The donor next door


By the Community Foundation of Shelby County



More than 60 years ago a handful of local leaders from Shelby County came together in the hopes of fostering philanthropy. From that idea, the Community Foundation of Shelby County was created to help individuals provide lasting gifts to make a difference in our community. Since then, numerous people have turned to the Community Foundation to support their favorite charitable causes and organizations.

Sidney residents Dennis and Donnajean Ruble, who see philanthropy as a way of life that should be encouraged, have used the Community Foundation as their partner in charitable giving.

The Rubles’ belief that giving should be central to their families’ values is rooted in their earliest memories of watching their parents help others. Both Dennis and Donnajean’s families believed it was important to help their church and others in need.

“We have been blessed in our lives in many ways,” Donnajean said. “We feel the need to be helpful perhaps in a modest way to those who have not. We also feel that we live in a very generous community and want to play our part and share our blessings in a tangible way.”

The couple, both originally from Youngstown, Ohio, have been residents of Shelby County for 35 years and raised two children here. Donna was an art educator for 32 years and Dennis spent 40 years with the YMCA, the last 25 years at the Sidney/Shelby County YMCA. Ironically, the couple met at a YMCA camp on the shores of Lake Erie 49 years ago.

For the last 15 years, the couple has used the Community Foundation of Shelby County to help them with their charitable giving. The Gift Account they started at the Community Foundation supports a wide range of area charitable organizations and causes that are important to the Rubles. They also have a strong desire to foster creativity in children and have made plans to support that cause for generations to come.

“The Community Foundation’s Gift Account provides a convenient and efficient way for us to give to worthwhile charities,” Dennis said. “Through our Gift Account we were able to develop a relationship with the Community Foundation that helped us transition to an endowed charitable fund called ‘The Ruble Family Keep Art in the HeART Fund.’ We are funding this project during our lifetime with our Gift Account. After our deaths an insurance policy will continue this project in perpetuity.”

Donnajean explains how her passion for children and art developed, “My first interest in art began in elementary school on Friday afternoons … that was the only day of the week we had art class. The smell of peppermint paste and new crayons began my love for creativity. I knew early on I wanted to teach and majoring in art education gave me the opportunity to combine my love of art with the interest in teaching children.”

With the creation of the “Ruble Family Keep Art in the HeART Fund” at the Community Foundation, the couple’s desire to do their part for the community they love will be fulfilled and the assurance, that for future generations of local children, creativity will be nurtured.

“It’s a privilege to assist donors and see the impact they make,” Jessica Vaglienti, donor relations director for the Community Foundation of Shelby County said. “Whether it’s by enabling charitable organizations to thrive, giving a helping hand to those who are struggling, assisting students pursue a degree through a scholarship, or making our community a better place to live, the generosity shown by donors will still have an impact on generations to come.”

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By the Community Foundation of Shelby County

The Community Foundation of Shelby County has been helping people help others since 1952 by managing many charitable funds created by local residents or organizations to support favorite causes and organizations. Contact the Community Foundation at (937)497-7800 or visit www.commfoun.com.

The Community Foundation of Shelby County has been helping people help others since 1952 by managing many charitable funds created by local residents or organizations to support favorite causes and organizations. Contact the Community Foundation at (937)497-7800 or visit www.commfoun.com.