Alan and Amy Siemek have lived in Omaha for 30 years and have donated to their community for at least that long.
In December 2007 their son-in-law Chris Rudloff died at age 23 of complications from acute respiratory distress syndrome. He and his wife, Abby, had been married for only a few months.
After that, the Siemeks increased their donations as a tribute to Rudloff's life, Alan Siemek said.
“He was just a great guy,” Siemek said. “Very giving and very unselfish, which is rare for a 23-year-old.”
Chris spent much of his free time volunteering, and the Siemeks make donations to The World-Herald's Goodfellows fund in honor of Rudloff and the community he worked to build. This year they gave $1,000.
They also donate in honor of Alan's sister, Beverly Bomar, who died of breast cancer almost three years ago.
Alan Siemek, chief financial officer for Habitat for Humanity, said he and his wife continue to give to Goodfellows for its direct community impact.
The fund provides one-time emergency assistance and holiday meal vouchers for disadvantaged people in the area. The World-Herald pays all administrative costs.
“Lots of places, the money just flows through the organization,” he said. “With Goodfellows, it's neat to see the people that you're helping.
“It's a little unique that way. It's Omaha.”