One Hundred New Philanthropists: Emily and Ben VerWys

Ben and Emily VerWys, an investment advisor at Action Point Financial and realtor at Keller Williams respectively, are strategic thinkers and connected community members. “When we heard about how the Community Foundation could help us be more strategic in how we make a difference, we knew it would be a good fit,” Ben said. “Giving back is so important because it enriches our lives, our children’s future and the community we love,” Emily said.

With their time and talents, Ben and Emily are committed to creating a community where children can thrive. They also are determined to help foster a vibrant, creative culture within the city of Grand Rapids where they live, work and play. To that end, Ben serves as co-chairman of the LaughFest festival cabinet for Gilda's Club, is on the executive team of TEDx and serves as an advisory board member for Daddy Daughter Time. Emily is a member of a strategic committee for Kids Food Basket and is an advocate for MomsBloom.

What do you get from giving?

Giving back and being involved helps Ben and Emily feel meaningfully connected to the community. “Joining together with like-minded people passionate about strengthening our community opens possibilities to do something special and make significant positive change,” Ben said.

“We also want to set a good example for our two daughters and help them understand the importance of thinking beyond themselves and being involved in making the world a better place,” Emily said.

Why Grand Rapids Community Foundation?

“By giving through the Community Foundation, we can be more strategic with our giving to make lasting change. The staff understands the complexity of our community’s needs more intimately than we do, and we appreciate their thoughtful approach to solving problems. Through the Community Foundation’s comprehensive due diligence process, we know we can make a larger impact on the community’s needs. It is exciting knowing that we are part of something larger but that our contribution is still meaningful,” Ben said.