Community Service Award
Robert E. Wamhoff
Charity | Just Because We Care
Company | Wamhoff Financial Planning & Accounting Services, Inc.
Broker/Dealer | VSR Financial Services, Inc.
Ask Bob Wamhoff why he spends countless volunteer hours and air miles helping an impoverished village in Honduras, and his explanation is simple: “We [in the United States] have infrastructure – churches, organizations, food pantries – to help the poor. In our mountain community, they have us – that’s it.”
Mr. Wamhoff, president of Wamhoff Financial Planning and Accounting Services, Inc., of Hazelwood, Mo., first visited the isolated community in 2003. What he saw at the local grade school was a devastating sight – starving children with arms as thin as sticks, reduced to eating grass and leaves to survive.
He vowed to help, and thus was born a charity named Just Because We Care, based in his hometown of Hazelwood, Mo.
Over the past six years, Mr. Wamhoff and his volunteers, who visit the village of 850 several times a year, have built a kitchen and two additions for the school. They also built a vocational school.
“We have 140 kids in the elementary school. We feed, clothe, and educate them and maintain the facility we built. Fifty children are now enrolled in the vocational school, learning sewing, computers, carpentry, auto mechanics, and baking,” he said. Furthermore, 20 children have received scholarships to attend high school.
The charity’s main fundraiser, an annual gold tournament, has been strongly supported by Mr. Wamhoff’s broker/dealer and other associated financial firms, which donate items, serve as sponsors, and participate in the event.
The sense of fulfillment is overwhelming, he said. “I feel in love with these kids. And it’s mind-numbing to see the end results.”