Longest-Serving Employee Gives to Ensure HMH Touches Future Generations
Roger Henderson and Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) enjoy a long-standing relationship. He began working at HMH before the Museum opened on March 3, 1996. His earliest memories of HMH include his immense desire to ensure everything was absolutely clean and in perfect order for the opening. He personally set up the 400 chairs in the front parking lot for this historic event and remembers with great clarity the speakers and the attendees, especially the survivors. After 21 years, Roger continues to work at HMH as the longest-serving employee.
In the early days and beyond, Roger worked closely with Holocaust Survivor Bill Morgan. Bill's story was life-changing for him. Roger knew a little about the Holocaust, but as he met more Houston survivors, he knew he needed to educate himself about that time in history and committed himself to doing so.
"It became personal to me after I met our survivors," he explains. "They had the will to survive; they came here with nothing. They gave me a different perspective on life, and on how people should be treated." HMH has helped shape Roger into the caring man he is today.
Witness to Museum's Influence
To Roger, "Holocaust Museum Houston is an important place with a very powerful message." He has seen HMH change people for the better with his own eyes.
About six years ago, Roger caught an adolescent writing graffiti on the walls in the bathroom. Roger and the Houston Police Department officer on duty that day spoke to the young man by the name of José. As an opportunity to rehabilitate himself, he was offered the opportunity to volunteer at the Museum. José began asking meaningful questions while working at HMH, and over the years, he made something of himself and his life. Now 20 years old, José comes back on a regular basis and brings his friends and family. Roger personally feels this is one of his greatest accomplishments at the Museum. "Volunteering at HMH changed this young man into a kind and productive citizen," Roger says.
"I feel it is HMH's responsibility to educate as many youngsters as we can. If they can put a person into the story, it becomes more real to them. So what can I do to make sure this place stays open forever and continues to make a positive impact on our children?"
A Meaningful Gift
Roger decided the best way to make an impact was to become a member of HMH's Generation to Generation Legacy Society. He learned of the society and thought, "By leaving a legacy gift, I can still be here, even when I am no longer here. Kids will continue to be moved by their visit and will leave with a different attitude, a different way of seeing their world and how they can make an impact."
"I felt compelled to do something meaningful to me, and by doing something meaningful, my son will understand what's important in life."
Roger is leaving a portion of his individual retirement account (IRA) to Holocaust Museum Houston as his legacy gift. "I am so thankful to HMH, and I am most grateful for being a part of this Museum for over 21 years. My legacy gift will hopefully fund an internship for an at-risk child. Like José, I want to give other children the opportunity to become better human beings through volunteering at HMH."
Holocaust Museum Houston is grateful to Roger for his dedication to HMH, his belief in our mission and his deep understanding of the need for legacy gifts to keep our doors open so we can continue to educate our future - our youth.
How Will You Make an Impact?
Like Roger, you can help ensure our doors stay open for future generations by including HMH in your long-term plans. Contact Stephanie Dugan, CAP® at 713-527-1629 or email@example.com today to discuss your giving options.