“It is not about what you’re giving up. It’s about what you are giving.” That’s the motto of Jim and Juel Pierce, longtime donors to Second Harvest Community Food Bank. The Pierce’s dedication to serving those in need have made them an integral part of the solution to hunger. Despite their dedication, the Pierces say they are not saints. They say giving is just part of who they are.
“Giving to Second Harvest is part of our personal faith vision,” says Juel. “God has more to say about hungry people than many other topics in the Bible. God created all people, but he didn’t create them to be miserable and hungry. Everyone deserves to be fed, not just those who can afford to go to the grocery store.”
Jim and Juel’s faith guides them in all facets of their lives. Both are ordained ministers and served as parish pastors for many years. Currently, the Pierces both serve as chaplains at Heartland Regional Medical Center. Juel is a hospital chaplain and Jim supervises hospice chaplains. “That’s where God wanted us to be,” says Juel.
Jim and Juel hope to encourage others to give to Second Harvest and other worthy causes on a consistent basis. “We made a decision to give to Second Harvest each month,” says Juel. “We don’t talk about what we will do with our paycheck. We made the decision to give and that’s who we are. It’s like paying the mortgage; we automatically do it each month. “
The Pierces have given to Second Harvest because of their faith, but they’ve also donated because they know that 96% of all resources given to Second Harvest are used for food distribution. “Second Harvest can spend our money to help those in need more effectively than we can on our own,” says Jim.
The Pierces have been happily married for 41 years. They met at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. Jim grew up in St. Paul, Nebraska and Juel grew up in Storm Lake, Iowa. They have two daughters and one grandson. The Pierce’s are also active members of the First Lutheran Church in St. Joseph where they are inspired by the church’s mission to nourish the hungry.