By Tracy Murphy

Around 2001, I was in my early 20s and had recently  given birth to twins when my Dad, Tom Schriber, invited me to tag along with him one afternoon for a visit to KidWorks. We arrived at Townsend Street in central Santa Ana. At the time, the “center” was a one-room apartment converted into a classroom where dozens of kids could safely receive homework help from staff and volunteers.

Here I was, apprehensive, nervous and a little scared to be out of my safe Newport Beach environment.  I’d never before spent time in such an underserved neighborhood. As we walked up to the classroom, I saw a neighborhood defaced by gang graffiti and where poverty was rampant. My eyes were as big as saucers!

I also saw exactly what my Dad wanted me to see: an opportunity to serve.

“Anyone can write a check,” my Dad told me. “And while that’s important, there’s something more I want you to learn. Be hands-on. When you do that with time, talent and resources, you’ll know you’ve done good.”

My Dad’s KidWorks journey began in 2002 when his business partner, Dan Donahue, died unexpectedly. In Dan’s memory, my Dad and colleagues helped raise over $1 million to build the original Dan Donahue Center. Since then, he and his wife, Jill, have helped raise funds, sponsor Mater Dei scholarships, provide wise leadership and much more.

My Dad planted the seed that led to three generations of our family being part of the KidWorks story:  himself, me, my husband, Kevin and our four children, McKenna, 20; JT, 20; Taylor, 18 and Reiley, 15.

Together, we’ve supported the annual Foundation for Success luncheon, cooked Thanksgiving dinners that we delivered to central Santa Ana families and filled Christmas stockings with gifts. My husband and I also serve on the Festival of Chefs Committee. As a mom, I couldn’t be prouder when my daughter chose KidWorks for her school project to learn more about the non-profit world.

I share this story about our family not for recognition, but with humility. The Murphy’s are a family of deep faith in God, and we’re inspired by Proverb 22.6Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

To say it another way, my wish for your family is also to experience the joy and opportunity of multi-generational giving.

Whether it’s a dollar or a million dollars, one hour a month volunteering or a hundred hours—multi-generational giving is a legacy that can span across every generation of your family.  Including those yet unborn!

I, and then my children, grew up hearing about KidWorks from my Dad. When COVID-19 hit, we became more aware of the many inequalities that exist for many Orange County families. We wanted to help even more. We jumped in to participate in the weekly KidWorks’ food distribution program. It was awesome to have the chance to serve together as a family.

I believe with all my heart that there’s a place for every family within the KidWorks family.  I know you’ll be welcomed with the same love and gratitude that we received on that first day–and each day thereafter. Just think of the multi-generational family legacy you’ll personally inspire!

(Editor’s note:  The Schriber/Murphy families have generously supported KidWorks across three generations. We are honored to share Tracy’s inspirational story of their family’s journey over nearly 20 years, walking alongside KidWorks in countless ways. Tom Schriber is one of the founders of Donahue Schriber, a private real estate investment trust. Tracy is his daughter and serves on our Festival of Chefs Committee. The Murphy grandchildren volunteer at KidWorks.)