No Strings Attached…“Just because”
When someone shows you kindness, the point is not to pay it back but to pass it on.
More than 50 years after her 1964 graduation, Lois Emory Daruszka's heart still overflows with gratitude for the anonymous individual who helped her reach that important milestone.
Raised in a traditional German family in rural Pennsylvania, education wasn't high on the list for Lois's parents. But it was a huge priority for her.
"Very early, it became my dream to go to college," Lois recalls. She was on her own.
Lois's Evangelical & Reformed Church agreed to sponsor her and provide financial assistance for college. With her sights set on becoming a teacher, Heidelberg, with its church affiliation, became her destination.
"I thought this was the perfect place for me," Lois says.
That feeling remains true today, but it was never easy. After her sophomore year, she changed her major to science, which meant the church-sponsored aid was no longer available. She muddled through, finding ways to fund her education.
Then came her final semester, and the realization that there was no money left. A conversation with Dean of Women Helen Reynolds proved to be the turning point. An anonymous donor stepped forward to pay for Lois's last semester "just because," no strings attached. The only requirement: a personally written thank-you letter.
"And so it happened. I remember how great a feeling that was...just a wonderful thing," says Lois.
When it came time for her 50th class reunion, Lois thought the time was right to pay that kindness forward. She created a specific gift in her estate designated for students like her who have reached the end of their rope and may be experiencing personal hardship.
For Lois, contributing to the "just because" fund gave her great joy.
"I'll always remember that help," Lois says. "I just want to pass on the opportunity for other people, too."