My mom, Millie Hindmarsh, was a farmer's daughter whose father prized education so highly that he paid for her to board in town to go to school at the height of the Great Depression. Thanks to his investment, Millie became a teacher in one room school houses in Nebraska for 29 years. Her starting salary was $27 a month! For the robust sum she was responsible for stoking the fire, cleaning the school, pitching for the soft ball team, being school nurse as well as teaching 7 grades and making preparations for each class each period each day. She loved teaching. And her students loved her. Even though Mom retired from teaching 34 years ago, twelve former students attended her funeral. Mom chose the words for her tombstone; "To teach is to touch a life forever. Teaching is loving."
When I got involved with Opportunity International, mom became a passionate supporter as well. She immediately understood that empowering women to start small businesses with small loans would not only change their lives--it would also change their children's futures. One of the first things women do with their increased income in addition to providing better nutrition and health care is to send their children to school. And that made perfect sense to Millie who believed education was the key to future success.
Having grown up in rural America during the Depression, Millie identified with the challenges women face in developing countries. And she especially identified with the lives of the teachers of schools in remote areas.
Because of mom's commitment to life-long learning, our family has decided to honor her by creating a memorial to increase access to education in the developing world.
Julie Hindmarsh invites you to celebrate the life of her remarkable mother, Millie Hindmarsh, by donating to the Millie Hindmarsh Education Fund. Millie, a life long supporter of education and women's empowerment, passed away this fall at the age of 96.