Supporting Wheat Ridge Brings the World to Their Doorsteps

Supporting Wheat Ridge Ministries gives Gary and Kathy Worke an opportunity to support charitable ministries they might not otherwise know about.

“I think the biggest ministry opportunity that comes to mind is helping to build water wells for people in drought-stricken areas of Africa,” he says. “We felt it was a really good use of our stewardship.”

The couple who live in Waseca, Minnesota, about 65 miles south of Minneapolis, have supported Wheat Ridge for about 10 years. For Gary, an entrepreneur and a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Wheat Ridge’s approach to servant leadership and philanthropy really resonates.

The Workes family business, Colony Court, has been in operation since 1991. From left to right Adam and Melissa Worke, Gary and Kathy Worke, and Leah and Eric Worke.

“The whole idea of giving funds to seed new ministries and watching them become productive on their own is appealing to an entrepreneur,” he says. “I do like the idea that Wheat Ridge can give them the motivation to get started.”

More than 26 years ago, he and Kathy developed their own business, Colony Court, an assisted and independent living facility to address a need for the elderly residents in their area. “The facility grew out of an interest in trying to help people,” Gary says. “What really got us involved was a desire to help frail, elderly people. At the time we got into this, they had no options. It was a very expensive option to go to a nursing home. There was a real gap there, and we felt that we could provide a real service to seniors.”

In 2012, Colony Court was named Waseca Business of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce for its region-wide reputation of providing quality work within the community. Today, two of the Worke’s four adult children are involved on a daily basis and a third is intermittently involved.

“We’ve been blessed and we always give a portion of our income to charity,” Gary says. “We’ve asked the Lord for guidance as we expand and grow our support. Wheat Ridge is the best avenue we have found to reach certain areas that we were not gifting with our current program. We have liked what we saw as the result of our giving to Wheat Ridge.”

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