INSIGHTSPARTNERS IN PHILANTHROPY
Charity Spotlight: JB Wilson
Delivering Nourishment, Receiving Gratitude
In July 2016, JB Wilson, found he had more time than usual after leaving the office in the evening. He had always been very thoughtful and committed to tithing, but was in search of a non-financial way to give back. After browsing the University Place classified ads, he came across an opportunity, one with a meaningful connection to his past. Lutheran Community Services in Tacoma – South Puget Sound, Washington, was in search of a driver for Meals on Wheels. He quickly made the call.
“Growing up my mom was a pastor, and she always made homemade meals for the homeless,” explained JB. “We would join her on her deliveries and learned how to connect with others in positions that were unfamiliar to us. We learned we were the fortunate ones.”
Meals on Wheels delivers close to 15,000 meals a year throughout Pierce County, and they were in need of another driver. JB joined a team of one and eagerly committed seven hours a week to the program.
“My task was to deliver meals, but I was delivering much more,” explained JB. “In many cases, I would be the only one to visit and talk with the people on my route each week. Usually with the Meals on Wheels program the drivers are seniors too, so the seniors on my route enjoyed having someone younger knock on their door. They wanted to talk with me and share their stories.”
Meals on Wheels has no age restrictions and is available to anyone who is unable to shop or prepare a meal for themselves including those struggling to make ends meet, seniors, people with disabilities and those who are recovering from an illness. Every week, a minimum of seven nutritious, client-selected, frozen meals are delivered to every household on the Lutheran Community Services, Tacoma – South Puget Sound program. JB’s route consisted of 47 households and individuals.
“So often, we are quick to judge others, but when you listen to someone’s story your perspective changes,” explained JB. “Many people I delivered meals to had endured many hardships, yet they were still grateful and would talk of others less fortunate. I admire their courage and have become deeply grateful for my blessings.”
JB’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter accompanied him for several deliveries. “Gratefulness, not obligation, is what drove me to this charity and that’s what I want to instill in my children,” said JB. “I’ve brought my step-daughter, and as my daughter gets older, it’s something I will involve her with too.”
Beyond tithing and Meals on Wheels, JB feels fortunate to be able to open the door to greater charitable giving through his work as a financial planner. “What I’ve come to understand is that the biggest barrier to people giving financially is that they don’t know they have the flexibility to do so,” explained JB. “Once their financial house is in order, and they see they have more flexibility, it opens the door to giving.”
As a result of his values-based financial planning process, which helps people determine what to do with their excess wealth, several of JB’s clients have started donor-advised funds. “Once you donate your time, you experience greater fulfillment beyond giving money, but in my profession, it’s also gratifying to help people realize they can give too,” stated JB.
Since the birth of his daughter this past October, JB has taken a break from delivering for Meals on Wheels but knows he will return when she’s older and time allows.
To donate or get involved with Meals on Wheels through Lutheran Community Services in Tacoma – South Puget Sound visit: http://lcsnw.org/program/meals-on-wheels/
To learn more about JB (James B. Wilson VII, CFP®) and Cornerstone Financial Strategies, visit: http://liveyourideallife.com/employee/james-b-wilson-vii-cfp/