Our Donors

Planting a Different Kind of Seed

North Dakota farmers Jim and Shirley Hooge set up a family giving fund with Vessel Christian Foundation

A strong emphasis in the Hooge household for as long as Jim Hooge can remember still holds true today: all of their children are encouraged to give 10 percent of their allowance or earnings to a charitable cause or organization. For their 16-year-old daughter Shanna, this rule extends to giving of her time as well.

“We often ask our kids, ‘What have you done for someone else today? How have you contributed to our family or someone else’s family?’”

The Hooge family firmly believes that God calls us to give of ourselves to others – our time, our love, and our income.

Jim and Shirley Hooge recently made a charitable contribution by setting up a donor advised fund with Vessel Christian Foundation. Through this fund, the family received the tax savings that come from giving to a registered 501 (c) (3) organization. More importantly, Jim and Shirley, along with their five children, can make decisions about where to direct these funds over several years instead of when the actual gift was made. 

As small grain farmers in the Munich, ND area, it made perfect sense for Jim and Shirley to give a gift of grain. When the transaction was made, Vessel Christian Foundation immediately sold the grain commodity to start the Hooge Family Fund.
“We’ve given to other organizations for years, including our church and foster care foundations. However, we were able to give a larger lump sum to set up our fund with Vessel because of the option to give a commodity like grain. Without the experts and advisors at Vessel, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”

The entire Hooge family is already making quite a difference in the world. Their oldest son Daniel is serving in the Navy in Japan and David serves in the National Guard and is beginning his college education in the fall.  Daughter Karen left on June 13 for a 13-month missions trip to Mexico while their daughter Kathryn works on an archeological dig in Israel. Last but not least is daughter Shanna whose energy and joyful personality keep Jim and Shirley on their toes.

Jim and Shirley’s children will also have the opportunity to give to the family fund.

“Watching the kids give is a joy. My father taught me the importance of giving and passing that onto our kids has been a priority for us.”
 Thank you to the Hooge family for partnering with Vessel Christian Foundation to  advance God’s kingdom through charitable support.

Hooge Family

Caption: The Hooge family, Christmas 2007. From L to R: Kathryn, David, Shanna, Shirley, Daniel, Karen and Jim.  Through their donor advised fund, the family plans to continue their support of their local church, Christian education, the Gideons, missions and benevolent funds for those in crisis situations. Shirley, an RN working at the Good Samaritan Society in Osnabrock, added, “I am impressed that Vessel has strict standards about where funds are distributed. No matter what happens within our family, we know that our gifts will support Christian ministries and organizations.”

“This is the first donation we’ve made in this way and of this size…and we feel it has truly reignited the fun of giving for us. Vessel’s services have helped us to be efficient and purposeful in our giving while having fun with it.”


Fine Print of Grand Forks
Owner, Kevin Kuntz

Fine Print has graciously and generously printed our brochure and newsletter for us. They do a beautiful job and completed these projects ahead of schedule and at no cost to us.

Thank you for this very generous donation, Fine Print.