“I give because I can.”

A life-time of world-wide travels and volunteer experiences in the social services field have convinced Helen Whatmough that giving to others in need is a responsibility – especially if you have the means. It’s one of the reasons she is both a volunteer and donor to the Fountain Hills Community Foundation.

“The reason I like the Foundation is because I’m a believer in aggregate giving,” Helen said. “Most of us don’t have the ability to know all of the agencies, who they help, and what their needs are. Giving to the Foundation creates a pool of resources to distribute based on fairly objective criteria. That’s a good thing.”

Helen and her husband, Bill, lived in Washington before becoming permanent residents of Fountain Hills in 2015. Bill was a partner in a financial advisory firm and Helen worked as COO for a food manufacturing company. During her professional career, she volunteered for a diverse collection of nonprofit organizations, including those serving abused and neglected women and children. She also served on a variety of boards and committees.

“Seeing the need really made me feel that if you can give, you should give,” she said. “It’s a lot different to see women standing at the door of a recently closed women’s shelter than it is to just read about it.”

Here in Fountain Hills, Helen has served on the Fountain Hills Theater, helped the River of Time Museum with their fundraising efforts, and is currently serving on the Fountain Hills Community Foundation (FHCF) board.

In addition to her volunteer duties for the FHCF, she elected to establish a Donor Advised Fund. Not only did the DAF provide an immediate tax advantage, it also gave her the luxury of waiting to find the right place to donate funding.

“You can choose to wait until you see a significant need in the community before you request a withdrawal,” she explained. “That gives you time to learn about new organizations which you might not have known about before.”

Helen and Bill purchased their first home in Fountain Hills nearly 30 years ago on a chance encounter during a visit to Scottsdale. At the time, Helen’s mother wanted to visit a casino and the closest one Helen could find was We-Ko-Pa. While the two women explored the resort, Bill became acquainted with Fountain Hills. By the end of their visit, they owned a winter home.

“We liked the house and the community so much, when we decided to have a permanent residence in Arizona, we didn’t look any further than Fountain Hills.”

After retirement, the couple spent a lot of time traveling the world, including six trips to Africa, learning about different people and their cultures and sampling the local cuisine. Bill passed away a few years ago. Helen continues her legacy of giving back, both with her time and her money, to organizations in her adopted hometown of Fountain Hills.

“The reason I give is because I can,” she said. “And when you can, I think it’s your responsibility to do so.”