The Laramie community has responded with great enthusiasm to the prospect of establishing a Family Promise affiliate in Albany County. A handful of local individuals and churches gave substantial gifts to FPAC in its infancy, when donating was arguably rather risky.
One of these generous donors is Donna Marburger, who presented us with a large gift in 2016 and another in 2017. Donna was an undergraduate student at the University of Wyoming in the 1950s. She left to complete her graduate education in Kinesiology and Health, and also taught at a few different colleges in Texas and Montana before returning to UW in the 1960s. Donna is a member and organist for the United Presbyterian Church, which is a host site for FPAC and which will also provide space for the Day Center. She plays piano for Ivinson Memorial Hospital and visits residents at two local care facilities. In addition to supporting Family Promise, Donna gives to Interfaith Good Samaritan and the Downtown Clinic.
I had the privilege of speaking with Donna and gaining insight into her generous giving in so many ways, focusing on her enthusiasm for making financial gifts. Below are some selected questions and abbreviated answers:
Why have you chosen to invest in Family Promise of Albany County (FPAC)?
I think there is a real need in Laramie for homeless people. I believe there has been a need for a long time. Family Promise seems to me to be a really good answer to meeting that need. I think it’s important to support charitable organizations in Laramie. I choose to put a large part of what I give to organizations in Laramie, and Family Promise is one of the big ones. I think Interfaith and the Downtown Clinic are also very important.
What makes you think there is a need for services for child and family homelessness? [** This is the subject of our next Blog post! Stay tuned! **]
Long ago when I was hiking more, I found people living under bridges in West Laramie. I knew a person from church who was homeless and did the best she could. Churches do their best to serve people [who are in a homeless situation], but it’s so temporary. The work you have done in identifying [homeless] people has convinced me that there is a need.
Why have you chosen to give before FPAC is up and running?
I have faith that it is going to happen, and I think I can help make it happen with a substantial gift. And I can set an example for people who wonder if it’s a good thing to do.
What would you say to someone who is considering donating to Family Promise of Albany County?
There is something my mother taught me, which is the first thing I remember memorizing for her: “I shall pass this way but once; therefore if there is any kindness I can do or show to any fellow human being, let me not defer nor neglect it. Let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.” I also think of the words of Jesus: “If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.” I would emphasize the importance of giving to Family Promise because it deals with Laramie people, and I would also encourage doing it now.