Jerre and Mary Joy Stead have always been committed to living a life of purpose.
The high-school sweethearts got married while they were students at the University of Iowa and had two sons who were born at University of Iowa Children's Hospital.
As they look back on the humble beginnings of their married life, Jerre and Mary Joy Stead can pinpoint a crucial decision they made to always do two things with their earnings: give and save.
In fact, Mary Joy Stead remembers some winter months when the couple lived in Minneapolis. The heating bills were high enough that the couple didn't have enough money for savings. "But we always gave," she says.
That decision to make helping others a priority has brought the couple immense joy.
"We're working hard today to make sure that our grandchildren have the same giving spirit that we have, and that we've instilled in our children." - Jerre Stead, of University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital
"The wonderful thing about giving is the joy you get back," says Jerre Stead. "I've found that the more we give, the more we get. And so, the more we get, the more we give."
Although they have lived and worked all over the world in the years since, they hold a special place in their hearts for Iowa.
"We still think of Iowa first when it comes to quality health care," says Mary Joy Stead. "And not only because of the research that's happening there, but also because the family-focused environment at Iowa is remarkable."
That's why the couple has made transformational gifts to support children's medicine at the University of Iowa.
"Philanthropy, to us, is not just about giving," says Jerre Stead. "It's investing in the future."