Hope College has always been an important part of David and Rhonda Byrne’s story. They met there and both of their sons chose to attend there. David and Rhonda were even married by the school’s chaplain, who offered advice the Byrnes have followed ever since.
“He told us as soon as we got married to start giving and to make it a habit,” said David. “That’s what we’ve tried to do.”
The couple has found plenty of ways to give. Even their careers—David is a lawyer and Rhonda is a social worker—are a way for them to help others.
They have also partnered with the Community Foundation in their giving. They like that it is an easy, locally-focused way to make an impact. “Every day we can see people who have benefitted from others giving and from the Community Foundation,” said Rhonda. “We know it’s well-managed and the Community Foundation makes it easy for us.”
In addition to joining Our Next 75, the Byrnes created a scholarship to help local graduates who want to attend their alma mater.
“I went to a scholarship luncheon while I was a student,” said David. “I remember meeting the people helping me go to college and I thought, ‘Someday I want to help someone else.’ We hope this scholarship encourages somebody to dream.”