’s Medical Center each month for a couple of days for treatment. She was without a car, and her father had an old, run-down car that he drove them up in. The car was having mechanical problems and causing them a lot of concern because of its unreliability.
“Our team at the Wade Family Foundation took a used vehicle and spent a lot of time refurbishing it, making it clean and running smoothly so it was almost like new. It happened to be near Christmastime, so we presented her with the newly refurbished car — and the trunk was filled with toys and clothing for her infant daughter to help with Christmas. All of the technicians and many others who worked on the car were able to be there when we presented it to her. She appreciated the generous gift and we were all inspired. There weren’t a lot of dry eyes!”
“All of us would like to be a Jon Huntsman, to give millions of dollars away and help people’s lives … It would be fun to have that type of philanthropic life,” said Stephen Wade, co-founder of the Wade Family Foundation. “The thing is, we can all give in our own ways. We do what we can while others do what they can.”
The Wade Family Foundation continues to provide opportunities for service. In 2011, a news article discussed how Dixie Care & Share, St. George’s local homeless shelter and food pantry, was on the brink of closing its doors because of decreased donations.
Determined to help, the foundation teamed up with local singer-songwriter Yvonne Wall, who had a great idea for a Christmas-themed CD to help raise money for the organization. They sponsored and produced a wonderful album featuring some of Utah’s most talented musicians, and also organized a team to help promote the CD. All of the proceeds went directly to Dixie Care & Share. Their staff and volunteers, as well as other businesses and caring individuals, got involved, contributing countless hours to create a huge success. Enough money was raised to help keep the shelter open.
“This may sound cliché, but I sincerely believe and have learned that the giver receives a lot more than those that receive the gift,” Wade said. “I truly believe that.”
The following year, an additional CD was produced and the DOVE Center, an organization that helps women and children coming from domestic violence situations, was invited to participate in and benefit from the program. In the first two years, nearly $100,000 was raised for these two groups. This success came because a lot of wonderful people dedicated their time and money to a great cause of caring for those in need.
As we think about what’s important this holiday season, hopefully we can all look for opportunities to give. As Wade said, often times the giver benefits a lot more than the receiver. May we all seek out the blessings of service.
For more information on the Wade Family Foundation, visit www.letsserve.org.
St. George Health & Wellness magazine provides St. George and surrounding areas with a contemporary, high-energy publication for young adults, families and seniors interested in wellness, recreation and outdoor living.
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