Mark One Off of the Bucket List
I recently had the opportunity to mark another item off of my bucket list. After I went skydiving several years ago, I decided my next bucket item would be to go white-water rafting in my home state of West Virginia.
After delaying this idea, I decided to take my son and grandson on an adventure. Those that know me understand I am very passionate about my home state. In a sense, this bucket list item meant more than any other item to check off. As I was reviewing the rafting brochure, I was smiling when I learned of the actual location of the rafting trip. The location was the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia. As we were nearing the departure site, we actually passed my mother's high school.
My late mother grew up in Mt. Hope, W.Va. As I was rafting down the New River, I thought of her upbringing in a very small town and how she eventually met my father in Charleston, W.Va., just after World War II. I remembered the many weekends my sisters and I spent walking around Mt. Hope while we were visiting my grandparents. My grandfather and father-in-law were coal miners. They worked very hard and provided the best they could for their families.
As we were going down the rapids, we saw the beautiful scenery and trains, which carried coal from place to place. I never realized this beautiful river was so close to my grandparents' house!
During this trip, my mind drifted back to my late parents. Both worked at management jobs at a time when mothers typically stayed at home. They both worked to provide a home for their children. When mom came home, she immediately began her second job — caring for us. My father did the exact same thing. I point this out because both parents had stressful jobs. Yet, they were always kind and considerate to us and others. They cared deeply about family, God and country. They taught me that philanthropy of time, talent and treasure was important and that I should do my best to serve others. I can hear my father saying treat people as you want to be treated. The wonderful values my parents taught me will stay with me for life.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.