Barbara Marmon and Bette Ederer are focused on preparing for the future. Recently, the couple moved to a one-story house within their community for homeowners 55+ years of age. In addition to pairing down their belongings and planning for Barbara’s retirement, they’ve focused on how to continue giving back to the community.
For the Tigard couple, philanthropy has always been about the collective. “We're all in this together and that's kind of the bigger picture,” says Barbara. It’s this perspective that motivated Barbara and Bette to become United Way advocates.
They both first learned of United Way through their companies’ workplace campaigns. "I can remember when United Way used to be called Community Chest," recalls Bette. "I was a director of human resources for Marriott Hotels, that's what brought me to Portland, and we would connect with United Way during Marriott's workplace campaign."
Barbara started her career with United Way when a colleague suggested she serve as a loaned executive, part of a unique program in which United Ways recruit corporate employees to lend their expertise and energy in assisting with seasonal workplace campaign efforts. “I wasn't going to do it,” laughs Barbara. “But Bette said, ‘Why don't you give it a shot?’ Famous last words, huh? It's good I listened.”
Since then Barbara has gone on to serve as a United Way employee for the last 18 years, compassionately connecting donors to programs and impact they care about. Bette also served as a loaned executive for two years, encouraging employees to get involved and give back.
With United Way’s centennial fast approaching, the couple has seen the organization evolve. “I feel good about United Way’s focus on children, families and reducing poverty,” says Barbara. “Children need a good start in life and we're helping to create those opportunities.”
Barbara and Bette hope to create more opportunities for kids well into the future. Through planned giving, the couple will continue their legacy of philanthropy over the next 30+ years. “A planned gift is simply about supporting who and what you love beyond your lifetime,” says Barbara. “And that includes charities that are doing work in the community that you value.”