For some, the high school years are the best of their lives, while for others they are a gauntlet to be endured. And yet, no matter what our high school experience is like, the lessons learned in those halls and classrooms often impact our lives long beyond graduation. Abundance Canada client Robert Konrad has stayed connected to his alma mater, UMEI Christian High School in Leamington, Ontario, for several decades. He has many happy memories of his time as a UMEI student, and in the years since he has volunteered on the board of directors and helped with countless fundraisers and activities. “I am passionate about empowering and equipping the next generation,” says Robert. Something that he has put into practice.
Since the beginning of their relationship, the Konrads have demonstrated generosity, a value they both hold dear. “When we got married, we knew that it didn’t take big money to make an impact,” Robert says, “We could have an impact just by giving our time and giving what we could.”
“When my parents passed away, they left us a small but significant inheritance and we wanted to do something meaningful with the money,” Robert explains. UMEI seemed a natural fit. The Konrad family used their inheritance to establish the UMEI STEM fund for current and future students, supporting science, technology and math skills.
Although it started with a decision to give generously from their financial resources, the STEM fund has proven to be a gift of more than just dollars and cents. The ideas, lessons, and discoveries the program has made possible continue to provide a strong foundation for young Canadians. “Today, our grandchildren attend the school,” says Robert, “and it’s been really encouraging to see firsthand the impact of our donation.”
After the Konrads made their gift, donations from other supporters soon followed, making the fund sustainable. Robert says, “A community that is generous will look different than a community that is not.” A profound statement that is taking root in this community, literally from the ground up, as they invest in their students.
The school is not the only place to which the Konrads give generously of their resources, and they have used the services of Abundance Canada to simplify the administration of their gifts. What inspires this generosity? Lois says simply, “Generosity makes this world a better place”. We couldn’t agree more.