By James Ponder
Dr. Donna Gurule recently sold a cabin in Big Bear and donated $10,000 to Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She loves the school, philanthropy, and traveling with her two twin boys, Evan and Ross.
Philanthropy is a way of life for Dr. Donna Gurule, assistant dean and assistant professor, at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.
But recently, when she realized the time had come to sell a piece of property she owned in Big Bear, Gurule didn’t consult a real estate agent or philanthropy official at first.
“I had to be at the point where I was willing to let it go,” she says of the cabin she and her late husband, Andy, had purchased as a weekend getaway for themselves and their twin sons, Evan and Ross.
Instead, Gurule took stock of the situation. The place had significant sentimental value for her and the boys, but it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to maintain, given the physical distance from the cabin to her home in the Inland Empire. So, she turned to a friend.
“I promised God that if He helped me sell the cabin, that I would give back,” she shares.
Once she did, things happened fast.
“It was the last of four or five properties that went on the market on our street,” she recalls, “and it was the first to sell. God took care of me and I kept up my end of the bargain, which was to donate $10,000 to the School of Public Health.”
Gurule—who worked with Albin Grohar, PhD, associate professor, and Olukemi Adeoye, BDS, MPH, development officer for the school, to establish the gift—has been involved with the school since 1993.
“My other job took me away for awhile,” she says, recalling the time she spent as director of environmental health and safety for Loma Linda University, “but I came back up here full-time in January 2013.”
Gurule also found other ways to express her passion for the school.
“I have a payroll deduction through the Grow Together employee giving program,” she adds, explaining that her contributions benefit the environmental health program at the school.
She also established a legacy gift to benefit the school. Todd Mekelburg, Director of Planned Giving explains, “Donna’s legacy gift is in the form of a beneficiary designation. This type of gift is easy and affordable, and will have a great impact on the school in the future. Her willingness to give so much, in so many ways, truly reflects her philanthropic spirit.”
“God entrusts each one of us with resources,” Gurule says. “How we develop and use those resources is our choice. And I choose to give part of my resources to Loma Linda University Health.”
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