Profiles in Philanthropy: Elizabeth A. Keat
The Keat family has a longstanding tradition — supporting the Homes. As Elizabeth A. Keat (Betty Anne), a retired high school teacher noted, her mother was very much concerned about supporting those who need care as they get older. “We’ve had several pastors who gave of themselves, time, energy, support and friendship not only to people in the church, but also in the community. To know the Homes would take care of elderly people whether they were retired pastors and their family or other people who didn’t have family … seemed a small way and great opportunity for all of us to give back.”
Elizabeth remembers as a young child her local church taking annual collections to help the residents of the Homes. She also recalls that she benefitted from a Methodist scholarship for two years while attending Dickinson College.
Growing up in Chatham, Elizabeth and her family felt a great deal of backing from the Chatham United Methodist Church and were able to view its generous benevolence first-hand. “The church family is very supportive.” The congregation also visited residents of Methodist Manor (closed in 2001) in Branchville regularly. Members saw directly how residents of the Homes benefitted from their annual collection, given around Mother’s Day. Elizabeth says that when she thinks of the Homes, certain things come to mind — “A very homey atmosphere, relatively easy access to friends and a place for keeping seniors safe.”
Elizabeth appreciates the whole idea of benevolent care, its essential support of the Homes’ mission and that it continues to support the organization. Among all the services offered, she’s also happy to know the Homes has Memory Support residences for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Among its many effects, her vote of confidence keeps the Keat family tradition vibrant and leaves a legacy for others. “I feel at this point in my life I’m able to continue giving donations and would like to keep it up because I think you’re doing a great job and there’s certainly a need for it.”
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