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Why I Give: “You Don’t Have to Be a Millionaire” to Give Back to Community

A couple smiles outside on a balcony with a city in the background

United Way Staff


Brenda and Chris Wicker believe giving is for everyone. “Philanthropy” may sound like something only wealthy people do, or something you might save for later in life. But as Chris Wicker says: “This is for everyone. And it’s rewarding for everyone” – whether through volunteering or giving a financial gift of any size. Watch the video to hear their perspective.

Informed by lived experience

The Wickers invited us into their home to share their approach to giving back in community. Brenda and Chris are each veterans, and the couple adopted their son after he’d been placed in foster care. Their experiences serving in the military and becoming parents helped shape their giving decisions.

Estate planning as young parents

As a veteran and now a parent, Brenda says you don’t have to be older to think about legacy. That's why the couple included a planned gift to Greater Twin Cities United Way in their will as one part of their philanthropy. “The thing I care most about in my community is leaving it better for my son than I found it,” Chris said.

About the Author

Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. Together with our partners, we’re meeting immediate community needs while transforming inequitable systems in the areas of housing, food, education and jobs.

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