Marvin Larsen has been two things his entire life: a farmer in central Kansas and a caring neighbor. Since he was a child, Marvin worked the family farm; a year-round job with each year’s income not guaranteed. And because of that uncertainty–neighbors worked closely together. “We had to neighbor, we didn’t have a choice. Many years ago, there were 4-5 families in one section (about 1 square mile or 640 acres). We shared food, fed horses, butchered meat together–we made sure we all survived. If we weren’t good neighbors, we wouldn’t have anything.”
As the years went by, Marvin saw many changes. “With equipment and improved farming, now there’s not even one person on average per section. I’ve made more money from farming, but there’s less people doing it. My neighbors are spread out.”
A few years ago, Marvin survived a heart attack. It didn’t stop him from still climbing into the combine to plant and harvest, but it did make him think. “I decided then and there, I’d better have a plan in place for my estate.”
Marvin drew up a Charitable Trust, naming the American Red Cross as one of his five charitable organizations that would share in his estate. “I see Red Cross helping people all around me–disasters, helping the troops, first aid, etc. The Red Cross doesn’t choose who they help, they help everyone, everywhere. That is very important to me.”
His concern for those faced with disaster comes from knowing people today don’t have access to close neighbors like he had growing up. “Those wildfires this year seemed endless–I don’t know how people are able to cope. I’m giving to the Red Cross because I have more than enough and I want to give back.”
Through Marvin’s generous and thoughtful gift, he will ensure the American Red Cross can carry on the work of being good neighbors to folks everywhere.