Meet the Mandels: Intergenerational Giving

Meet the Mandels: Intergenerational Giving

Ruth has been donating to Interval House for years. She started as a young feminist by donating books and clothing to the shelter. Later in life, when she tried to get out of her own marriage, which eventually did end, she gained more insight into why women might choose to stay in problematic relationships.

Ruth also knows that each of us is vulnerable to unexpected crises and feels keenly aware that we could all find ourselves needing help some day. It’s something she tells her children—21-year-old daughter, Ziva, and 14-year-old son, Tai’o. She also tells them we each have the power to make a difference, and is raising them to think like activist philanthropists.

Ruth calls herself a “renegade donor” and leads by example, making choices to get behind whatever she believes in—especially things that might escape the attention of other donors. When Ziva started high school, Ruth invited her to help make the decisions about where to donate money as a family. Ziva, like her mom, was drawn to Interval House because of the positive impact it makes on the lives of women and children. Ziva likes to talk about giving with her boyfriend as well. She feels it’s important to bring men into the conversation, to help them understand why women’s shelters are needed and what donors can do to help.

Recently, Ziva and Ruth visited Interval House together and they were struck by the warm atmosphere and the aspects of life in the shelter that are communal, like the way residents take turns cooking for each other. For Ziva, the visit cemented her commitment to Interval House. She became especially interested in showing her support for safety planning services—the tools and strategy a woman needs when she decides to flee with her children from a violent home. This includes such things as hiding away essentials and photocopying documents.

Ruth enjoys seeing the way it all resonates with her daughter and son. It pleases her to see that Interval House’s hard work, which she has supported for so many years, will carry on in the hands of her family’s next generation of philanthropists.