Dear Family and Friends,
March 19, 2018 marked the 10 year anniversary of my brother Shane’s death. While I miss him greatly, I choose to celebrate the life he lived and the lives he touched. I will never forget looking out into the large crowd at his memorial service and being overcome with emotion because so many showed up to honor his life. He made an impact in the 19 years he had on this earth. Those of you who knew Shane knew him as a humble kid who loved God, loved his friends and family, and loved his music. He was juggling being a freshman at Freed-Hardeman University, being an active member of Sigma Rho social club, singing lead vocals in his band The Black Suits, and pursing a relationship with the love of his life when God called him home. While nothing could prepare us for losing him, we were comforted by the fact that he was doing God’s work on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic when he went to be with our Lord.
Every year for the last 15 years there has been a group of students, faculty, and staff from Freed-Hardeman University that have gone to the Dominican Republic on a Spring Break Mission Trip. The group works with a local children’s home, works with a Christian School, visits a hospital and city dump, and conducts VBS in local villages. It is incredible to see the impact that a group of young people can make when they work together to give of themselves and serve. Many who have gone on this trip will tell you their lives have been forever impacted by serving the people of the Dominican Republic. As a result of this trip, many Freed-Hardeman graduates have worked in the Dominican Republic as full-time or part-time missionaries in the years to follow their initial trip.
We wanted to continue to support the work that Shane and many other students were doing and have done over the past 15 years in the Dominican Republic by setting up the Shane Ruiz Endowed Scholarship. The Shane Ruiz Endowed Scholarship has been established at Freed-Hardeman University and will award the recipient with financial assistance in participating on the annual Spring Break mission trip. As you can imagine, it is tough for students to come up with additional money during the middle of the school year to pay for such a trip. This scholarship would help alleviate the financial burden and allow students to serve in the Dominican Republic.
The scholarship will begin awarding to students when it reaches the $30,000 level. Currently the balance is around $23,000. We are almost there! Please consider joining me in making this dream a reality. If you are interested in donating or finding out more information please contact Blake Beckham at firstname.lastname@example.org.