Eldor and Delores Kaiser have been Lutherans and Wheat Ridge Ministries/We Raise Foundation supporters for almost their entire lives. Their financial support dates to 1985, but Eldor says his relationship with the organization began long before that.
“When I was a child, my father—who was a pastor—would order the Wheat Ridge Christmas Seals, and I would go after church and talk to people about them, and they would give me usually a dollar for the Seals,” he says.
Eldor remembers sending out Wheat Ridge Seals when he was a member of the Walther League, a youth organization of the Lutheran church. Later, as a youth director, he had the young people in his congregation mail them out to people and then worked with them to process the contributions.
When the Kaisers lived in Wisconsin in the early 2000s, they were tapped by then Wheat Ridge President Rich Bimler to serve as Area Representatives. Eldor remembers when he was on the staff of the Board of Youth Ministry, and the Board called Rich to be on the staff. Rich was youth director at Trinity in Mission, Kansas, at that time.
As Area Representatives, the Kaisers would visit congregations to tell the organization’s story, distribute materials, and share how churches and individuals could show their support.
“We always liked Wheat Ridge’s concept of starting up new ministries and supporting them until they are self-sufficient,” Eldor says. “I really like the theme of hope and health—I think those are great words and can be interpreted in a lot of ways and I like that.”
The Kaisers continued their friendship with Rich and his wife, Hazel, and over the years they attended and enjoyed several events where they heard from Wheat Ridge partners and grantees. Eldor remembers being especially inspired by Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, founder of Bright Stars of Bethlehem and President of Diyar, a consortium of Lutheran institutions serving the entire Palestinian community through culture, health, education, and heritage programs since 1995. “His story was very impactful—it showed that Wheat Ridge was making a difference through its support,” Eldor says.
Because they continue to believe in what We Raise Foundation does today and they value their relationship with the organization, the Kaisers set up a charitable remainder trust so their support can live on.
“We have been supportive of We Raise for so long that it’s just part of our DNA by now, and that’s a good thing,” notes Eldor. “You have to select what you’re going to support and be loyal to it and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve been blessed to be able to do it.”
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