Hope in Action
As we approach Thanksgiving, we’re more grateful than ever for your support. While the people we serve at Ray of Hope continue to face growing challenges, your gifts of time, treasure and prayers translate into essential services that truly make a difference in their lives. Because of you, empty bellies are filled, troubled youth find guidance, and those who are struggling receive help.
Thank you for loving your neighbour, and may you have a blessed and peaceful holiday!
How Robert Kruse’s decision to donate his salary led to a lifetime of “Jubilee work.”
The professor at St. Mary’s University in Halifax had written a computer science textbook. By 1988 it had become a best seller in its market and the resulting royalties now exceeded his salary. Many people wouldn’t see this as a problem, but as a Christian, Robert believed Jesus’ declaration that no one can serve two masters; “You cannot serve both God and wealth.” He worried about the growing hold that excess wealth would have on him.
In 1990, Robert made a bold decision. He decided to give away his entire salary for the next year. “My goal was to break the power of money in my life, once and for all,” he says.
More than 30 years later, Robert’s commitment to his faith and to that decision are undiminished, and through the years hundreds of people have benefited from his generosity, including people served by Ray of Hope.
With advice and oversight from his church, Robert created what they called the Jubilee Fund, implementing principles of restoration, freedom, and empowerment for people held captive by all kinds of bondage: poverty, hunger, sickness, addiction, lack of education, debt, and other evils that imprison and destroy people.
At the end of that year, Robert had found his year of joyful giving so rewarding that he wanted to keep it going, which he did. In 1993, he formalized it by establishing a small foundation called The Jubilee Charitable Trust, registered it as a charity, and allocated all the royalties that might come from his growing series of successful textbooks to funding the Trust.
It wasn’t long until the AIDS epidemic was ravaging sub-Saharan Africa, killing many thousands of people, leaving many orphans, and destroying hope. So the Jubilee Trust began doing all it could, especially in western Kenya. It started with helping a large indigenous Kenyan church develop an orphanage for nearly 200 children, overflowing until it became the largest one-site orphanage and school in all Kenya.
As this ministry became more stable, Jubilee Trust began helping KEDHAP, a grassroots group of indigenous, rural Kenyan Mennonites who were already doing all they could, with essentially no money, to care for their neighbours suffering from AIDS. As AIDS lessened, KEDHAP expanded into community development, poverty relief, education, health care, empowerment of girls and women, peacemaking, and emergency relief projects. KEDHAP is still growing and serving its rural area as a real blessing in all these ways.
In 2005, Robert moved to Kitchener-Waterloo, drawn by personal and professional connections. He was impressed by how much was being done in this community to help those dealing with poverty, substance misuse and homelessness, as well as by local groups working in the same area of Kenya as KEDHAP.
Robert eventually began supporting Ray of Hope, in part because of the strong Christian message underlying the organization’s programs, but also because he recognized Ray of Hope’s need for additional money to fund its ministries to a growing clientele.
Today, Robert continues Jubilee giving, but the means have changed. In 2021, he transferred the assets and disbursements from the Jubilee Trust into a newly launched Jubilee Gifting Fund with Abundance Canada, a public foundation that offers a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). The Foundation helps donors create individualized giving plans to achieve their philanthropic goals while managing all their charitable contributions through a single location. This method of giving allows Robert to recommend where and when funds are distributed.
“I’m over eighty now and I’d much rather entrust a group like Abundance Canada to do the paperwork than spend hours and hours doing bookkeeping and filling in government forms,” Robert explains.
Abundance Canada is also helping Robert plan his charitable bequests from his estate, ensuring causes like Ray of Hope that are doing “Jubilee work” will continue to benefit from his generosity, even after his death.
When asked what he hopes his legacy will be, Robert quotes a friend and fellow philanthropist, J. Neysmith, who once said “Bob, we are so privileged to be working with people who will never even know our names, whom we will never meet — until that joyful day we meet around the Throne of God.”
“That’s where I’ll be,” Neysmith said. And so will Robert.
Our website is getting an updated look this month. We wanted to make it easier for our guests, volunteers, participants and parents to more easily access our services. Stay tuned for more. Once the website launches, we’ll post to Ray of Hope’s Facebook and Instagram pages to keep you in the loop.
When you give, you make life a little easier for people in our community who are struggling with food insecurity. Thank you!
The Marketplace food hamper program continues to run low on all items and the following are especially needed:
For more information, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are appreciated!
You can also feed hungry people through our secure donation page.