Podcast Transcript

Greg:

Hello, and welcome to the, Imagine That podcast. I’m your host, Greg Weimer, founder, partner, and wealth manager at Confluence Financial Partners. Each month, we’ll explore new ways to help you maximize your life and your legacy and meet some extraordinary people along the way. So if you’re looking to get more out of your life today and legacy tomorrow, let’s get started.

 

For the first time, we’re releasing a podcast episode in two parts about an organization called Folds of Honor.

Folds of Honor is a nonprofit that provides scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled service members. We spoke with some incredible people involved with Folds of Honor, and their stories were so powerful, we wanted to share them with you in their entirety.

 

Today, I’m here with Crystal Popella and Tiffany Eckert. Let me explain to you who they are and why you should listen. Crystal put her passion into action and she started the Folds of Honor chapter locally. She also has a success successful business career, but she, she started Folds of Honor locally. And we’re gonna tell you all about that. I think there’s lessons to be learned here, folks. And then two, Tiffany Eckert, Tiffany. I was impressed with her. I was blown away by her. I met her six months ago. Tiffany’s husband was, is a hero and gave the ultimate sacrifice. So all of us could continue to live in freedom.

 

There’s three lessons I’m positive we’ll learn. The first one we’re gonna learn is if you’re awake on a daily basis and you’re just awake to go, what’s going on around you. There are lessons that come to us that can literally change your life. And we’re gonna tell you about a guy by the name of Major Dan Rooney, who is awake on a flight. And he literally changed over a hundred thousand people’s lives by just being awake.

 

So the question I have for all of us, are we awake and how can we be better and be more intentional? Second, we’re going to learn when you have a passion, how you turn it into action. And, and really so many people have this whole “gonna” call him. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do that. You’re gonna hear loud and clear from Crystal, how you do it. And she turned passion into action. And then also, and then also freedom isn’t free. Let’s start with the first one. And that is Major Dan Rooney.

 

Tiffany:

The long, long and short of it is Dan was on a flight and the pilot came over the speaker and asked that they remained seated because they had hero traveling on board. And he was looking out the side window. He, he describes it as I believe, a starry night, looking out the window. And he watched as Brock Buckland’s body was rolled out from underneath the cargo area of the plane. And he watched this entire scene unfold where Brock’s small son was standing there and they received his remains. And when he turned back around, after watching everything play out, most of the people on the plane had gotten up and gotten off the plane and disregarded the message that had come over. And in that moment, he had this pivotal, I would describe it from hearing the story so many times firsthand and via the video.

 

He had this awakening. This call to action, where he knew he had to do something as an American, as a veteran, just as a general human being. He had to do something to change what had happened. And I will say, hundred percent, in all of the years that have passed since he experienced that epiphany, he has made a huge sweeper wave of change for my, the community that myself and my children are a part of. And I believe the ripple effect is immeasurable. What he’s been able to accomplish because he was awake and he was cognizant. And he was aware in that moment where other people were selfish and didn’t care and were in a rush. And couldn’t take five minutes to show reverence to one of our fallen.

 

Greg:

So Major Dan Rooney, by the way, if I understand correctly, he spent two tours of, of duty in, in Iraq, right? And one of the, one of the things that when he first told, when I first heard him tell the story, he was walking on someone in the military in first class. And when they, and as this right, Tiffany, when they heard him say like, there’s a hero on board, he, he immediately went to, what did that guy do? I mean, he is a hero because he is in the military, but is there more to the story? And the fallen soldier was his twin brother. And so, you know, you put yourself in that story and you say as Major Dan Rooney turned around and 50% of the people on the airplane left, which one would you have been? Like, like, are, are we so busy in our daily basis that we’re like really running to a flight or are we awake to the fact that someone just gave their life?

 

So we had the privilege to be on that flight. And if any of us were really honest, some days when we’re, you know, I mean, and it’s just, but anyhow, he, Major Dan Rooney went on to create, is that the origination of Folds of Honor. Right? So he created Folds of Honor and Folds of Honor they give scholarships to the family of injured and fallen heroes. And, and I tell me if these numbers are right, they may be a little outdated. I, I, I did some Googling. And it’s because of that one person being awake that day folds of honor have given, has given 35,000 scholarships, is that right? Like, that’s amazing. So then I thought like, I can’t really visualize 35,000 scholarships. So I thought, okay, so at Google, how many people fit on a school bus? And you know, that’s 486 school buses.

 

So here’s one guy on one flight and 486 school buses of students later, adults and children, was what this person was way able to create. So really remarkable, just being awake that day made a difference. Changing one family one day at a time. So that takes me to Crystal. Crystal, one of the things that I think is really exciting and, and, you know, I ran into a gentleman that helped me think through this years ago is when you really figure out what your all about is all about. And, and, and, and, and, and that’s true in finance also. When we’re doing financial plans for people, what we really try to figure out is: what’s your all about, all about. And then we help you maximize your life and legacy with a financial plan. You figured out what your all about is all about, and that is Folds of Honor. And what I think is really amazing is you didn’t put it in that “gonna” column you, you immediately created it, created into the, in Western Pennsylvania, that we’re gonna do this. And do you wanna just take us through how you did that and how you turned it into this charity locally that’s making, that’s changing people’s lives?

 

Crystal:

Absolutely. So my husband was at a work conference back in 2013 and had the great opportunity to listen to, now, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney, and he was blown away. So not only back in 2007, when Lieutenant Colonel Dan founded Folds of Honor and changed lives one at a time, he is now touching people in the food service industry, talking to them and encouraging them to find their purpose, find their passion, talks to them about Folds of Honor. My husband was like, I gotta meet this guy. He’s calling me. So he took action, you know, and he said, what can we do?

 

Greg:

So he picked up the phone.

 

Crystal:

No, he walked up to him after the conference and, and shook his hand and said, Hey, I’m Mike Popella. Tell me, tell me what I can do here in Western Pennsylvania.

 

Greg:

So how many people are in that audience and don’t go up, do you know what I mean? Like everybody, again, they’re gonna, there’s like, I really should meet this person. I really should see how I could help. And, and instead you don’t, right. They just, they just, they leave. And they’re like, oh, you know, I, cause that’s what I thought you wanted. He called him the next week or something. No, he went up and he shook his hand.

 

Crystal:

Yep. And from there that built a friendship and a relationship to this day continues to grow. So at that point, you know, we supported the mission, Folds of Honor, financially. But then Mike had the opportunity to listen to him again. And the calling was much deeper and the call to action, like you need to do more. And so Mike came home from that conference back in 2019 and said, there’s no Folds of Honor chapter here in Western Pennsylvania, and we’re gonna start one.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Crystal:

So he went down the road of investigating, what does he need to do to get the LLC set up, you know, all the tax documents and, and then forming that team.

 

Greg:

Okay. So when did it actually start in, in Western PA?

 

Crystal:

Western Pennsylvania chapter launched in October of 2019, our very first fundraiser event was at Top Golf, March 14th, 2020, the day before COVID shut everything down.

 

Greg:

Oh man. Yep.

 

Crystal:

You know, so we had all these people that were like, oh, COVID’s coming, we don’t wanna come. But it was still a great, great success. But back to the formation of Western Pennsylvania Folds of Honor, we, we knew we needed a team, you know? So how do you build a team to be successful? And when Tiffany said, it’s the ripple—

 

Greg:

In the middle of COVID.

 

Crystal:

In the middle of COVID, we, we needed that ripple effect. So we, we knew that we needed to build a diverse team. So we have marketing people on our board. We have real estate people. We have folks in the financial industry to really kind of pull out key pods of people that could help drive the success of the organization here in west Western Pennsylvania. So I feel like that was the critical first step. After the call to action of meeting Dan Rooney and saying, I’m gonna do more.

 

Greg:

And, and by the way, you, you had never started an organization like this before.

 

Crystal:

Never.

 

Greg:

So you made the commitment and then figured out how to do it. I think so many people think they know how to do it before they make the commitment. And it’s, it’s not how success works.

 

Crystal:

Or the fear of not knowing how to do it. So that holds them back.

 

Greg:

For sure. I mean, there’s a myth of success. There’s the myth of accom, myth of accomplishment that, you know exactly what you’re doing before you do it. Untrue. You had probably more variables, you’re in the middle of COVID, and you build a team. And, and how, and tell us about the success.

 

Crystal:

So our very first event you know, people were canceling and, and I’m panicking because Mike is the sales guy.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Crystal:

He sells the dream and he says, we’re having an event and I’m the operational person. Yeah. Like I gotta figure out how to make it happen. I’m a nurse by trade, but I do consulting work and teach people how to identify, you know, the bumps in the road. And how do you improve that process to, you know, drive quality over time?

 

Greg:

Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.

 

Crystal:

So again, we had challenges with people canceling, but we still walked outta that very first event in March of 2020. And we raised enough for two and a half scholarships.

 

Greg:

And how much is the scholarship?

 

Crystal:

$5,000,

 

Greg:

$5,000.

 

Crystal:

So we raised in 12,500 or below 10,000.

 

Greg:

That was great. Oh, really? Yeah. That’s awesome. And what’s, what’s really cool about a, a scholarship. I think when you think about education, so many things, and there’s a lot of great charities, but it’s temporary. You give someone a coat; you know what I mean? You and I, I, I, I mean, we’ve all done those and, and they’re necessary cuz people need coats, but you do go home and you think I didn’t really solve that. And I’m not saying a, a scholarship solves it for everyone, but if you give someone an education that no one can take that away from them and that’ll go on to affect them and I, and, and impact them forever. So that’s what I’d love about Folds of Honor. Not only is it helping our heroes, but also in their families, but also, it’s lasting.

 

Crystal:

And it drives the success of our great nation. You know, like, let’s talk about putting an education in front of these spouses and children who have made that ultimate sacrifice and, and losing a loved one. I mean, you look at Tiffany’s family you know, they’re making a difference. And when you look at that long term effect of what that scholarship is gonna do for not only Tiffany, but each of her children and the legacy that they carry out, you know, it, it, it just continues to grow legs.

 

Greg:

So, yeah. So when you, if you think about those 35,000 people, you think about a family of four, you think about Penn state stadium, you think about that on a Saturday, 110,000 people, all of the people that this one person on an airplane being awake, changing the world, you implement it locally. They would, all the people that were affected would not fit in that stadium. And that’s one generation. You multiply that out.

 

And then when you think about Crystal, she heard this and every, and you know, you hear this and it’s moving, it’s moving. But Crystal and Mike took these moving moments and said, how can we make more investments? And how can we raise money? And I do think it’s, you know, from what two years ago now, is that right? Yeah. So how many scholarships through your work and Mike’s work, have you been able to provide in this area? Over a hundred. Over a hundred. So over a hundred. Yeah. And, and, and there’s a lot of ways to get involved and there’s a lot of ways to make investments and really understand that freedom’s not free and get behind this cause. And I’ll tell you, and, and is your major fundraiser across the nation golf outings, is that like where you raise a lot,

 

Crystal:

That’s the primary focus primary, but we really try to engage other interests, you know, because not everybody’s involved in golf. So how do you engage folks who wanna do a fundraiser around horseback riding,

 

Greg:

Right.

 

Crystal:

Or around cooking classes or so we have a lot of different people that say, here’s my passion and purpose. I also love Folds of Honor. How can I tie the two of them together? We wanna raise money for Folds of Honor, but here’s how we wanna do it. So we certainly encourage those people who raise their hand and say we wanna help.

 

Greg:

So if someone has an idea, they should put forward the idea, give you a call and go.

 

Crystal:

Absolutely. We are always looking for volunteers who wanna make that difference and invest in a family like the Eckerts.

 

Greg:

First time I heard of Folds of Honor, I dunno if it was an email call, text from Chris McKnight up at Laurel Valley: Putting together this golf outing, can you grab a foursome? The pro at St. Clair Country Club is also a friend, Jay Mull, he’s a veteran. He would be our pro. There would be four of us. Come on up. I hear it’s a nice event. Okay. We go. First of all, if you haven’t been to a Folds of Honor event, I know everybody’s been to a lot of golf outings, so have I. We all have been. But it is amazing. I have the ball marker in my pocket. It’s an amazing event. It, if you aren’t moved at that event, you’re not alive. Just go and be awake. It’s it is a, it is an amazing day. And then that night we sat there and, and Tiffany spoke. And I, and I remember when Tiffany spoke and I’m like, holy cow!

 

Like, I, I, I couldn’t believe this story. And, and, and really, I mean, and we’ve done other, we’ve heard, done other podcasts and other things about gratitude and about, about Veterans Day and right. I mean, we’ve done all because it is, it is truly a remarkable story. And just, can’t just can’t thank you enough. And encouraging people to, to get involved. I know there’s a lot of great charities, you know, and, but, but if it’s in your heart to, to really invest in people like Tiffany and it, and, and you know, the charity, what percentage of the money goes to towards scholarships?

 

Crystal:

91 cents of every dollar.

 

Greg:

It’s crazy.

 

Crystal:

Goes back to scholarships.

 

Greg:

It’s really good.

 

Crystal:

It’s unheard of.

 

Greg:

It’s really good.

 

Crystal:

It’s an incredible organization.

 

Greg:

It’s really good. Now, let me ask you, are we, are we, are we filling the need? Are we, do we need to find more like if someone needs a scholarship today, do they get it? And how do you build awareness for people that need a scholarship and don’t even know it exists?

 

Crystal:

Great question. So our mission is twofold here in Western Pennsylvania, first of all, to raise awareness, because when we set out on this mission back in 2019, nobody had ever heard of Folds of Honor. So we’re like, how are we going to raise awareness? So we embedded ourself in the military community. We built a military committee to really showcase what the mission is, who do you know that really would qualify for a scholarship? So that was the one mission. And then the other mission obviously is to raise funds because at that time we were not raising enough funds and we had qualified applicants that were getting turned away because of lack of funding. So we said, okay, we will not turn away any qualified applicants. Parallel to the goal of raising awareness. So everybody in Western PA knows about Folds of Honor. So last year, Folds of Honor, nationally, there was no qualified applicant that was turned away.

 

Every single applicant who qualified, received a scholarship. Mission accomplished.

 

Greg:

Mission accomplished.

 

Crystal:

Yeah. So we feel really, really good about that, but we still know that we have to continue. As Tiffany said, their community of folks who have been injured, disabled, or paid that ultimate sacrifice of death continues to grow every single day. Let’s look about what’s going on in the world. You know, our military, unfortunately, we’re losing them. And we don’t want that to happen, but we have to continue to take care of those families. So yeah, we have to continue to push forward.

 

Greg:

Hopefully everybody really appreciates that freedom isn’t free. And because Major Dan Rooney was awake one day. And because Crystal, you had a passion and you actually turned it into action. And Mike walked up on the stage that day.

 

 

Crystal:

When you talk about doing better and being better you know, and, and being an investment for people. Certainly there’s the investment that we all think about financially, but we talk about that legacy that you wanna leave behind. And you talk about the investment in other people. I feel like giving to other people constantly fills your giving bank again.

 

Greg:

Mm-hmm, <affirmative>.

 

Crystal:

You know it, it may not be a financial reward. For Mike and I, we, we have a full-time job, our careers, and that gives us the financial opportunity to do what we do here today to invest in other people. But that keeps our giving bank full. You know, we’re, we’re not spending all of our money. We, we we’re spending our, our passion to take care of other people. And I think that that’s sometimes what people miss in life. Take action, be an investment in other people and your giving bank will never go empty.

 

 

Greg:

I think that’s philosophical. I think people think that’s philosophical. I think it’s gonna end up being scientific. I actually think someday some scientists will prove that the brain, the more you give, the more you get. I just think that’s absolutely true. And what you said about legacy is — so many people think of it in terms of like there’s, there’s life, there’s death, and then there’s legacy. Untrue. You’re building your legacy as you live. Like what we spend a lot of time with, with our clients is: what are you all about? And, and that is helping them build their life and their legacy, and really being intentional about what they’re doing and having their portfolio support it. And, and legacy is built while you’re alive. I mean, I would challenge anybody that Crystal and Tiffany are building their legacy today, much greater than, right, than anything you’re gonna leave. You’re gonna leave these members. Andy’s legacy is, will go on for a really, really, really, really long time, you know, because of the sacrifice he made and because of Tiffany and because of Folds of Honor. So I think you could, I couldn’t, I don’t think you have said it better. I think that legacy is built based on the things you do when you’re alive.

 

Greg:

I think it’s well said. And I think a lot of the other ways are, you know, more powerful. I’m sure there’s ways to support financially, which, you know, you, we, we do need someone to fund the scholarships. But at the end of the day, it’s, it, it can’t just be checkbook charity, right? There’s more to it than that.

 

Crystal:

Well, and I think when, when you talk about diversity in your investments, there’s also diversity in each one, we’re, we’re all a different mold. And as Tiffany was talking about her son Myles and that, that counselor who said, you’re gonna have to think about a different path for Myles. He’s not gonna be able to go to college. So you think, you think about that message. And then you think about the skillset that everybody has. How can, how can you tap into everybody’s unique characteristics and, and drive it towards one singular mission to be successful and impact millions of people every single day? I think that’s what life is about. You know, we’re not, we’re not just here. There’s a reason why my husband Mike was at a work conference and was introduced to now Lieutenant Colonel Dan, there is a reason why we brought together a great team of people here in Western Pennsylvania to share the mission of Folds of Honor. There is a reason why Chris McKnight called you and said, Hey, you need to come to our golf outing. There is a reason why Tiffany was selected to be our keynote speaker that night. And here we are seven months later talking about that. And how do you drive those connections and those relationships that we have now built forward into the future to impact other people.

 

Greg:

Look at the look at the ripple effects. I mean, it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s a pebble in the pond, but the ripple effects are incredible. So, you know, when we, we talk about it’s more than just money and we would, you know, <laugh>, money’s good. Like we, we, we like people to participate by donating. So clearly, donations are important, but if I think about the charities I’m involved in the MVPs of the charities, candidly, now we appreciate all the donors, but candidly, it’s not the largest donor. The MVPs are the ones that live and breathe the charity and actually forward the mission, like, right? They, they’re, I mean, maybe you and Mike are the largest donors, I have no idea, but, but like your, what you’ve been able to create, right? Tiffany, what you’ve been able to do, it’s bigger than money.

 

Crystal:

And so you think about what Dan Rooney did and how he was able to duplicate and replicate out of his garage, one day formed Folds of Honor to now 32 chapters across the country, carrying out that ripple effect mission, and always attracting new volunteers that again, can host a fundraiser event or share the mission of Folds of Honor. And again, it doesn’t have to be about Folds of Honor. Find what really makes you tick and drive it home, find people likeminded or not likeminded, skill sets that are the same, skillsets that are different. And how can you make an impact moving forward?

 

Greg:

And the weirdest thing, you know, people are like, oh, that’s so unselfish. And it is, but it is amazing when you focus on other people, you focus on helping other people, you have a greater purpose other than yourself, and you really worked on, you knew who it helps the most? You! Like it’s a, if by focusing on others, it reduces anxiety. It makes you better at your career. It makes you a more complete person. It makes you a happier person. It, it is it is, it is, it is, it is really powerful for because you’re changing people’s lives, but it also has a huge impact when people have a purpose, you know? And, and, and then they, and, and, and you may have a purpose, but, but like you did, you built the canvas, right? You built the platform of which you now get to have.

 

Greg:

So, you know, now in October, up at Laurel Valley, there will be, you know, a couple hundred people there that you’re gonna tell the story to again, and it’s gonna have another ripple effect. So, you know, if you have a — you have to have two things. If you really have a passion out there, I give you get it. You you’ve gotta have the passion and you gotta have the audience. So build that. So you have to, you have to have a passion and an audience. And if you can build both, which we can help you do, if you build both, you can really make an impact on people’s lives. Like when you hear either Crystal or Tiffany speak, they have the passion and they’re building the audience and go on and change 35,000 people’s lives.

 

Crystal:

Everything falls into place after that. So—

 

Greg:

It falls into place.

 

Crystal:

And, and then piggyback that with how do we make it bigger and better? How do we continue to process improve things? So when we talk about two years ago, our first event, Top Golf, the day before COVID changed our world, $12,500, we raised to just two months ago, we raised $34,000 for scholarships for our military families. So again, sharing the mission, bringing new people to the fold who also have that passion and wanna share it. Yeah, we’re super proud of what we’re doing here, but I think you have to also you know, not always be asking for money and, and we become humble with that. And I think people are attracted to that passion and that excitement and, and Mike and I talk all the time. We probably work harder and longer hours for Folds of Honor that doesn’t give us a paycheck because that’s where our heart is.

 

Greg:

Yeah.

 

Crystal:

But as I said earlier, that giving bank we’re, we’re still always full. We’re still always giving. We’re still, you know, donating our time. And, and then we now have other nonprofits reaching out to us saying, can you help us? Like, we’ve been doing this for years and, and we are not as successful as you. Can you, can you teach us something?

 

Greg:

So, so, you know, I’m just saying like, your success is amazing. So based on, based on Mike going to a conference, okay. Gets involved, walks up, shakes hands. Top Golf event, which is $12,000. Okay. 12,000 bucks. COVID. How much do you think you’ll raise this year at Laurel Valley? So Top Golf to Laurel Valley, two days. That that’s, I mean, that’s a, that’s an evolution of golf, right? So you go <laugh>. So now you’re two days at Laurel Valley. What’s the goal on how much money you’ll raise and how many scholarships you’ll be?

 

Crystal:

So, so two years ago, Laurel Valley, we, we got eight teams there last year, we sold out this year, we’ve moved it to a two-day event because there’s a waiting list of participants. We can’t handle enough.

 

Greg:

With a potential overnight. People can do that. I saw that.

 

Crystal:

Potential overnight. And we are looking to net over $150,000.

 

Greg:

Two years, 12,000, 150,000, because you have passion, you have purpose and you started the, and you started the mission before you thought you had all the answers. But your heart was in the right spot.

 

Okay. Crystal, you Mike have had incredible success and I, and I get that you made the commitment and then you figured it out. But now that you’ve figured out some things and you’re working on it for other people that want to duplicate your efforts, either in the same field or in a different field or a different passion, there have to, there, there, there, there’s gotta be lessons you’ve learned. So could you do a little bit of a cheat sheet on things you learned and things you’re working on to make sure Folds of Honor survives the test of time?

 

Crystal:

I think there’s lots of different lessons that we’ve learned. You know, first of all, it was just do it. Don’t figure it out and then do it, just do it, jump in. And you’re always going to learn from, you know, your successes and your failures, first of all. But then, meeting the right people was key and critical. Continuing to grow, continuing to spread the mission. But then we have to think about that succession plan. What happens when Mike and I are no longer carrying that torch? Who do we pass that torch onto? Certainly we have a great team of volunteers, a great board of directors that we share a lot of the load with, but who are we gonna pass that torch to? We have formed a young professionals board, really trying to identify the, the younger generation. You know, we, we got into Folds of Honor as kind of our after-career.

 

What are we gonna do with our life after our career to give back? But now we have to think about what are we gonna do to pass this torch for Folds of Honor. So we have a young professionals board, always looking for new people to bring into the fold and to share the mission and to kind of teach them our lessons learned so that they don’t have to fall or stumble as we have.

 

Greg:

Sure.

 

Crystal:

Over the last two years, you know and we’re really trying to make that footprint and, and roadmap for them that they can kind of even travel farther than we have. You know, certainly over the last two and a half years, we’ve gone from in our first year raising a hundred thousand dollars to this year, $400,000. So we know that that trajectory is not gonna continue. How can we sustain it and then teach other people how to do that same thing?

 

I think that’s really, really critical because as you talk about the legacy, what legacy do you wanna leave behind? If people don’t remember where you’ve been and what you’ve done, they will never learn lessons from it and be able to choose to duplicate it, replicate it, or to carry on a new mission. You know, I think that you have to have that succession plan in place. And so that’s something that we’re really starting to build the introductory or foundation for. As we continue to grow Folds of Honor here.

 

Greg:

I actually think that’s really, really thoughtful. And I think that lessons it’s simple. Like it, that’s not, like that’s simple. But it’s amazing how many people that don’t. And I don’t wanna make this about Confluence, but like parallel lives on this, right? So we, we’ve grown a lot. We, as we’ve grown, we’ve enhanced what we’re doing. I, I would say any of our clients would say that we keep, continue to improve on their behalf, but then the real mission, the real thing we think about is how do we continue to get better for the next 50 and 75 and 100 years? How are we when, when, when, when Greg has all gray hair and is gone and Jim, and how does the next generation or any of our advisors, how do we, how do we continue our legacy of helping families and taking care of grandchildren?

 

It’s easy to build a firm for 10 years. It’s easy to build a charity for 10 years. It is harder to build a firm or a charity that survives the test of time. That takes care of families, whether it’s through scholarships or through taking care of families’ lifetime savings, wealth, it, it, it’s harder. And, and so we think about this, not in the next five years, we think about this as the infinite game. How are we building this for the next 50 and 100 years? It’s amazing how many people don’t think about that when they pick an advisor. It’s amazing when people don’t think about that when they pick a charity. It’s really refreshing to hear you say that you and Mike are thinking about the infinite game of how to think about this 10, 20, 30 years. So people like Tiffany continue to be helped.

 

Crystal:

Yep. And, and again, even outside of Folds of Honor, we, we’ve had three other local nonprofits reach out to us to say, how are you doing it? And can you, can you help us? And I think that’s a testament to success that people a took the action to reach out for help. But also wanna carry on their legacy for their nonprofit. So we also do kind of pro bono consulting with three other nonprofits. Have you thought about this? You need to consider this. Moving forward, you should do this again. It’s not just about Folds of Honor, but as a whole community, we have that social responsibility.

 

Greg:

I think that’s great. I hope hopefully, you know, people listening, you planted a seed. And so it’s not just for Folds of Honor, which is awesome, but there’s, there’s other charities out there right now in people’s minds that could, that could, that could have the same ripple effect that, you know, that Folds of Honors have had for the 35,000 scholarships. There’s, there’s, they’re in people’s minds, they’re just in the “gonna” side. And, and hopefully in listening to you, you know, they take that one action, cuz you know, when you go into the gym, the hardest thing is opening the door. That’s the hardest part of the gym. After, once you get open the door, you’re good. So hopefully what you did today is inspire people to open the door to a charity, to then go on, to help a lot of lives. And so thank you so much for sharing.

 

And please everybody, in listening to these stories, let’s remember 1% of our country fights for the freedom of the other 99%. And let’s make sure we understand that freedom isn’t free. And if we’re ever in a situation like that airplane, let’s stay seated and let’s give our heroes the respect they’ve earned and deserved. God bless both of you and God bless our military.

 

Thank you for listening to the Imagine That podcast. We hope you enjoyed this episode and welcome you to reach out to Confluence Financial Partners with your questions and comments. If you’d like to hear more episodes, head over to confluencefp.com/podcasts, or find us wherever you get your podcast.

Some investments serve a higher purpose. In this episode, you’ll learn about Folds of Honor, an organization that gives back to a community to whom we owe an unpayable debt. Since 2007, Folds of Honor has provided scholarships to the families of America’s killed or disabled soldiers. Join host and Confluence Financial Partners CEO, Greg Weimer, as he interviews Folds of Honor–Western Pennsylvania board member Crystal Popella (Episode 27) and Gold Star Wife Tiffany Eckert (Episode 28). You’ll hear their stories and learn about the incredible impact Folds of Honor has made in the lives of military families across the nation. You’ll also find out how you can turn passion into action by becoming a part of this important mission.

Please join us for the first part of this 2 part series. Episode 27 is Crystal Popella’s story.

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