You could say we began with the first act of kindness or connection between microorganisms in the evolution of organic life on Earth, because the Skees family believes that love is in our DNA.
Meanwhile, two individuals grew up on a humble farm in Kentucky and a small town in Oklahoma, found their way to one another in St. Louis, and discovered they shared a lifelong passion for family, service, and one another. Jasmine and Hugh cared for seven children in a busy, noisy home with never enough money or time—but they always managed to donate dollars, belongings, blood, and time in balance with family life. Once their seven children dispersed to college, careers, and families of their own—now stretched from New York to California—the two elders got going in full time service: hospice and hospital counseling, prison ministry, food and clothing banks, Habitat for Humanity, and the Dayton International Peace Museum.
One of the second generation, Suzanne, created the Skees Family Foundation in the San Francisco Bay area in 2004. Inspired to take action when she realized her children had access to the same food, shelter, and education she’d received as a child—merely because of geographical luck at birth—Suzanne became obsessed with the notion that all the world’s children should have the same basic human rights.
Together with our nonprofit partners, Suzanne envisioned a way to help needy families built on respect and equality, learning from the ingenuity and resilience of recipients of the foundation’s scholarships and microloans. Since 2004, she has collaborated with her three sons, her parent board directors, her extended family, dynamic nonprofit partners, philanthropic peers, and development experts, to direct small funds with big intentions into the most effective programs.
In 2014, the opportunity to more fully participate in the foundation was opened up to the extended family, and several members were invited to join the Board of Directors. These directors have all been dedicated to the overarching mission of SFF to alleviate poverty and have worked to the best of their ability to create a world with opportunity for all.