Photo: Marilyn Emmert working during a Fuller Center Global Builders trip to El Salvador
Generous donors offer to match your gift with $60,000 matching gift fund; double your gift today!
(NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect that the matching gift fund has increased to $60,000. See details in the sixth paragraph.)
When it comes to helping families have simple, decent places to live, Marilyn Emmert prefers to get her hands dirty and work up a sweat on the job site. But with the uncertainty presented by the pandemic and conditions that vary from country to country, international travel is not as simple as it once was.
Her desire to help families, though, hasn’t wavered.
Emmert has a particular fondness for a couple of countries where The Fuller Center for Housing builds — notably Nepal and El Salvador. She has offered up to $25,000 in a matching gift to build homes in those countries, meaning that if Fuller Center donors respond dollar-for-dollar, it would be worth a total of $50,000.
After learning of Emmert’s efforts, long-time Fuller Center supporters — the Erickson family — responded by offering a $25,000 matching gift of their own, meaning a total of $100,000 in potential new home-building funds.
“Hub and Joan Erickson have been friends of Millard’s work for many years, contributing generously of their resources and time,” Fuller Center President David Snell said. “Their son, Pete, is taking that friendship into another generation.”
UPDATE: Now, Doug Miller — a long-time supporter who has volunteered on a multitude of U.S. and international Fuller builds — has sweetened the pot by offering another $10,000 to be used as matching gifts. The new matching gift fund now totals $60,000, which means a total of $120,000 for new home builds with the support of individual donors like you!
Marilyn Emmert: “Fully blessed”
Nepal was the first international country in which The Fuller Center built homes, while El Salvador has seen a recent building boom and will soon pass the 500-home mark.
“Actually, Nepal was a place I read about in geography when I was a little girl, and I thought I wanted to go there someday,” Emmert said of why she chose Nepal as one of her focus countries. “It was just one of the things on my bucket list because I saw this little girl going up this winding path, and it just struck me. But we finally got to build there, and we loved it. It was just a fantastic trip because of the different culture and the friendliness of the people.
“Then we got to spend some time hiking up the mountains and in Kathmandu,” she added. “It was just all new and interesting. We did not have a single bad experience there. It was just an awesome trip.”
She also worked in El Salvador and was impressed with the leadership of the local Fuller Center covenant partner led by Lisselot Troconis.
“We really enjoyed working there and were really impressed with Lisselot,” she said.
Usually, Emmert and her husband, William, prefer to be hands-on in their charity efforts more than simply donating money. Nevertheless, she is determined to do her part to see families have simple, decent places to live.
“We haven’t felt really comfortable traveling the past two years, so I truly miss that,” she said. “And my husband and I have been fully blessed in the past year, and the crops were good last year. We just felt like we needed to pick something that we really enjoyed. So we picked our favorite charities to support.”