Today is Wednesday, and you know what that means! Time to look around at some of the good people in this world who are doing good things to help other. I have only two today … not that I couldn’t find more, for I could … but I got a bit carried away with these two and ran out of time and space. But, I think you’ll love these two women!
Eva Gordon of Seattle, Washington, lived to be 105 years old! Sadly, Eva died last June, but … many will have reason to remember her for much longer. Let me tell you just a little bit about Ms. Gordon.
She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and though she very much wished to attend college, it was the height of the Great Depression, and the money simply wasn’t there. Eventually she moved to Seattle where she took a job as a trading assistant at an investment firm. She was a frugal woman, salting away whatever she could, saving for a rainy day. Early in her career, she began investing in a small way, buying partial shares in oil companies and other industries; when Nordstrom went public, Ms. Gordon was one of the earliest investors. She also invested in Seattle utility companies.
In 1964, when she was in her 50s, she married Ed Gordon, a Navy pilot-turned-stockbroker. They had no children, but were always close to Ms. Gordon’s godson, John Jacobs, a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley in Seattle. In her early years in Seattle, Eva had shared a room with Jacob’s mother and the two became close friends.Ed Gordon died in 2008, and Eva continued just as she always had with her frugal ways. And so it was that when Eva died last June, nobody realized the wealth she had amassed. So much, in fact, that she left $10 million to be split among multiple technical and community colleges in King and Pierce Counties in Washington. According to Jacobs, who represents her estate …
“A lot of people didn’t know the wealth she had. If there was a coupon for two-for-one at Applebee’s, she was all about that. She liked seeing students working, earning and doing things. Her goal was to provide an opportunity for those folks who could ill-afford it, whether vocational training or an academic skill.”
Jacobs informed the schools that while there are no stipulations in Gordon’s will and testament for how the money should be used, she expressed her preference for the money to help the disadvantaged students of her adopted home state.
Each of 17 colleges will receive approximately $550,000. This isn’t the case of some wealthy philanthropist sharing some of his wealth … this is a woman who lived frugally, clipped coupons, and saved her money so that when she died she could help others have the education she was denied.
Thanks to Scott Lawlor for sending me this story!
Linda Herring is a spring chicken at age 75, as compared to Eva Gordon, but Linda gets to share this week’s ‘good people’ spotlight because in her 75 years, she has been a foster parent to … wait for it … more than 600 children!
Herring and her husband Bob began taking in foster children some 50 years ago …
“My best friend was doing foster care for teenage girls and I thought, ‘Well, that would be nice to do the same,’ but I wanted little kids. So, I talked to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with medical needs.”
As a foster mom, Herring ran a home daycare for local families and worked as a night custodian in a nearby high school. If that wasn’t enough, she also volunteered as a first responder for nearly 50 years.
Herring was known by everyone in Johnson County, Iowa, for never turning away a child, no matter their age, gender, or special needs, and would regularly travel to pick up foster children who needed a home.
Linda and Bob adopted three of their foster children, adding to their five biological children. Two of Herring’s adopted foster children have severe medical and special needs. One of them, Dani, is fully dependent on others for care. While Dani wasn’t expected to live long after her birth, she is now 29 years old.
Herring passed on what she likes to call her “foster care trait.” Four of her biological children have fostered children, and three of them followed their parents’ footsteps and adopted kids of their own. Three of her grandchildren fostered children as well. This is the great thing about good people … they inspire others to become good people too!According to her son, Anthony …
“She also worked hard to keep families together. Keeping siblings together. Helping biological parents make the changes needed to be able to keep their children. She always makes sure a new child in her home was given a professional photograph that was placed on the wall in the living room. That seems like a small thing, but it helps them feel like they’re at home.”
When it comes to Herring’s inspiration to foster children, she had one explanation: love.
“I would just love my foster kids just like they were my own, probably more than I should. I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child. But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.”
Last October Herring chose to stop fostering children due to health concerns. After announcing her decision to stop, Herring was honored by the Johnson County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors, with a resolution of appreciation.
“The Department of Human Services would call Linda in the middle of the night to take a child, and she would meet anywhere to get a child. Linda mostly fostered young children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender. No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they’re wearing.”
While Herring’s time as a foster parent is over, she enjoys the photos and cards she receives from the children she fostered after they’ve been adopted. Her favorite part is when her foster children come back to visit after they’ve grown up.
I raised three children and I can tell you that alone exhausted me … I am in awe of this woman who gave of herself so selflessly and tirelessly. Two thumbs up to Linda Herring! 👍👍
A bit of a bonus today … after I finished this post, I was trying to catch up on friends’ blogs, and came across two who had posted something about good people, so I am including a link to JoAnna’s and Bee’s posts! Thank you both for adding to the good news of the day!
I hope the tales of Eva and Linda have brightened your day just a bit, helped you remember that there are a lot of people out there giving so much, whether money or time or just love. And remember, folks, let’s all try to do our part to be a good people, ‘k?