Corporate Philanthropy and Charities and Donors and Gifts and Philanthropy

Beck's contribution helps with Habitat land purchase

November 24, 2008
Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County planned to build its 50th home this year, but didn't have all the money to purchase the land when negotiations began.

"There is just this general feeling as we're proceeding with something, something's going to happen that will make it work," said Paul Wood, director of church relations at Habitat.

Then in early September, Wood received a call from Beck's Hybrids, a family-owned seed company in Atlanta. The company was considering where to make its annual gift, and wanted to hear more about Habitat for Humanity.

Shortly after Wood's presentation, Vice President Scott Beck called to say the family was impressed and wanted to start with a $25,000 check.

The gift sealed the purchase of a property at 19955 Hague Road in Noblesville. Josefina Saldivar and her three children, who used to live in a two-bedroom apartment, took occupancy of a four-bedroom, two-bath home on Nov. 15.

Like other Habitat homeowners, Saldivar takes on a zero-interest mortgage with a minimum monthly payment. Habitat for Humanity will help her budget for taxes, insurance and other homeowners' expenses.

"After meeting Josefina, I was very encouraged, and just happy we had done this," Beck said. "It helped to meet a real need at an important time in her and her family's life."

Scott Beck works with his father, company President Lawrence "Sonny" Beck, brother-in-law and facilities manager Todd Marschand and brother Tony Beck, who raises soy and corn seed on a 1,000-acre farm in Illinois.

Beck's Hybrids sets aside 10 percent of its profits each year to give to charity, which must be Christian-based. Beck said his wife Shantel and mother Glendia both had Habitat for Humanity on their radar for this year's gift.

The company also gave $5,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis during a fund-raising competition between Indiana University and Purdue University. (The Becks are Boilermakers.)

Scott Beck said there were multiple factors that made Habitat for Humanity attractive. He said the family liked the fact that "people in the whole community can pull together and participate and be part of it."

Beck said his family also considered Habitat's work to be "a hand-up, instead of a hand-out."

"That philosophy is very much needed," Beck said. "It's encouraging when you're giving to someone or an organization that is helping people that are truly striving to do the right thing and the right way."

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Know of a gift that IBJ should feature? Contact Kathleen McLaughlin at kmclaughlin@ibj.com.
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