Family Philanthropy in Action
For Buzz and Cathy Loew, giving is part of their DNA. They both grew up in giving families as Buzz’s dad was a Presbyterian minister and Cathy’s dad was a devout Catholic.
“It was just something instilled in us at a very young age,” Cathy Loew said.
Over the years, they’ve supported a variety of causes and interests. But the most fun they’ve had while giving included foster care.
“Many years ago we anonymously helped pay for lawyer fees for a foster adoption,” Cathy said. “Sometimes I would bump into this family in the community. It was fun to see them as a family. And if they could take a ‘leap of faith’ adopting foster kids, we could certainly lighten their financial burden. We did the easy part.”
Last year, the Loew’s opened a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation. Cathy, who volunteers with the Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence, had met Randy Redner, the Community Foundation’s president and CEO, through attending some of the nonprofit education seminars they offer.
“I loved learning about the other nonprofits in our community and Randy was so charismatic and mentoring,” she said. “We needed a place to ‘park’ our charitable donations and with the tax laws changing, there was no better option than opening a donor advised fund through the Community Foundation.
“Of course, money is a personal subject, but if you donate money to charity, and are concerned about taxes, donating appreciated stock is a great strategy. Plus, a donor advised fund still leaves you in control and with a great deal of flexibility.”
For the Loew’s, being involved in their community – whether through giving money or time – is important. They’ve lived in Gwinnett for 17 years and have watched their children experience many benefits, including a world-class school system.
“Our children have received a phenomenal education,” Cathy said. “Olivia attended the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology and Eddie graduates from Norcross High School this May. Our youngest, Elyse, is still in middle school.”
Last June, Cathy began volunteering as a grant writer for Norcross High School.
“Norcross High School is a Title 1 school with a 69% free or reduced lunch student population. All three of our kids have had dedicated and passionate teachers and it is a small way I can give back to Norcross,” she said.
Along with her grant writing work, Cathy has also been involved in all the PTAs at the kids’ schools. Buzz, who is an operating officer at Travelers Insurance, is active in the Boy Scouts and the Norcross High School Marching Band.
As far as hobbies?
“Our kids are our hobbies,” Cathy said. “Buzz hiked the Philmont Trail (100 miles) with Eddie last summer. We also have swim team, meeting up with Olivia wherever she is studying, chaperoning Elyse’s choir trips and reading financial reports for grant writing.”
For Cathy and Buzz, giving through the Community Foundation ties into their desire to help their community.
“I am a walking billboard for the Community Foundation. People sort of glaze over when I bring it up,” Cathy laughed. “We are honored to be a part of the wonderful work the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia does for our community.”