Fulfilling a Multi-Generational Promise

Mary Beth Woehrle

Mary Beth Woehrle grew up in Jeffersonville, Indiana, attended St. Luke’s United Church of Christ and graduated from Jeffersonville High School. The proud daughter of John and Shirley Woehrle, Mary Beth grew up understanding the importance of community and giving back. Today, Mary Beth is using those values to make an impact.

Mary Beth said, “Dad knew that no success in a person’s life ever happened without hard work, pragmatic decisions, and a bit of luck by way of folks helping you along the way. He viewed his own success not as “pulling himself up by the bootstraps” but rather the result of the investments his community had made in him, in ways both big and small. He believed with absolute certainty that he must pay forward to the next generation the opportunities he had been given and the abundance it had provided. Dad knew that the health of a community, what makes it a great place to live, work, and raise a family, depends on all its members working together, each doing what they can to invest in the place they call home and the people who live there with them.”

Mary Beth faced her own challenges in life and with the support of her husband, Rick, and their two daughters, is using those experiences to help others in need, carrying on the same values her parents taught her.  Mary Beth left her optometry practice two years ago and started a nonprofit in Central Indiana called Find.Ignite.Transform. or FIT. FIT is a place where women broken by life’s circumstances can go to get stronger – mentally, physically, and spiritually. Mary Beth said, “I have a personal connection of brokenness with the women we serve, and, I believe that coupled with the knowledge and experience I have gained on my own journey, God is using each of the broken pieces of my story to ignite a passion and desire within me to help other women become stronger too.”

Today, Mary Beth and her family continue supporting her hometown of Jeffersonville. Mary Beth and Rick established a fund at the Community Foundation that continues to support her childhood church and she continues to support Southern Indiana through the funds her parents established at CFSI that help address the needs of our entire community.

“Mom and Dad both lived their lives through actions of thankfulness, not just words, and were always involved in their community. One of the greatest gifts they gave me was the legacy of giving and the practice of giving as an act of love and compassion. They felt that to live a life worth living they needed to give back to their community now so that future generations would benefit from the same place they called home. The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana has helped us keep those important traditions and values going so that my daughters will continue to benefit from and experience the legacy my parents left behind.”

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