Sharing Values Across Generations

Scott Christopher is one of the founding members of the Christopher Family Foundation. Recently, one of our honorary Distribution Committee members, Ben (age 14), met with Scott to learn more about what the Foundation’s work means to him and the values he hopes to pass along to future members of the Foundation.

Ben: Can you talk a bit more about why you choose to participate in the Foundation?

Scott:  I think basically, Ben, it’s a family doing. I was honored to be asked, and I think it’s a duty of us to do that.

Ben: How would you say participating relates to your faith?

Scott: I’ll give you a practical example. One of the charities I support is Harmony Community Cares, where Reverend Brooks is now the pastor. By supporting their work for people who are really in need of food and housing, it’s a way I can show my faith.

Ben: What is the greatest gift you’ve received?

Scott: The best gift I ever received was my faith. That I’m a forgiven sinner, and that’s the best gift that Jesus gave to all of us.

Ben: When you think about the future of the Foundation, what’s one of the values that you hope is preserved as the next generation is coming in?

Scott: If people can’t eat or have housing, that to me takes priority over other issues. There’s a lot of biblical messages on supporting people who are poor. That’s my number one priority.

Ben: How does your involvement with the Foundation impact your relationship with family?

Scott: If anything, it’s made me grow closer with everybody. We joke a lot, we have a lot of fun, but we also have serious business. We get to know everybody a little better because you get to express what’s important to you. I felt that I was hopefully instrumental in directing us to take more of an approach to poorer people. We were going to Blackhawks games a lot, and a lot of the violence in Chicago was taking place a few miles west of the United Center and a few miles south. And here we were going to hockey games while the city’s suffering, so I felt that was a very important issue to address.

Ben: I know you do a lot of personal giving outside of the Foundation as well. What do you focus on in your personal giving?

Scott: My top priorities and most of my personal giving goes towards Grace Church and hunger organizations. I do support Walther quite a bit, and Valpo. I ran track four years at Walther, and I ran varsity track three years at Valpo, and I had good experiences and watched a lot of good basketball games! I have good memories of that.

Ben: Has COVID changed how you choose to give to organizations?

Scott: I upped my own personal giving quite a bit. Most of the extra giving went to food pantries. At the beginning of the pandemic, there were so many people not getting food, so the extra mostly went to food pantries. Hunger is my most important focus. On a local level, I support Harmony Community Cares. On more of a regional level, I support the Northern Illinois Food Bank, and at a national level, Feeding America. And then the ELCA has a fund to support worldwide hunger.

Ben: Thanks for answering my questions! Good seeing you!