Giving is a Family Tradition
Norm Moenkhaus describes his mother and father as “always charitable.” He remembers seeing his dad head off to school board meetings and church events. His father proudly gave back to the organization that took care of him as a boy and raised him to understand that giving money is easy enough, but giving of yourself is the true blessing. They’re the principles that Moenkhaus has carried forward in raising his own family. “Giving is an attitude, and when someone has a healthy perspective on life, you can see it throughout the family,” says Moenkhaus.
Brought up in the General Protestant Children’s Home – which would become YouthBridge Community Foundation– Moenkhaus’ father served on the Board for 25 years. Following in his footsteps and continuing the family legacy, Moenkhaus and his son Jeff, have been part of the organization for more than 40 years.
“We have a deep commitment to YouthBridge and its focus on children, because we believe the health of our children will dictate the health of our communities,” says Moenkhaus. “But what also resonates is the emphasis on family giving and helping philanthropic families, similar to ours, have a real impact with their dollars.”
Moenkhaus says that without planning and purpose, charitable efforts can fall flat, and he’s proud of YouthBridge’s work to bring meaningful results. “We teach families – and individuals – not only how to plan but how to take a leadership role in the process, by aligning their giving with what touches them on a personal level,” he says. “And, through estate planning, their contribution can continue long after they’re gone.”
With a rich tradition of philanthropy, Moenkhaus says he sees St. Louisans giving freely and teaching their children to put aside self. “Learning to give is actually part of taking care of yourself. It enriches your body, mind and spirit, and the more you give, the more you get.”