By now, it has become a cherished Wichita tradition.
Each year for the past four years, an anonymous local couple has stepped forward at Christmastime to offer an unusual donation – money for gold coins. They specify the money is to be used to purchase the coins, which are then given to the agencies of their choosing.
This year, those two gold coins – each valued at $1,700 – were presented Monday morning to the Guadalupe Clinic and the Lord’s Diner.
“It is the gift that keeps on giving,” said Pam Stanberry, executive director of the Guadalupe Clinic. “In the past when we have had this happen, we put the coin into our live auction at the Winefest on April 20th and it typically gets bid upon pretty generously. It is what keeps us running.”
According to Shelly Prichard, president and CEO of the Wichita Community Foundation, the married couple “lives very simply, but has very generous hearts.”
Each year, they offer the Wichita Community Foundation a donation and request the foundation present the donation.
“One of the things the gentleman likes about the agencies chosen is that they maximize their gift with fiscal responsibility and are creative and innovative in how they fund the agency,” Prichard said.
The 1-ounce gold coins were purchased at Phil’s Coins on West Central.
“This is the fourth year they have done this, that’s a tradition in my book,” Prichard said. “And one, we hope that will continue.”
The donations are win-win for everybody, said Jan Haberly, director of the Lord’s Diner.
“This is somebody who understands what we do and are giving back to the community,” Haberly said. “What this means to us is that it can provide the funding for two evening meals. We served over 800 people several nights last week. With that kind of support, we can keep going.”
The Guadalupe Clinic provides medical care to people who don’t have medical insurance through volunteer nurses and doctors and other technicians.
The Lord’s Diner feeds the hungry every day of the year with the help of volunteers.
“The generosity of the donors and the humbleness with which they make the gift is overwhelming,” Prichard said. “The donors don’t want thanks or glory.”