Mark Miller, General Motors Executive, and Community Foundation Trustee, recalls growing up in the kind of neighborhood that everyone refers to today as "a village." It was a place and time when borrowing a cup of sugar was the norm and front porches enhanced neighbors caring for neighbors and fostered a community connection filled with care and concern.
As a Flint Journal paper carrier in the 1970s, Mark grasped early on what it meant to give back. His route included the "homes of many financially struggling senior citizens, yet they were always giving to me!"
Mark recalls that "they would give me snacks, hot chocolate in the winter, ice tea and cold water in the summer. Their giving spirit ignited mine. I started to buy them a loaf of bread, half dozen eggs, or a stick of butter. Everybody won and it really felt good!"
Those philanthropic values started early at home, and have solidified over time, and they now guide his adult life. Mark recalls that "after marrying Becky (GM Senior Engineer), my legacy grew stronger and even more focused. Becky has an enormously big heart for the good of others. We both agree, that to be philanthropists you just have to have a heart to care, and a willingness to share."
The Millers have established a fund that will support the operations of the Community Foundation. Their goal; "create perpetual funding that will help others, forever."
Mark stated that "the good being done has to live beyond the life that started it. It must be generational and perpetual."
"We support CFGF because of the extensive reach of the work it does. They impact such a wide array of quality of life enhancers like literacy, music, the arts, health care and youth programs," Mark said. "CFGF is a place where diversity of thought, talents and perspectives have a forum to find common ground to do specific work.
"We do believe that 'To he whom much is given, much is required.' We have a lot of work to finish!"