For Jeff and Suzanne Taylor, making a difference in their community means going beyond their hometown boundaries of Jefferson, North Carolina. They continually ask, “What’s next? How can we help more people in need?” Not gonna lie, they are doing a pretty terrific job of answering those questions and we here at CoEd couldn’t be more grateful. Want an example of their initiative? Great, because we were going to give you one anyway…
When this devoted Rotarian learned that a school for the handicapped in Cobán needed a van to pick up the students who couldn’t walk to school, he took it upon himself to raise the necessary funds. Most people would sympathize with the students, sigh at the injustice of it all, and then get back to work breaking their Angry Birds high score. Not Jeff. He heard about students in need and did something about it. And that is just one of the 8.6 million reasons we are glad to call Jeff a member of the CoEd family.
Almost three years ago, the Taylors made their first visit to CoEd’s old Cincinnati office (if you recall, it was a house. That’s right, a very old, very crowded house). “I spoke with Joe and Jeff [Berninger] privately and told them they really needed to take action and find a larger building to accommodate growth. It’s a professional organization, but that didn’t show in their surroundings. I think that planted the seed,” says Jeff.
Thanks to Jeff’s advice, that seed soon turned into a full-fledged search for a new office! In 2012, CoEd finally took the plunge and set up shop in the type of office Jeff had envisioned a few years earlier. As the capstone sponsor of the Reaching New Heights Campaign, Jeff’s generosity has guaranteed that CoEd’s staff has the resources and professional surrounding to allow for future expansion. “Jeff has supported CoEd since the beginning, always with an inspiring drive to help in any way possible. As we look to the future and the opportunity to reach countless more students in Guatemala, we are grateful to have individuals like Jeff & Suzanne supporting our work,” Joe Berninger says.
And when we ask Jeff what inspires him to stay involved with CoEd, his answer is straightforward: “I trust all the people involved both in Guatemala and the US. I know where every dollar goes and that all of it is used constructively. I can’t think of a project that is better. Go down on a trip with CoEd. You won’t regret getting involved. I guarantee it. Plus it is just a lot of fun.”
Have you ever been on a trip to Guatemala with CoEd?