Jim and Marie Parks see supporting their community as a way to give thanks for all they have.
“We’re in a position to be able to help others, and we both feel so blessed with what we’ve received in our lives,” says Jim, who is a native of the Twin Tiers region. “So we’re happy to give back wherever we can.”
The retired couple gives back in many ways, including by volunteering at their church, playing and singing music with local groups, and donating to and serving on the boards of community organizations, including Guthrie. Marie has volunteered for the Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and Jim has served as a board member for almost 30 years. He was first asked to serve on the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital Board in the ’80s, because of his position as a local banker. After he and Marie moved from Sayre to Towanda, he joined the Towanda Memorial Hospital Board in the late ’90s, eventually serving as its chairman.
“I think my biggest role on the board is representing the community, being their voice to Guthrie, and ensuring that the community’s needs are heard and are being met,” he says. “Being on the board has opened my eyes to how health care works. It’s given me a better understanding of the community’s needs and the ways in which Guthrie is meeting those needs. It’s been a great educational process for me.”
Jim and Marie are both Guthrie patients, and have been proud to support Guthrie as it has grown and changed over the years, including through its 2015 affiliation with Towanda Memorial Hospital. The couple is particularly proud of Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital’s stellar emergency room services, skilled nursing unit, and personal care home.
Jim calls the hospital “one of the cornerstones of the community.” Not only does it provide excellent health care, he says, but it is also a huge boon to the local economy, providing people with jobs at the hospital as well as attracting companies to the area.
“Having that hospital here has enhanced life in this community in every way,” he says. “Towanda has been very fortunate to have this hospital. It adds so much to the quality of life.”
A Smart Way to Give
The Parks have supported Guthrie in a variety of ways, including through an IRA charitable rollover. This type of gift allows donors 70½ or older to support Guthrie’s work while reducing their taxable income.
“I think people who aren’t aware of this should look into it because it gives you a tax benefit along with an opportunity to do good,” Jim says. “So why not?”
No matter how you choose to give, you can feel confident that your gift will help make your community healthier and help you and your neighbors continue to enjoy the benefits of a world-class health system.
“As residents of a rural area, the fact that we don’t have to drive to the big cities to get this level of care, the fact that we can get the vast majority of our care in a state-of-the-art facility right in our backyard – that’s tremendous,” Jim says. “And the way we continue to get that care is by supporting Guthrie.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit our website or contact Guthrie Resource Development at 570-887-4420.