Martha and Tim Reichert drew their family mission from a passage in the Gospel of Luke: Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
With gratitude for the multitude of blessings in their lives, the Reicherts are driven to give to others in need.
“Our mantra is to whom much given, much is required,” Martha said. “In Scriptures, Christ dealt with the person and he dealt with the crowds. So we try to imitate him in that way. We care about each individual’s soul, and we care about the most cunning way to capture souls for Christ.”
The couple said they don’t need to look far to find such opportunities.
“What I find is we have a very unique archdiocese in our own backyard,” said Martha, the acting president of the lay apostolate ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) based in Greenwood Village. “We have not only ecclesial support from the bishops and priests, but we have incredible resources. Denver has an incredible wealth of lay apostolates and fantastic lay organizations.”
It’s easy for the couple to find local ministries they’re passionate about. Catholic Charities is one of many they support.
“We love Samaritan House because of the corporal works of mercy like feeding the hungry and clothing the naked,” Martha said. “We can’t forget about feeding the soul either. When I consider our charitable giving, I look for who is on the offensive and gets souls for Christ so we can win over our culture.”
Martha and Tim draw their strong sense of duty to charity through their faith and experiences as youth.
“For both of us, charity started early on,” Martha said.
In Ohio, Tim’s parents practiced and taught tithing. They gave to God the first 10 percent of their income, emphasizing that God is generous first. Growing up in New Jersey, Martha’s earliest memories is of collecting trash-bound food from groceries stores to give to local shelters and inviting the homeless in to their home. She’ll forever remember her college internship at a battered women’s shelter when she met a mother of five children who lived without running water and eating utensils.
“This was in 1992. It is hard to imagine in today’s modern culture that there are families who suffer from this kind of poverty,” Martha said. “I’ve always been draw to women ministries and women in crisis since then.”
After the couple met at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and married, they committed to teaching their four children the same sense of duty to others. Martha said they taught the importance to give through volunteer work and donations.
Even now that their children are grown and attending college, the Reicherts look for two criteria to guide their giving.
“We look for culturally relevant organizations that have phenomenal leadership,” she said. “We found when we trust the leadership of the organization we’re funding, we don’t have to micromanage anything. We like to give and let go once those two criteria are met.”
Their giving is also inspired by the belief that their family is part of the solution. They give to Catholic Charities and other organizations when they see a proactive approach to solving local and national ills.
“We can become insular when in front of the tsunami that stands before us,” Martha said. “There’s a temptation to just want to take care of me and my family but in the long run society will get to our kids and our grandkids. Unless we’re part of the solution, we’re giving them over to the devil.”
At the end of the day, Martha said, the couple thinks of how best to know, love and serve God.
“We are a part of the solution and that’s really important to us,” she said.
Martha and Tim’s take on giving
Q: What are the top three benefits of giving?
A: I’m sitting in my office now and I’m looking at this prayer book that a woman at Samaritan House gave to me. The title is “Mother Love.” This woman was homeless but when she was in the clothing bank she thought of me and got this at Samaritan House. I look at this book a lot, and I remember the homeless and poor. No matter what, the soul in a person has a capacity to give. And we all want to give. It’s kind of putting yourself in front of that other person to receive what they give as well. Everyone has something to give.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer or donor?
A: My advice would be don’t try to change the world, just try to meet someone. Make an effort for a person-to-person encounter rather than trying to change the world. If we put ourselves in service to Christ in a small way, then God can work miracles through us. If you have the capacity to give, then give until it hurts. If you don’t have the capacity, just do what you can.