A Cause to Be Passionate About
Norb and Linda Gross understand the need for The Parent Fund perhaps better than anyone.
When Norb's father passed away one week after his high school graduation—and six years after his mother's death—Norb found himself on his own three months before enrolling in college.
"My father had a grand total of $45 in his bank account when he passed away," Norb recalls. "We were a blue-collar family, living paycheck-to-paycheck."
Norb spent summers working from sunrise to sunset in a construction job that defrayed some college expenses. He also received assistance from a now-defunct Social Security program benefiting children of deceased workers. The only assistance his university offered to ease his hardship was an $800 loan.
So, when their daughter, Lindsay '08, enrolled at IWU and the Grosses learned of The Parent Fund—a program offering assistance to qualified students who lose a bread-winning parent—they found a cause they were passionate about.
The Grosses started making annual contributions to The Parent Fund that year.
In 2016, they established the Norbert and Linda Gross Endowed Parent Fund Grant. The endowment will sustain the program and assist a student who has experienced a loss each year. "It appealed to me because of my experience," Norb says. "I didn't have anything like that, so if I can help somebody in that situation and lessen the blow, that's a good thing."
The Grosses say finding a cause you're passionate about is the biggest key in gift planning.
"You have to think about what's important to you," says Linda. "When we talked it through and looked at the need, this is what we chose."
You, like the Grosses, can make an impact on our IWU students. To learn more about the many ways you can make a gift for the future, contact Steve Seibring '81 at 309-556-3135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.