By Brena Baumann-Gonzalez ’87, Senior Director of Philanthropy at Texas Children’s Hospital
Philanthropy is not only my career, it is my calling. When I first started in this line of work, I thought it would be the big, multi-million dollar gifts that would define me. Now many years in, I find just as much satisfaction in the smaller gifts when they are given from a place of sacrifice and a deep desire to help. Everyone can be a philanthropist and know the joy it brings. Luckily for ordinary people like me, there is no minimum to join this club.
The gifts that are the most special to me professionally and personally don’t have anything to do with the amount. These gifts are the ones made from an estate after a life well-lived. A donor has to have faith that the organization they are supporting will still be around and still be doing the work they supported during their life.
HBU is in my will because for 60 years the University has been tirelessly focused on Christian education. I have no doubt 60 years from now the mission will not have changed. How do I know? Because my bequest to an endowed scholarship perpetuates this very mission.
In my lifetime there has never been a greater need for “philanthropy” or a love of humanity than now. A global pandemic and an outcry for social justice makes me look outside of the life I have built for myself and my family. I want all God’s people to have the same access to healthcare and education.
My husband Carlos ’84 and I would not have the life we have now if not for the generous scholarships we received to attend HBU. Thousands of HBU students must feel the way we do, and we want to make sure there is a path for those who follow behind. Maybe it will be our children or your children, but it will certainly be God’s children who follow. My request to you is to pause and consider how it would feel to know when you leave this earth, you didn’t miss your last opportunity to support a student.