Dave Rustad is just more than three months into his role as a senior communication specialist at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS). During this short period, he says he has learned more about senior living communities than he thought imaginable.
Still, what initially attracted Dave to PHS is the thing he most values as he learns more: the organization’s mission.
“It didn’t take long for me to memorize PHS’ mission statement,” Dave laughs. “But as I began to see and better understand how our mission unfolds—through the stories of residents, families, employees and donors—I realized that this organization really lives its values.”
In his work, Dave has interviewed multiple PHS employees who lovingly provide direct care for residents. Several of these employees received education assistance (the PHS scholarship program) or were honored as "Shining Stars" for their exemplary, caring service. These programs are funded through the Presbyterian Homes Foundation.
Dave has also seen how the organization embodies its mission through the eyes of his mother-in-law and father-in-law who live at EagleCrest in Roseville, Minn. He says that PHS’ spiritual life program has been a frequent source of their praises.
“My in-laws frequently comment on the Bible studies and worship opportunities at Eaglecrest,” he notes. “Even though they attend services at a nearby church, they love having their faith nurtured, and growing in their relationship with their neighbors, through the campus pastor.”
Dave knew that he needed to support PHS’ mission with more than his day-to-day work.
“I was reviewing foundation materials and found a form for employee giving,” he notes. “I immediately thought … ‘I believe in what we are doing; I want PHS to thrive; I should give!’”
Dave signed up not only to have a contribution automatically deducted from his biweekly paycheck, but he also decided to donate one day of PTO (vacation) to the foundation as well.
“When I believe in something, I find giving very easy to do,” he notes.
Last year, more than 2,700 donors gave charitable gifts totaling $4.6 million to the foundation.
All gifts to the foundation can be designated for one of these distinct purposes:
- Employee Appreciation
- PHS Employee Hardship
- Resident Benevolence
- Where the Need is Greatest
- Employee Education Assistance
- Spiritual Life
Dave’s choice? “I committed my funds to ‘spiritual life,’” he notes.
“I’ve seen the impact of a vibrant spiritual care and growth program in the lives of my mother-and-father-in-law,” says Dave. “I’ve also been blessed by attending a Bible study led by Pastor Chris Wheatley [senior director of pastoral care services] for employees working at PHS’ main office.
“PHS is caring for people in every way possible,” Dave notes. “I’m excited to support the mission of PHS through both my work AND my giving. I encourage my colleagues to do the same.”
Want to make a difference in the lives of older adults? The Presbyterian Homes Foundation is here to help you make a gift today! To learn more, contact The Foundation staff at: 651-631-6408 or visit preshomes.org/foundation