Hello. I am Margaret Reymann Skinner, and I am currently serving as Vice Chairwoman of the Charles and Salome Reymann Foundation board of directors.
I am both honored and greatly humbled to speak to you about our year-end campaign.
As many of you know, the Reymann family is quite a large family; my father Clement was one of Charles’ and Salome’s 16 children. As a mother of 3 children myself, I am in constant awe of my grandmother Salome – how can any one woman deal with all those kids, feed and clothe them, educate them, manage the household, cook, clean, garden, bake, sew and keep her sanity?
The reality is that grandma was a faith-filled woman with so many talents. Not only was she a dedicated mother and skilled homemaker, she was very intelligent, an astute business woman, a philanthropic person, and a doer in her community. She was the definition of an activist; she was aware of the needs of others, and courageously ‘put herself out there’ to help. It was her example of involvement that pushed our board to become an ‘activist board’. We don’t just attend meetings; we hold ourselves accountable for driving our mission forward for the benefit of those who need us the most, ‘putting ourselves out there’ for others.
The stories of Salome’s actions and giving spirit are many, especially when times were rough. During the Great Depression, the Reymann home was tagged by the hobo code of a stick cat drawn on the sidewalk, meaning ‘a kind lady lives here’. A downtrodden person finding this ‘cat’ always knew that a scrumptious meal awaited them on the front porch of the Reymann home, in exchange for a little bit of work.
I’ve heard countless stories of the card parties grandma hosted to support missionary work, the celebrations, picnics and holiday parties she hosted for family and friends, and her generous and quiet outreach to neighbors in need.
So when the Foundation board members discerned about a branding our year-end campaign, it was cousin Chris Reymann that softly said “you know, I always did like grandma’s name, and I think it would be fitting for us to honor her in this way”. How can you argue with that? Decision made; our discernment was over.
Tonight we proudly introduce “Salome’s Heart”. It is through this initiative that we reflect on Salome’s gifted hands, that were busy doing for others, and her huge heart, that was busy loving others. This campaign will be an annual effort by our Foundation, featured at the time of year when we give thanks for all our blessings, gift to our family and friends, and gather for warm celebrations.
In our holiday preparations, let’s remember Salome, a truly valiant woman.