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WHY WE GIVE


‘Prepared. For Life.’ means something personal


ALTHOUGH MANY MAJOR DONORS to Scouting talk about their desire to give back, Paul and Muffy Christen say that it’s a little more important to them than most to walk the talk. “I owe my life to Scouting,” Paul explains. “I would not be alive today if not for the Boy Scouts of America.” On May 1, 1968, he says, a small plane


in which he was a passenger crashed on takeoff. He and the pilot, the only occu- pants, survived, but both were profoundly injured. As he lay in the wreckage, Paul realized his foot had been severed and his hand was severely cut. That’s when he had what amounted to a vision. “I saw the old Boy Scout blue hand- book from a long time ago,” he recalls.


“It was the page where they talked about tourniquets. I took my tie off and made a tourniquet around my arm. I took my belt off and made a tourniquet around my thigh.” Paul’s improvised first aid allowed him to get to the hospital alive, despite heavy bleeding. The experience gave the Christens the


motivation to encourage others to support Scouting as well. Today, their preferred mode of giving is by challenge grant, in which other donors are challenged to match the amount the couple pledges. And the Christens prefer gifts that support activities rather than facilities. “I don’t believe in bricks and mortar and putting names on buildings,” Paul says.


“I’m interested in programming. So our gift is going into a foundation, and the earnings from that will go to support the Christen High Adventure Base and [the Summit Bechtel Reserve].” Whether they are supporting programs


for youth or encouraging others to give through challenge grants, the Christens never have a problem remembering that morning in May 1968 and why they support Scouting today. “I think Scouting is outstanding,” Muffy says. “There was no question about giving funds to Scouting.”


LEARN MORE about the BSA National Foundation at bsafoundation.org.


ROGER MORGAN (2)


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