Keeping Our Promises
During the Great Depression, Maurice Newkirk ran away from the orphanage where he grew up and began a journey through the western United States. Out of money, he hitchhiked a ride near Denver. At the end of the ride, the driver asked young Maurice whether he had any money. Maurice didn't. The driver handed Maurice a few dollars -- a considerable sum at that time. Maurice took out his pencil and paper to take the driver's address so that he could mail the money back. The driver told him that instead what he wanted Maurice to do was to promise that when Maurice met someone who was "down on his luck" that he would try to help the person out as best he could. Years later, after Maurice had died, we visited Ashland, Ohio where he had lived most of his life. Throughout the visit, people came up to us and repeated the same story. "You don't know about this," they would say. "But when [my wife was ill, we couldn't make tuition, I lost my job] Maurice helped us out. I don't know what we would have done without his help."
The William Newkirk and Cheryl Tschanz Family Foundation continues to keep this promise by funding charitable activities that support and enrich the lives of those less fortunate.