Donor Spotlight: Eric Welty
How Eric, a retired carpenter, continues to generously support NYF
Eric Welty and his wife, Shelley, are long-time NYF supporters. They’ve been giving to NYF annually since 2009.
A couple years ago, we noticed the frequency of his gifts increasing throughout the year. His gifts also started to include notes at the bottom that perplexed us: “built-in desk”, “shelves,” or simply, “work.”
That’s when we learned that Eric, who had recently retired as a carpenter, had started donating his time and payment for labor to support NYF.
We were so touched to hear this, and reached out to Eric to see if we could learn more.
Eric was kind enough to chat with us for a quick interview in February 2021 to talk about how and why he supports NYF in this creative and generous way. Now, in honor of #NationalVolunteerWeek, we’re excited to share this with all of you a part of our wonderful conversation with Eric Welty.
Thank you again for agreeing to chat with us! Let’s start with your NYF story. How long have you known and/or supported NYF, and how did you come to know of us?
I allowed my higher self to guide me to Nepal, first. Nepal had a calling to me – and after reading about Nepal and learning more about Nepal’s needs, I was then led to NYF.
It was quite a few years ago, actually, back when NYF went by a different name.
Oh! That was back when we were named Nepalese Youth Opportunity Fund. Wow, you’ve been with us since the old days.
Right! And I feel so very fortunate to have found NYF.
Could you please elaborate on how you are currently supporting NYF?
My wife and I are both retired. We’re not wealthy, but we have enough. And as a retired carpenter, I’m still very healthy, and I actually still like working. But I wanted to volunteer now. And so I get projects from friends and friends of acquaintances, and then donate all the money that I make.
That’s wonderful. Thank you so much. What’s motivates you to continue these projects?
I’ve learned over the years that to be self-serving and feeding my desires to accumulate more stuff in my life is not very satisfying. I find that it’s far more satisfying to feed my inner peace by giving service to those who need it.
I can also make a fair amount of money here, but that money goes so much further in Nepal.
You’re absolutely right. What has been some of your favorite moments while doing this work?
I don’t know if I have a specific moment – but just knowing that the financial support is going to people who are most vulnerable.
Also, by donating, I know that the love and care that is extended by the staff in Nepal towards the children should help to promote a healthy and more adjusted adult. And in turn, that’ll perpetuate a better cycle going forward.
On a side note, another thing that’s interesting is that when I made a decision to begin this project, it seemed like the universe was helping in a way. The work comes in a timely manner; not all at once [laughter]. That also reassures me that I’m doing something worthwhile.
[Laughter]. Definitely! What a lovely thing to say though, about helping to perpetuate better cycles. That brings us to our next question: Do you have a favorite NYF program?
What struck me originally was the work you were doing to rescue and free girls sold into Kamlari indentured servitude. I found that inspiring. I realized what little money was needed save these girls. How could I not?
And when I would write a check at the end of the year, I would really feel like something was being done.
Our Empowering Freed Kamlari program is a really great one. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s actually coming to an end on our side. The freed girls have started their own nonprofit!
I heard! That’s great.
It really is.
You know, I’ve been watching NYF evolve as time has gone by, and I’m even more encouraged now than I was years ago.
That means a lot, Eric, thank you. Our last question is if you had any advice for other kindhearted folks who want to help out like you.
Run with whatever you find that resonates with you, like it did for me. Trust your inner guide!
Love it! Thank you so much!
We’re so grateful to Eric Welty for this special chat, and of course, for all that he’s doing to support our work. If you are fundraising for NYF or supporting our work in a creative way, and would like to be interviewed for a donor spotlight, let us know! E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.