The Nsibirwa family of Fort Atkinson recently made two substantial gifts to the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation in memory of their daughter, Angelina Nsibirwa.
With the first gift, the family opened a designated fund to benefit the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry. This new fund is an endowed, invested fund that will provide long-term, annual financial support to the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry.
A second gift was made to the Foundation’s new AAUW Grants for Gals Acorn Fund, a gift that pushed this acorn fund past the $15,000 threshold, allowing it to become a regular, active scholarship fund. Thanks to the Nsibirwas, this fund will soon be making grants to local girls and women to help them take advantage of educational, cultural, leadership or professional advancement opportunities.
These two impactful gifts were made in loving memory of Angelina Nsibirwa, a 23-year-old Fort Atkinson graduate who was killed in an early morning car crash while heading into her job as a phlebotomist at UW Hospital in May 2018.
Angelina was a quiet and kind young woman with a gorgeous smile that could light up a room. She was loved by her family, friends, teachers, co-workers, and the many clients and patients for whom she cared.
She was active in Girl Scouts for many years, earning both her Bronze and Silver Award. Instinctively drawn to helping people, Angelina was a friend to anyone in need – family, friend, or perfect stranger.
Inspired after attending a papal mass in Poland, Angelina knew that she wanted to make a difference. She went to school to become a phlebotomist and was working at UW Hospital in Madison. Just months before her death in May, Angelina decided that she wanted to return to school for nursing and was set to begin in the fall of 2018.
After Angelina’s death, her family thought about how best to honor her vibrant spirit. “We wanted to do something that mirrored her desire to help others,” noted Angelina’s stepmom Bridget Nsibirwa. “We thought about a scholarship, but we wanted to be able to help more than just one or two people each year, so that just didn’t seem like the answer.”
Her father Sira Nsibirwa added, “then, we thought about the number of people who utilize our local food pantry on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis, and decided that was the perfect idea. We started the Fort Atkinson Food Pantry Fund at the Community Foundation so our local food pantry will always have the things they need to operate and serve the community.”
The new Fort Atkinson Food Pantry Fund is set up to make an annual distribution to the local food pantry and to also be available to make larger grants to the food pantry should a need arise. As the invested fund grows, so too will the support it can provide to the food pantry.
When told of the new fund, Fort Atkinson Food Pantry board member Gary Thom exclaimed, “What a thoughtful donation! This will give the people of Fort Atkinson a new way to support the families of our community. We are feeling blessed.”
Anyone wanting to donate to the new Fort Atkinson Food Pantry Fund can do so by sending a check to the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation at 244 North Main Street, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538, indicating the gift is for the Food Pantry Fund. Donors can also go to our secure website, www.fortfoundation.org, and make an online gift using their credit card by clicking the ‘Donate Now’ button and searching under Giving Opportunities using the keyword ‘food.’
In addition to supporting the food pantry, the Nsibirwa family wanted to give a boost to the new AAUW Grants for Gals Acorn Fund. “We thought it was also important,” noted Bridget Nsibirwa, “to help young women, like Angelina, who wanted to do something to help find their path in life; maybe attending a camp or workshop or taking a class. We decided Grants for Gals was a great fit and decided to make a donation to that fund, in Angelina’s memory, as well.”
Fort Atkinson Community Foundation Chairman Mary Behling expressed her gratitude for these generous and meaningful gifts. “The Foundation is indebted to the Nsibirwa Family who, amid their grief over the loss of Angelina, remembered and acted on her compassion for others. She was a wonderful young woman who would have been an excellent nurse. We are humbled by these gifts.”
For more information about either of these funds, or about any of the funds offered by the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, contact program administrator Sue Hartwick at (920) 563-3210 (office), (920) 222-1191 (mobile) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.