Richard Ziegler is a man who likes to help. He delivers for Meals on Wheels and volunteers for Courage Connection, an agency that helps women whose lives are in transition due to domestic violence and other causes.
“I’m as busy as I was when I was teaching,” said the associate professor emeritus of accounting who spent more than 40 years teaching at what is now Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
But none of that would be possible without the care he received at Carle.
It was shortly after arriving at the UIUC in 1972 that he had a coronary bypass. After that, it was smooth sailing for the spry professor, until additional changes in his health made a valve replacement necessary in 2012. By that time, of course, technology had changed.
“It was an open-chest surgery, but I’d had that done in the ’70s,” said Ziegler. “This was a lot smoother. It couldn’t have gone any better.”
It was his care that convinced him to become an annual donor nearly 20 years ago. His motivation was as pure as it was simple.
“I started appreciating the care I was getting and just started making a gift,” he said.
While his giving has been consistent, the beneficiary changes.
“Usually it goes to the Carle Heart and Vascular Institute,” said Ziegler. But other times, he simply makes his gift available to help with the greatest need.
That’s one of the advantages of an annual gift. You can change where it goes every year. And the impact of your generosity is immediate. Funds from annual giving are quickly put to work helping patients at Carle, whether that means buying needed equipment, supporting educational scholarships or providing the little niceties that make life better for families experiencing difficult medical moments.
Ziegler sees his gift at work every time he sets foot in the beautiful building that now houses the Carle Heart and Vascular Institute. Unfortunately, it was completed after he had his big surgery, but he was there for the tour, and he now sees his cardiac specialists there from time to time.
His annual donations make a big difference in a lot of little ways, which makes the busy community volunteer happy.
“I’m glad I’m able to make a small contribution,” he said. “And I hope to continue.”
Categories: Staying Healthy