Jeff and Julie Bowe set up a charitable fund through the Community Foundation of Chippewa County for two reasons.
"One, we have the ability to help others, and two, you're supposed to help others," Jeff said.
"We just feel fortunate that things are good for us, so we wanted to help other people," Julie agreed.
The Eau Claire couple learned about the Foundation through friend Jill Herriges, the organization's executive director. The Foundation understands how to manage money, and the "awesome" board of directors is well versed on the community's needs, Jeff said.
They like having one central organization to give through. "We have trust that (the Foundation board) will make good choices. … We want to streamline to give to places that need help the most," Julie said.
The couple, who own Bohl & Proulx Plumbing in Chippewa Falls, created the Jeff and Julie Bowe Family Fund on June 19, 2020. It is an unrestricted endowment fund, which allows the Foundation board to award grants for most pressing needs to charitable organizations in Chippewa County through their annual grant cycle.
Jeff is a Chippewa Falls native, and the Bowes wanted to give back to his hometown.
The pair have donated to various community organizations, including Irvine Park, Riverfront Park, United Way and the local YMCAs. They also are involved with the giving tree at Memorial High School in Eau Claire, which Julie attended.
Jeff and Julie credit their families for raising them with charitable values, and they hope their fund sets a good example for their daughter. "His family and my family always seemed to help others when they needed it," Julie said.
The Bowes established their fund at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.