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When Generosity Matches Love for Community

March 12, 2019

Remember where you came from. It's a saying Joe and Kathy Whitinger have referenced throughout their life. To them, it represents both the physical location where they were born and raised and the hard work it took them to get where they are today.

Both Joe and Kathy were raised in Howard County near Elma, the community the couple has called home since 1967. Here they raised their family and have seen their business, Peoples Insurance Agency, flourish. Joe and Kathy believe that with success comes responsibility, and they understand the importance of giving back to help the community that has done so much for them. To help facilitate their generosity, they established the Kathy and Joe Whitinger Family Fund with the Elma Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, in 2015. While the establishment of this donor advised fund was important to their giving plan, they wanted to do more. So in 2018, the couple took advantage of the IRA charitable rollover to create a matching gift opportunity for nonprofit agency funds held with the Elma Area Community Foundation.

"We were inspired by our fellow community member, Larry McGee, who had established a matching gift in 2017," said Joe. "We decided to use the required minimum distribution from our IRA to do the same thing. It was a great way to do some good and receive a tax benefit."

The Whitingers committed to matching up to $26,000 to six existing nonprofit funds with the EACF, which was met, meaning over $58,000 in new dollars went to the funds. The funds included the Elma Early Childhood Center Fund, Elma Depot Museum Fund, Elma Park Fund, Elma Public Library Fund, Elma Fire and Rescue Fund, and the Elma Trails Fund.

"We know strong nonprofits create a stronger, more vibrant community," said Kathy. "Elma may be small, but our community and the people living here are amazing. Joe and I are excited we can partner with the Community Foundation to love where we live and provide opportunities for future residents."