David (BBA ’61) and Ginger (FS ’75) Blomstrom have regularly supported the University of Houston System since the early 1980s. Their first major contribution was to the building fund for the University of Houston Alumni Association in memory of their late daughter, Denise. “We’re not wealthy people, but we’ve always believed that you share what you have,” says David, a Houston-area Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
The Blomstroms have also supported UHS with charitable gift annuities (CGAs), where they contribute assets in exchange for a stream of income for both their lifetimes. To date, the Blomstroms have used CGAs to support the School of Nursing at UH Victoria, UH Athletics and the UHAA Endowed Building Campaign and endowed scholarships at The C. T. Bauer College of Business, the Honors College and the UH College of Nursing—where Ginger is an Emeritus Professor.
As a CPA, David also appreciates the tax advantages of planned gifts and the many options available to donors of modest means. “We receive income from the CGAs and very generous charitable deductions for the appreciated stock we contribute.” David has heard other CPAs joke that the deduction available for CGAs is such a good tax break, it should be repealed. Of course, he hopes the tax deduction will continue to be available for a long time. “I think people will be surprised how you can make the charitable options work for you.”
“We’re not interested in taking our money to the grave,” explains David. “We believe in putting our money to work in our lifetimes.” And that is exactly what they do. In fact, the Blomstroms donate up to 20 percent of their hard-earned money every year. “UH and our church have been our lifetime favorites.”
Both Blomstroms grew up in self-described impoverished circumstances, but also in homes that were rich in love and with parents who valued the importance of education. Ginger, who grew up in the small, south Texas town of George West, was the baby in a family of nine children born to a cotton sharecropper. She received a doctorate from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and is a longtime nurse practitioner/educator. As a young Hispanic girl, she attended a segregated school in George West through the fourth grade and was part of the state’s contentious transition to fully integrated schools for all Hispanic students.
Ginger recalls, “My mother and father always emphasized education. When I got ready to go to the University of Houston, my whole family pitched in. They all knew that education was the key to making my life a success.”
Conversely, David was the oldest child of five, who, upon graduating from Reagan (now Heights) High School in Houston, enlisted in the Navy where he was assigned to be a Storekeeper (SK2) and performed work closely related to the duties of a CPA. “I used the GI Bill to attend UH and I knew that I wanted to be a CPA. I’m grateful to the Navy and my business school professors for providing a career path I followed for the rest of my life. It allowed us to put two children through college and pay tuition in advance for our three grandchildren.”
The Blomstroms have always been of the same mind about their philanthropy. They have never considered it a burden. As first-generation college graduates in their families, David and Ginger know firsthand about the importance of education. “When I see my nursing students graduating, that’s the ‘Aha!’ moment,” says Ginger. “That’s the return on investment. Seeing those students persevere and succeed. That’s the real joy of giving.”
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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.