My grandfather, Jesse W. Couch, was a man of choice words. His conversations included profound moments of silence that led to high stake levels of anticipation. At times, the silence would last days, and it wasn't until he had ample time to reflect that he would respond with a later phone call or meeting. The inevitable replies to questions and shared wisdom always left a resounding impact. His solitude provided moments of clarity and helped guide our family through life's daily challenges. It only makes sense that his best practices have helped the foundation find our areas of focus and provide extraordinary levels of help to various communities around the country.
During our first full inaugural year, we reached a new summit of solitude, which has helped us focus on new causes that speak to our hearts. In the beginning, we supported organizations in our home town of Houston that had a family history and paid tribute to my grandfather. Based on experience and personal passions, we picked three tiers of focus for the foundation: preservation, education, and wellness. Since then we have continued to experiment and learn where we can better concentrate our resources within our three broad spectrums of focus. This process helped complete our foundation brand and launch a website that we think best honors my grandfather's memory while also advocating for those whom we support.
Grants Awarded in 2018
This past year, a group of defining moments brought on by an epic road trip across the country has left a life-long impression and improved our focus.
Our family leisurely traveled across the country and organically came into contact with so many amazing teams that were helping communities tackle various issues or creating enriched experiences. We towed around 200 sq feet of living space behind us for nearly four months and discovered an even greater perspective by the simplicity it provided. We stayed for weeks at a time in communities that allowed us to marinate with locals and understand their distinct cultures. We found solitude in this new pace of life and an opportunity to be more present in an age of rapid pace.
We lived in RV parks, state parks, national parks, and city parks. We woke up to stunning natural views and modern urban sprawl. Our children got to explore some of the wonders of the world and get a better understanding of the diverse landscapes our country provides. We witnessed the importance of community and how people rally for each other or causes that are for the betterment of everyone. We got into a pattern of living that was incredibly gratifying and life-changing. Our family returned home with a sense of culture shock and a new profound desire to live a life that embodies a more minimalistic approach.
Commitments to Date
Our 2018 journey caused transcendent moments of pause and reflection. Each destination left an impression of what can be accomplished to help communities and showcase that there is still much work left to be completed. Overall, a serendipitous theme became apparent by the time we arrived home. We need to be more present and find the will to connect with the elements of life that matter most. Every grant and community we have supported so far has helped us learn and evolve. We will continue to experiment and broaden our investment opportunities beyond traditional grants. We will be exploring more program-related investments by assisting for-profit entities such as new budding startups and strike partnerships that will empower others to take bolder actions in the communities they love.
We hope that you continue to follow and support us.
May Good Fortune Follow You Forward,
President & Co-Trustee