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Jean Garinger Named 2020 Generosity Award Recipient

Updated: May 26, 2021

Generous is the first word that most people would use to describe Jean Garinger, recipient of the Derby Community Foundation 2020 Generosity Award. “Generous is her lifestyle. She sees need and doesn’t wait for someone else to come to the aid. Jean is the first to step up and she gives without any hesitation,” said Lisa Woolsey who nominated Garinger for the award.

A few examples of Garinger’s generous acts include:

Kansas Honor Flight – American Family Insurance is a national sponsor of Honor Flights and when they wanted to support the Kansas Honor Flights program, they looked to their local agent and community leader, Jean Garinger, to be part of a $2,500 donation to the Kansas Honor Flights (KHF) program. It was because of that connection between American Family and Kansas Honor Flights that ignited a desire in Jean to do something big that could bring awareness and funding to Kansans who deserve the Honor Flight experience.

Jean created an event that would support our local veterans: Handbags for Heroes, a gala event featuring an auction of high-end purses. Sadly, the event was put on hold due to the pandemic. However, Jean conducted two online auctions of handbags and has secured over $3,700 additional dollars for Kansas Honor Flights.

Providing Office Space - Jean Garinger’s generosity does not end at financial support. She is willing to give and share any resources, including allowing non-profit organizations to use space in her office to support their programs. The sharing of office space started when a small, local church needed office space because their weekend meeting space did not allow for an office during the week. Without hesitation she recognized the need (without being asked) and offered to donate an office to the pastor so the church could have a permanent location to accomplish administrative work. When the church no longer needed the office space, Jean recognized that another local non-profit could utilize the space she has available in her office and she offered her space to Circles of Derby.

Simultaneously, she converted space in her office into a storage location for a national non-profit that provides support to women in crisis pregnancies (Saving Our Sisters). She now has a makeshift warehouse of baby supplies, children’s clothes and maternity clothes that a mom in need can access free of charge.

Sponsor Extraordinaire - Any local organization who is looking for an event sponsor knows they will find a soft heart with Jean Garinger. While she won’t tell you out loud how much she donates each year to local organizations, the sponsorship and contributions can be seen everywhere. Derby Schools are a routine beneficiary of Jean’s financial generosity. Jean has sponsored summertime lunches for the parents and guardians of children taking advantage of the summer free lunch program that ensures that any child in USD 260 has access to a meal.

Jean Garinger has also been a great friend of the Derby Community Foundation, by sponsoring the annual gala, Uncorked, and by serving on the DCF’s Marketing Committee. Jean also opened a donor advised fund with the Derby Community Foundation from which she awards grants to local non-profits who are serving the community.

“There does not exist anywhere a person with more enthusiasm and passion for generosity than Jean Garinger.”

Also nominated for the 2020 Generosity Award were: Pleasantview Baptist Church-Brad Beets for their support of Swaney Elementary School; and the Keith & Amy Bruso Family (Keith, Amy, Parker, Conner and Alexis) for the many ways they serve the community through volunteerism.

The Derby Community Foundation is proud to recognize these 3 nominees for their generous acts. Do you know someone who makes a difference in the Derby area? Nominate them for the 2021 Generosity Award. The nomination form may be found on this website under the "Applications" tab.

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