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By Danielle Krout-Kaza

EBENSBURG — Did you ever want to help or give back to your community but didn’t know how or even where to start? This was the big dilemma my husband Ryan had been facing. The solution turned out to be easy — and this is our story.

It wasn’t until I started working at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies that we both become more educated about what the Foundation actually does. Since last year, my husband had been going back and forth about starting a fund. He wanted to create an organization to raise money to give to adoption agencies that would help children find a loving home. Ryan was adopted when he was three-days old and, since he is turning the big 3-0 this year, he wanted to pay it forward in a way that would help provide the means for other children to find a loving home. He’s extremely passionate about wanting to help other kids, whether it’s understanding their adoption, finding a home, or providing counseling for them and their families. One of his main hobbies is working on vehicles, so he decided to combine his passion for trucks with his mission to help kids.

“I wanted to do something different, something unique,” said Ryan Kaza. “We hear a lot about motorcycle runs and benefits, but I don’t have a motorcycle. So I thought, what about a lifted truck benefit?”

Still, the question was how to get the ball rolling with all of this. Honestly, it was really quite simple. I told Nancy Marley at the Foundation, about Ryan’s mission and she took care of everything — Ryan just had to sign on the dotted line.

“The Foundation helps you on your path to personal philanthropy, making it easier for you to do good,” said Marley.

“It didn’t take long at all. I was surprised at how easy it was,” said Kaza. “It’s something I thought about doing for years, when I could have started it sooner because the Foundation made it seamless.”

The Foundation was able to help Ryan get things moving to start helping others. Within no time at all, the Kaza Family Adoption Fund was opened.

Helping your community is easy; starting a fund is simple. But it’s the joy and satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of others that’s priceless. Ryan and I have learned a lot about the Foundation since I started in February. We hope other people will see our story and realize they, too, can make a difference. It just takes a few simple steps.

‘This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. The Foundation is making my dream of giving to others a reality,” said Kaza. “I am very grateful.”

The first annual Trucked Up event will be held on October 10, 2015 at 155 Lovell Avenue in Ebensburg. Proceeds benefit area adoption agencies. To register or sign up click on trucks.



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