Carrying on a Family Tradition

Lisa Esherick is a painter, teacher, gardener and a person committed to a world where “everyone and everything thrives.” A resident of Berkeley, CA, Lisa is involved with many organizations, both local and international, that support the arts, education, health, food and housing, the environment and social justice. Ploughshares Fund is a special favorite.

It was her mother and father, as longtime supporters themselves, who initially introduced Lisa to Ploughshares Fund. However, Lisa discovered her own commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons well before Ploughshares Fund was even founded. “In the 1960’s, I was aghast to read an article comparing the greater kill power of the hydrogen over the atom bomb, as though the destruction of so many lives was a virtue, as though measuring a better deal on the purchase of a bushel of apples.”

So when Lisa was in a position to make a charitable gift, Ploughshares Fund was a natural choice. Her mother had been a staunch supporter of Ploughshares Fund and a member of our Nuclear-Free Legacy Society, leaving a substantial gift to Ploughshares in her estate plan.  Lisa made her first gift in 2002 and has been a loyal Council member ever since. Council members generously contribute $1,000 or more annually and account for 66% of Ploughshares Fund’s overall support.

When asked about what keeps her engaged Lisa replied, “Ploughshares Fund has specific strategies to diffuse the use of nuclear weapons. You make grants from so many different angles that engage people at all levels. You acknowledge who people are beyond their national divisions.”

Lisa’s family is a prime example of intergenerational philanthropy. From her mother and father’s early support that got Ploughshares Fund off the ground, to her mother’s estate gift that left a lasting legacy through our endowment, to Lisa’s own engagement—she is carrying on a family spirit of philanthropy and commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons.

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