Community Giving

Brad and Kathy Wheelock

Fund Name: Brad and Kathy Wheelock Family Fund
Fund Established: February 3, 1997
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota

Whitney Wheelock cannot remember a time in her life when giving back was not a part of it.

"We started engaging our family in philanthropy when they were really young,” her father Brad Wheelock said.

It started out as an expectation to give $1 to church every Sunday.

“We didn’t care as much about the dollar amount,” Brad said. “We wanted them to start forming the habit.”

The couple soon saw their children develop a desire to give on their own. Corey, their middle son, loved video games and had been saving to buy a PlayStation gaming system. A trip in the car changed that. He was moved by a story he heard on KS95 during the radio station’s annual campaign for kids with cancer.

“I remember sitting at a stoplight and we looked at each other and both us of had tears in our eyes,” Brad said. “He said, ‘Dad, I’m going to pass on the PlayStation and I’m going to send all my money to KS95 to help that family.’”

Corey felt that day what his parents had been working to teach: the joy of giving. It’s a lesson that each of Brad and Kathy’s three children have learned.

“One of the most rewarding parts about it is not expecting anything in return,” Whitney said.

The feeling can instantly change your day and someone’s life, Kathy said. “You may feel like money is tight and then you give to someone who is in more need and it just makes you feel so much better.”

The Wheelocks have created another giving habit through their family fund at the Community Foundation. The Brad and Kathy Wheelock Family Fund allows the couple to give generously to their community and enables their children to do the same.

“I hope my legacy to our children will be that they think of others as much as they think of themselves and they will even put others before themselves,” Kathy said.