“A while back, my mother asked me to help her with her taxes, and along with all her papers, she gave me a shoebox full of receipts for donations she had made to dozens and dozens of different charities – dozens of charities! She gave to anyone who would ask!” Bill Bletzinger recalls.
He remembers how several years ago, he urged his mother to focus her generosity on causes that were important to her.
“I told her to choose five to seven charities, and support them,” he recalls. And then Bill realized he should probably be doing the same.
Bill and his wife Ruth have been concerned with hunger issues since the late 1980s, and have supported several organizations which work to solve hunger worldwide. More than ten years ago, they started donating to the Capital Area Food Bank.
“Hunger and food insecurity are global problems, but we can have an impact here,” Bill says.
“We did a tour of the Capital Area Food Bank a few months ago, and it was fantastic. It really is a brilliant operation,” Ruth says. She remembers seeing news reports on hunger in Washington, DC, and finding out that food banks were looking for help.
“It sounds sappy, but we feel very fortunate that we don’t have to worry where our next meal is coming from,” Ruth says. The Silver Spring couple has signed on to the multi-year pledge, committing to being a sustaining donor to the food bank over a five-year period.
“There are deep reasons why I find this is my cause. I grew up in a family where we recognized that it all turns on a dime. You never know what can happen. It is very important to have compassion and to help where we can help,” Ruth shares.
And the couple’s generosity even spills into their holiday traditions.
“We are always looking for ways to do good while at the same time encouraging others to do good, too,” says Bill, noting how important he thinks it is to support the community.
“Over the holidays, instead of exchanging gifts, we exchange contributions. We ask friends and family to make contributions to causes that we support, and they ask us to support their causes!”