For 50 plus years, Mary Thielemeir has volunteered, served on nonprofit boards, and provided leadership and support to humanitarian, educational and healthcare organizations close to her heart, including Feeding America. She formed the MET Limited Liability Partnership in 1992 with Feeding America as one of the beneficiaries, and has since grown her investment into a friendship and partnership for 20+ years.
"Volunteering and philanthropy have been a critical part of my entire life; my mother was a big advocate of giving back, and I stood by her side through many of her efforts. My father was in the food business in California, and Feeding America was a natural fit for me. I have made incredible friends and important connections through my work with nonprofit organizations.
"I chose to partner with Feeding America because of their impressive ability at the national level and across the network to maximize efficiencies and relationships across the country for the good of all hungry Americans. I also know that they will put the majority of their revenue directly into their programs to fight hunger, and that they lead the field in ground-breaking research that informs the policies and efforts of every agency that is working to end hunger.
"I first formed the MET Limited Liability Partnership because I wanted to have an impact I could see with an organization that I knew would do the most good with my philanthropy. I believe establishing a planned gift is more fun to do when you're younger, and you can watch it grow and establish a direct, engaged connection with the organization. It is like planting seeds in your garden: you plant them, nourish them, at times you prune them, and then you get to watch them grow and flourish. I have attended Feeding America conferences, visited the national office, and been inside network member food banks, and I have been able to see first-hand incredible new programs and initiatives take shape at Feeding America and in the network. I have also formed friendships with the people at Feeding America and member food banks who share my passion for taking care of others, and I am thrilled to be a part of their important work.
"It touches my heart when I think of the backpacks being filled with food for children and when I see the face of a person who is able to go home with some food for their family and not have to be hungry.
"There is no way America would be where it is in the fight against hunger today without Feeding America."