June 22, 2020
People Incorporated is honored by the many donors who utilize philanthropy to live their values. We recently connected with Nancy Reed, and asked her to share her story about how philanthropy helped her and her late husband, Ron, live their values. They have made a significant impact on People Incorporated through the Ron & Nancy Reed Legacy Fund, a special endowment held by The Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation that provides funds to People Incorporated for scholarships to individuals of color completing master’s level internships that we provide.
Ron and I both came from difficult family backgrounds, which helped form our desire to give back to our community. I grew up in poverty in a small town in Minnesota. My mother was a widow at a young age who struggled to raise 9 children. Ron grew up in an orphanage in Indiana with his two brothers, a result of his birth parents getting a divorce. This background led us both to pursue professional education in the areas of human services and health services. Ron earned a Masters of Social Work at the University of Michigan with financial assistance from the Masonic Children’s Home where he spent most of his youth. Ron’s career included serving as a CEO of several non-profit organizations, retiring in 2013 from Family Service of St. Paul. He then became a consultant to non-profits until his death in 2014. Nancy earned a Master in Public Health degree from the University of MN with assistance from federal stipends and worked as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and then as a health care director the last 15 years of her career.
Family was always important to us. Our two sons, one who is biological and one who is adopted from Korea, are now both well-educated and working in helping professions. Our family also currently includes three young grandsons and a puppy. While our sons were growing up, the value of diversity and respect for people from all cultures and communities was emphasized. We spent time with a large extended family including many aunts, uncles, and cousins. We enjoyed traveling also. One of our many family trips was a Homeland Tour to Korea sponsored by Children’s Home Society so that we could learn more about our son’s Korean roots and culture and even meet some of his birth family members.
Because of our values related to diversity and our belief that non-profit organizations needed to include staff members of color to serve their respective communities of color, Ron and I decided to develop a Legacy Fund through the St. Paul Foundation for that purpose. This Ron & Nancy Reed Legacy Fund started while Ron was still the CEO of Family Service of St. Paul. Following a lifetime of service to communities of color, Ron chose to dedicate the purpose of this Fund to financially help students of color to pursue a master’s level education in the helping professions of social work, psychology and related fields. I have personally met some of the students who received the funds through this endowment. I was impressed with the student’s commitment to serve their respective communities as well as with the commitment of the staff at People Incorporated.
Since the Ron and Nancy Reed Fund is an endowment that will continue for years to come, our family is grateful for this opportunity to bring along new generations of social service professionals to serve our diverse communities. As our country and our communities become even more diverse, our hope is that these funds will inspire students of color to seek educational opportunities to help their own communities and enhance services in their workplace settings. Also, our hope is that this type of endowment will encourage other potential donors to find a valuable purpose for their financial contributions to the mental health profession and to mental health organizations.
Our team is ready to help you explore ways you can make an impact. There is no minimum requirement to make a legacy gift. Your support can make a difference now and for years to come.