Multigenerational Generosity: The Olsrud Family
For Sherm and Wanda Olsrud, charitable giving means giving back to the people that have supported their grocery stores over the years. The couple bought their first retail shop in the 1950s. Today, the family owns four markets serving Klamath Falls, Medford and Roseburg. “The community has been good to us, so we’re just trying to give back to the community. There are a lot of people in the community who need some help,” Sherm said.
Their goals were to give in ways that make a difference in the community and to create a tradition of working together as a family on their charitable giving, just as they do in their business. In 2001, Sherm and Wanda created a scholarship fund at OCF. In 2007, they added a new scholarship fund for 4-H and FFA participants. In addition to scholarships, the Olsrud funds support children and families in need and recreational programs.
"I thought every family did this. It wasn’t until much later that I realized the impact my grandparents have on our community. They helped open my eyes to the need out there, and if you can help in some way, you should.”
Granddaughter of Sherm and Wanda Olsrud
Charitable giving is a legacy Sherm and Wanda are passing on through their son Steve, their grandchildren and even their great-grandchildren. “My parents set the tone,” Steve recalled. “Their giving has made me more aware of the need in the communities. It’s made myself and my daughters more aware of the need that is out there.”
Collectively, the Olsrud funds have awarded nearly $2 million in grants and scholarships.