Just before the birth of their daughter Evie, Wes and Melissa Miller started a build-a-fund at the Community Foundation. The process allows them to build up to the endowment fund minimum over a five-year period. Once completed, the Millers can recommend grants from their advised fund to the projects and causes that matter most to their family.

“We established the fund out of gratitude,” said Melissa. “We wanted to give back.”

Both Wes and Melissa grew up active in their communities, a priority that has extended into their adult lives. Wes is a program officer at the Community Foundation and Melissa is the coordinator of WE CAN! Newaygo County and mentor for Early College Newaygo County. Now they look forward to teaching their daughter about the importance of giving back.

“The fund will allow us to support good work in the community while teaching Evie about philanthropy,” said Wes. “We can tell her that we have this fund at the Community Foundation and we can use it to support the things we care about. We can make it a family tradition.”

“We’ve been blessed,” he added. “The resources that we’ve been given aren’t ours, we’re just stewards. Newaygo County has given us a lot and this is a great way to say thanks.”