Christmas time at the Schubbe household is not just about receiving gifts. They’ve made giving a central part of the holiday by making contributions in each others’ names to the Schubbe Family Fund, a permanent endowment established within the Community Foundation in 1998.
"Instead of giving gifts at Christmas time that they don’t need, they donate to the fund,” Burnell Schubbe said of his four children.
Sons Peter and John share a chiropractic practice in Appleton and Phillip lives in Iowa. Daughter Ann Wegge lives in Florida. Burnell and wife Vivian are Florida residents but spend summers in Minnesota, where both were raised. For practical reasons, Peter and John serve as the contacts for the fund, but the whole family talks about which charities to support.
Burnell, a retired Kimberly-Clark executive, likes the aspect of involving the whole family in their charitable giving.
“It starts educating your family for the future to help people who need it more than you do,” he said.
The Schubbes prefer their gifts to be difference makers. Instead of making a lot of small grants, they mostly recommend grants of several hundred or several thousand dollars. Grants covered the cost of a new roof for Burnell and Vivian’s church in Minnesota and work on Faith Lutheran in Appleton. Larger grants have helped programs at Appleton Medical Center, Habitat for Humanity in Sarasota, Fla., the annual Stock the Shelves food drive in the Fox Cities.
While they are partial to medical and church projects, Burnell said their fund is not directed at any given cause.
“We just hear of a need and go for it,” he said.