A Stellar Example of Generosity

As a long-time University Place resident, Chuck Foster has always been generous in sharing his time and talents with the community. He has served on the City’s Economic Development Commission for many years but now Foster has also shared his treasure with the local community as well.

He recently donated the entire $1,200 from his federal stimulus relief check to local organizations and businesses. He gave $200 each to the State of Washington, Pierce County and the City of University Place to help each of them continue to provide public services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He also donated $200 to the Emergency Food Network and supported two of his favorite local restaurants with $200 donations each. 

“A friend mentioned that he felt a little guilty about receiving his check and I thought, you know, I don’t really need this money. I am retired and I have a stable economic situation,” Foster said. “As far as I was concerned, this was just a return of my tax dollars and a chance I don’t often get to control how my tax dollars get spent.”

Foster’s decision to give some of the relief money back to state and local government was based on the fact that the State of Washington depends heavily on its sales tax revenue. With people staying home, he considered the impact the drop in revenue has had on government employees who have been “keeping the lights on” amid the pandemic. “I thought it might be a way to help people who are trying to get their jobs done from home or elsewhere,” he said. 

His “good news” story has been getting quite a bit of attention lately, by his U.P. neighbors who have heard of his generosity as well as by those in U.P. City Hall and by Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier. Foster is a bit uncomfortable with all the attention, but he would consider it worthwhile if it inspires others to follow his lead.  

“It would be nice if you could multiply the effect, but I didn’t do it for those reasons,” Foster says. “I don’t have control over what other people do, but I hope that they will consider helping others."