Carrying Forward Family Traditions of Giving Back

Published: April 8, 2021 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:
Brian and Julie Privett

In 2011, Brian and Julie Privett had to decide where to put down roots. Brian had just finished his ophthalmology residency at the University of Iowa and Julie had been working as a physician assistant in Cedar Rapids. While planning their wedding, they were also busily scouring the country for the best place to settle down and eventually start a family.

“We researched options coast to coast,” Julie said. “We knew we wanted to live someplace not too big and not too small, with a reputation for providing great healthcare.”

After considering all their options, the Privetts realized the best choice was right in front of them.

The Corridor’s strong healthcare community, good schools, and numerous youth organizations made it a top candidate for best place to live. Brian and Julie also have family in Colorado and throughout the Midwest, so the Eastern Iowa Airport even played a role in their decision.

Ultimately, Brian joined the well-respected ophthalmologists at Iowa Eye Center in Cedar Rapids, just down the road from Julie’s cardiology office.

As their family grew, so did their love and appreciation for the area. “When possible, we try to take advantage of the many things Cedar Rapids has to offer youth,” they said. “Everything from art and music classes to trying out different sports, hiking, and going to concerts and shows.” When they could, the Privetts gave back to the nonprofit organizations that provided these arts, culture, entertainment and educational opportunities.

Through his role as a volunteer on the board of the Hawkeye Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, Brian eventually heard about the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

“We were giving to a few organizations separately,” Brian said. “But through the Community Foundation, we realized we could set up a donor-advised fund that could give support to several organizations while also growing.”

Brian and Julie established an endowed donor-advised fund, which will allow them to choose which causes and organizations to support as the fund grows.

The decision—much like their decision to settle down in Cedar Rapids—was not taken lightly. The Privett family considered all the ways they might be able to support the organizations they care about before arriving at the donor-advised fund.

“We like the flexibility, but it’s also a good deal,” they said. “The organizations we were already giving to will receive more support from the same size gift.” Knowing that it will provide gifts to the community as their kids grow up is also important for the Privetts.

“My parents and Brian’s showed us by example that investing in your community, whether it be financially if you’re able, or through volunteering, can make things better for everyone,” Julie said. As their children grow older, Brian and Julie look forward to discussing charitable giving and making decisions as a family. “We want our kids to continue the family tradition of helping others and giving back.”

Like many, the Privett family felt a renewed sense of generosity during the challenges of 2020.

“We are thankful for the groups addressing basic needs, like housing and food insecurity,” Julie said. “We’re also hopeful that it won’t be too much longer before we can go out and enjoy arts and culture and youth activities again safely. We know that if we want these valuable organizations to outlast the pandemic, they need our support now more than ever.”

Visit the Nonprofit Giving Center and the Nonprofit Calendar to search for a nonprofit fund, organization, cause, or event to support.