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In February 1993, Paul Barnes began a "Journey of Joy" with St. Mary's Food Bank serving as Director of Development. He was named Executive Director in 1996. Says Paul, "It was one of the greatest privileges of my life to have been associated with the Food Bank's founder, John van Hengel, and St. Mary's Food Bank for those 11 years."
Paul retired from the Food Bank in 2003, but while serving as Director of Development and Executive Director, he knew that he could not ask other people to financially support St. Mary's if he was not willing to do so himself. He had always been accustomed to making charitable gifts to his church, his college and the non-profit organizations he had served. And, being committed to the mission of the Food Bank made it easy to be a generous donor.
When talking about charitable giving, Paul says, "There is one word that always comes to mind. That word is stewardship." Both Paul and his wife, Barbara, were raised in homes where the word "stewardship" was not a foreign language. They were taught, and have proven to themselves by experience, that nothing they have is truly theirs. "It is all a gift," says Paul. "Life, health, material goods are all gifts from a loving God. We are all stewards - caretakers - of these gifts entrusted to us. So, as an act of stewardship we have tried to live within our means, plan for the future, and share what is left with others through planned charitable giving. We have been blessed. We are not wealthy, but we have plenty. We can't make large gifts now, but we can share more generously with good planning."
Paul and Barbara have found St. Mary's Food Bank worthy of their planned gift, as well as their current giving. They "find fulfillment in this act of spiritual and financial stewardship." Their "Journey of Joy" is not over yet.