Gerald A. and Karen A. Kolschowsky Foundation: Making a Difference at All Levels

Founded in 1988, the Gerald A. and Karen A. Kolschowsky Foundation supports a variety of causes. Acknowledging its history of support to people served by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), the Kolschowsky Foundation is the recipient of the 2016 True Friend Award at the 35th Annual Amicus Certus Celebration.

Foundation President Tim Kolschowsky said the award acknowledges the work of his parent's charitable efforts and creates awareness of how philanthropy can impact communities throughout Illinois, the nation, and the world.

"Our family doesn't look for awards or recognition. But it does help other people know what you can do, and hopefully motivates others to know that they can make a difference, too," Kolschowsky said. "Anyone can make a difference at any level."

The Kolschowsky Foundation has supported LSSI for over 20 years. Their grants have provided critical funding for people in nearly every LSSI program, including older adults, children in foster care, adults in alcohol/drug treatment, and formerly incarcerated adults and their families, to name a few.

The Kolschowsky Foundation supports organizations that have far-reaching and sustainable programs. Many, but not all, of the organizations they support are Lutheran-based, reflecting Karen Kolschowsky's Lutheran upbringing.

Tim Kolschowsky said the family's philosophy can be applied to any person hoping to make a difference through philanthropy. "There is so much need everywhere," he said. "We've been blessed, and we try to do the most that we can with what we have."