by TRACY ZOLLINGER TURNER
Jessika and Bryan Hane believe in contributing to the good of the community and the world. They also believe in modeling that philosophy for their four children. To that end, they created a family endowment, the Hane Family Fund, allocated by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. “We want them to see a life of service,” says Bryan, a business investor and entrepreneur.
The couple are active in multiple community endeavors. Bryan, 40, serves as treasurer on the board of Monroe County United Ministries, is on the board of Teachers Warehouse, and is president-elect of Bloomington North Rotary Club. Jessika, 41, serves on the board of the Community Foundation. There, she co-chairs the Thrive by Five endowment, which supports early childhood education. She is also a member of Sunrise Rotary Club and served on the board of Cardinal Stage for six years.
The couple met in 2001 while working for Oliver Winery, where Jessika is the human resources director. They married in 2004. All four of their children—Grace, 6, Eleanor, 3, and twins Alexander and Artemis, 1—were carried by gestational surrogates. The Hanes often speak about the surrogate experience publicly in hopes it may help other couples considering that path.
“We always knew we wanted a family, and it took us a while to come to terms with the fact that, because of health conditions I have, it would be really hard for me to carry a child and use my own eggs,” Jessika says. “After a lot of research, we realized surrogacy was the path for us because it was important to Bryan to have a biological child.”
The Hane Family Fund is a donor-advised endowment, which allows the family to recommend the projects or organizations their charitable dollars will support. Such funds begin with a $20,000 investment that can be spread over five years and yield about $1,000 per year.
The Hanes established the fund in 2016 and made the full contribution over three years, utilizing money they had been saving for charitable giving and donations of stock they held. A recent Lilly Endowment match of 50 cents on each dollar helped finalize their contribution.
“It’s a big commitment to create a fund, but the Community Foundation makes it easy because you can do it over a period of years,” Jessika says.
The couple plans to continue making contributions to the fund. What they are most excited about, they say, is involving their children in the process of thoughtful discussion and decision-making about what the fund supports.
“Donations are important,” Bryan says. “But giving your time, your mind, and your ideas is just as important.”