Being a Pastor's daughter, Dorothy Bowen grew up in a home where helping others was a way of life. As one of three children to Esther and S. F. Bredow, Dorothy saw her parents both minister and sacrifice to help others.
"If someone asks for help, you give it to them. My mother never turned away from helping homeless at our back door. She'd make them lunch and give them fruit from our trees."
In the mid-1930's Dorothy would accompany her father on congregational visits and always charmed her Daddy into treats. When her mother realized Dorothy's plan, Esther put her kids on a weekly allowance of 10 cents - in a time when a penny really bought something. The Bredow children each received one nickel and five pennies for their blue Noxzema jars with strict instruction that one penny went to the Sunday school offering. The children were then expected to buy their own treats or save the money. This was a lesson in tithing that Dorothy never forgot.
Watching her parents' generosity had such an impact on Dorothy that she continued tithing and began donating to special causes. "I always thought it would be nice to add a zero", says Dorothy, making five digit gifts become a six digit gift. When she married her husband, Dr. Gordon Bowen, she found a partner that matched her generous spirit. Every month they would make a list of charities to donate to, one of which was Lutheran Social Services of Southern California.
Since her husband's death, Dorothy has continued their generosity through her estate plan. Dorothy believes in blending giving which means using multiple gifting tools and strategies for multiple ministries. Dorothy uses a donor advised fund (DAF) for distributing scholarships to seminarians, charitable gift annuities (CGA's) to generate more income for future gifting, and charitable IRA rollovers for funding current needs of many of her favorite ministries including Central City Lutheran Mission.
Dorothy Bowen is truly a model of generous giving and a loving soul. We are so grateful for all she does through her generosity and volunteerism.