Sitting around their kitchen table in a peaceful neighborhood in Grand Blanc, Kamal and Shashi Gupta reflect on the philanthropic values they share together as a couple, and as a family. Two grandchildren join in the conversation, commenting on how their grandfather brings books to their school and how happy and proud that makes them feel.
The Gupta's resume of work and community service are impressive, as they share the many accolades bestowed upon them for their volunteerism and philanthropy in the business and civic community. Most recently, Kamal was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce.
Together, these local philanthropists believe they have a duty, obligation and responsibility to give. Born and raised in Delhi, India and raised in the Hindu religion, they married and moved to America where Kamal had studied mechanical engineering. Their commitment to faith, family and community is a shared value they have passed along to their three children and now, their grandchildren.
"It is our Dharma to serve others, give and help the poor and needy," says Kamal. "God tells us who, when and what to give. It's not always planned. And it's not just about the money. We must give of ourselves."
Education and science are two passions shared by Kamal and Shashi. Through an IRA retirement plan gift, the Guptas established two funds in 2013-the Gupta Family Education Fund and the Gupta Family Science Fund. These endowments will support the general scholarship funds of the Grand Blanc Community Schools and the Flint Regional Science Fair.
Through his work in literacy with the Grand Blanc Rotary Club, Kamal has volunteered his time and talents in schools across Genesee County. As an executive with EDS, he adopted Stewart Elementary School in Flint to teach students the importance of education to their future success. He believes that reading builds confidence in youth, and a better society for all. And he considers himself a lifelong student and learner.
"Education is the wealth that no one can take from you," said Shashi. "Money comes and money goes, but education stays with you."