Paying it Forward
Growing up in small-town Iowa, Julie Hurley remembers the community swimming pool as a hub of summertime activity. “It was the place where everyone, including my six siblings and I, hung out.”
Years later, on a visit home, she asked her father about donations toward a pool refurbishment. “Dad, why are you giving?” she asked. “You don’t have kids in school anymore.” His reply: “Someone built the pool so you could enjoy it.”
It was Hurley’s first giving ah-ha moment.
Initially, Hurley gave primarily of her time. “I was a room mother at my daughters’ school, I chaperoned the school carnival, ran for school board, became a member of the board’s finance committee – it just kind of progressed in that way,” she says.
Anne Cullen Miller, president of the Catholic Community Foundation (CCF), adds, “I have known Julie for many years, and I have witnessed her serve in a variety of roles at our parish, St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul. Julie demonstrates 1 Corinthians 14:1 ‘Make love your aim’ in all she takes on.”
“As we proceed on life’s journey, we become familiar with organizations that we touch – our school, our parish, our university,” says Hurley. “But the information we have is only that which comes into our small circle. Our lens is pretty narrow.”
Now generously giving of her time, talent, and treasure, Hurley has served on the CCF Board of Directors for six years and has come to realize and appreciate that the CCF lens is wide.
“The foundation is truly a reservoir of information about our community’s needs, and they have an expansive range of touchpoints,” she says. “This multifaceted knowledge allows the foundation to respond appropriately to both urgent and perpetual community needs.”
Hurley and her husband, Tom Hurley, initiated a donor advised fund with CCF in 2013. In addition to regular grantmaking, they have now started a giving tradition with their three adult daughters Kate, 32, Jacki, 30, and Samantha, 27.
Annually, the family gets together to decide which charitable organizations will receive contributions from the fund’s earnings. Of the first gathering, Hurley says, “It was such a proud and heartwarming meeting for me. Each of the girls brought something to the table that was so uniquely them and so well thought out.”
As Hurley looks ahead, she hopes the family giving practice endures. “I want giving back to be inherent in the way our family operates,” she says.
“I hope, like my father said, there is a realization that someone built it for you.”
Julie Hurley, center, with husband Tom Hurley, right.