The Richard G. and Dorothy E. Revord Family Charitable Fund
It began in the 1930s when teenaged Dick Revord witnessed his parents faithfully contributing five dollars to the collection basket each Sunday at St. Augustine in Austin, Minnesota— despite having few resources and five children to feed. Today that weekly gift would be worth nearly $70, a fortune in the hard times of the Great Depression.
That quiet lesson in generosity from the first generation shaped the life Dick shared with his wife of 66 years, Dorothy, and their own family of four children. In 2003, Dick and Dorothy established a Donor Advised Fund at the Catholic Community Foundation, both to steward their lifetime of philanthropy and to create an infrastructure for a permanent legacy of generosity.
Over the years, Dick and Dorothy made provisions to direct assets from their estate, in addition to any assets remaining in their Donor Advised Fund, to a permanent endowment.
The Richard G. and Dorothy E. Revord Family Charitable Fund is invested at the Catholic Community Foundation for growth and permanently provides an annual gift to several local charities. These charities, chosen by Dick and Dorothy, support the poor, terminally ill, young mothers, seminarians and children attending Catholic elementary schools.
Dick recalled Dorothy turning to him after reading a note from a beneficiary of one of their gifts and saying, “Aren’t we lucky we can do this?”
Gifts Of The Third & Fourth Generation
Though the Revords didn’t boast about their charitable works, their philanthropy had a deep and lasting influence on all their children.
Their daughter Mary remembers a discussion about Christmas gifts when her mother’s wish was a donation to Mother Teresa. Following her mother’s example and advice, she always made donations to her sons’ school in lieu of giving their teachers coffee cups or other small tokens of gratitude. “I did this for years, and it was always appreciated,” said Mary.
Mary’s sister Judith took on the obligations of delivering food and care to homebound people in the San Francisco Bay area.
“I know I have been influenced by my mother, who was a very generous person. I imagine much of that came from her parents,” says Judith’s son David.
Mary sees this pattern of generosity taking root in the next generation, “Our oldest son is a tradesman and charges extremely reasonable fees to customers with limited means. And our younger son spends almost every weekend coaching children’s baseball and basketball. Each of them has found a way to give back to the community.
A Limitless Legacy of Generosity
And so a legacy of generosity that began with Dick Revord’s parents passed through their lives into the lives of their children and their children’s children. This generational legacy of philanthropy, in addition to the permanent endowment created at the Catholic Community Foundation, will benefit untold thousands of people in the years to come. What the Revord family teaches is that none of us can anticipate the ultimate impact of our simple, quiet gestures of generosity.