This simple question was the very genesis of The Albert Baker Fund (ABF) in 1964. We recently talked to Joyce Heard Hawes, C.S., who vividly recalls how The Albert Baker Fund began.
“During the years my late husband, Joseph Heard, was head of the College Org Division of The Mother Church, his office received many requests for financial aid from college students who needed help to pay for their education. At the same time, many adults came into the office to ask, ‘What can we do to help the young people of our Movement?’ One of these was Garfield Merner of California.
“Joe presented Garfield with the idea of a fund to help Christian Science college students, and Garfield agreed to head up the fund in San Francisco. He was a philanthropist and knew many people with the means to help. But more than that, Garfield cared deeply about young people and had the vision that our young people are the future of our Movement. There was a spirit of enthusiastic support and vision for what these young people could do. There was a spirit of love and caring. That’s what The Albert Baker Fund was built on.”
Fifty years later the question, “What can we do to help the young people of our Movement?” is still at the very heart of our mission. Today we also embrace the education and development of Christian Scientists beyond college whose progress will support our Movement and our world.
You’ll find vibrant examples in the words of our recipients and news of The ABF Career Network in the ABF time line, “Connecting our history to our future!”
When we reflect back on our progress, we think about the impact of lives uplifted on three continents and in 17 countries. And we consider the ripple effect of each Christian Scientist who is taking the gifts they’ve been given through their education and passing them on to others in a continuous cycle of good.
As we look ahead to serving future generations of Christian Scientists, we are humbled by the selfless motives of our founders and inspired by their “spirit of enthusiastic support and vision for what these young people could do.”
In that same spirit, won’t you join us in strengthening what we can do for each Christian Scientist who comes to us asking for help? Your gift of any size will ripple out to others, just like the lives of our students. Please donate now to help students in 2014!