Julie and Duane Duim
by Heather Klinger
World Vision is a vital part of the legacy of the Duim family, who has partnered with World Vision for generations. Julie Duim, 46, refers to the years as an impactful journey for not only the family but also the children and families they’ve helped.
“God calls us to do the work that World Vision is doing,” says Julie’s husband, Duane, 46. “It’s not gray. It’s black and white. When we hear about caring for the orphans and the widows, it’s foundational to what we’re called to do. And when we’re looking to figure out who we partner with to have an impact, World Vision is top of the list for us.”
Julie and Duane live in Snoqualmie, Washington, and first heard about World Vision in the mid-’90s.
Then in 1999, Duane’s parents, Gary and Linda, started a family foundation that includes their children and grandchildren—and named World Vision a beneficiary.
Duane and Julie then became child sponsors in the early 2000s. They also found more ways to engage and volunteer—empowering women and girls through Strong Women Strong World, helping provide clean water by running with Team World Vision, and providing financial inclusion solutions through VisionFund, World Vision’s microfinance subsidiary. Julie also became the chair of a Women of Vision chapter. Through the years, they also remember World Vision introducing them to topics no one else was talking about—child trafficking, Syrian refugees, and refugees in general.
“If I look at what investments are going to have the greatest return that I’ll probably ever make, it’s going to be these gifts,” says Duane, a wealth management firm partner. “We may not always see it firsthand. We may not meet the people we’re going to impact. But there’s a confidence in knowing that when you make a gift like this, you’re going to change someone’s life forever.”
Part of their confidence in World Vision comes from witnessing the character of the staff they’ve met over the years as their involvement has grown and as they have traveled to see World Vision’s work both in the U.S. and internationally to Zambia, Uganda, and Mexico.
“These are people who love Jesus so much and are pouring their whole lives into serving him,” Duane says. “When you see that authentically lived out, it develops an incredible level of trust.”
Just as they were impressed by World Vision’s staff, they were also personally touched by what they saw.“You see the impact. You see these awesome transformations. You see lives change,” Julie says. “You can’t help but want to be part of it.”
They found themselves forever changed after a 2006 trip to Zambia to witness the impact of their family foundation’s donations and meet their sponsored child, Queen.
“You can’t go and come back and not feel a sense of responsibility,” Duane says. “At least for us, life’s different.” Julie adds, “It should be different.”
These are people who love Jesus so much and are pouring their whole lives into serving him. When you see that authentically lived out, it develops an incredible level of trust.
Duane Duim Wealth Management Firm Partner
What meant the most to them was meeting people face-to-face, shaking their hands, and entering their homes to hear their stories of transformation. It put faces to statistics—statistics that have made an impression on them.
“When we talk about 1,000 children every day under the age of 5 dying because of a lack of access to clean water, that is a crisis,” Duane says. “That’s a no-kidding, you-better-pay-attention statistic.”
Seeing the work also made the stories they’ve heard more personal. Now, they think of their donations as helping their neighbors.
“They’re moms and dads with the same hopes and dreams for their kids that we have,” Julie says. “There’s nothing different about that. What they work for, long for, and dream for their kids is the same thing.”
After being modeled generosity by their parents, Duane and Julie, in turn, are passing on that value to their daughters, 18-year-old Emma and 16-year-old Holly.“We want to have kids that can see beyond their own needs and have a sense that there’s a bigger world out there that’s certainly beyond them,” Duane says.
“Like us, they’ve also won the lottery in regard to their situation and opportunities. They have opportunities for education, food to eat, clothing, housing, and all those things that have been given to them. We’re hoping to give them a greater exposure to the needs of the world. Our prayer is that some of that will rub off on them and that they will, then, live generous lives as well.”
Julie, a stay-at-home mom, says they’ve also been as intentional with how their family spends time together as with their financial investments. From sponsoring children through World Vision to becoming a foster family for children locally, they have made the conscious choice to continually invest in God’s kingdom with the resources at their disposal.
“Things are always relative in regard to your ability to give, but that basic concept—to much has been given, much is required—that’s foundational for everyone regardless of your situation,” Duane says.
Now, they’re excited to start a new chapter as Visionaries and build community with other World Vision partners to make a greater impact together.
“There is something about the ability to get together in a room with people,” Duane says. “It’s convicting, right? You get stretched. It makes you think about your priorities—how you’re thinking about your finances and being thoughtful.”
Part of that thoughtfulness for the Duims is remaining conscious of their legacy.
“What do you want to be remembered for?” Duane says. “I want to be remembered as somebody who is going to leave the world in a better place than they found it.”
You see the impact. You see these awesome transformations. You see lives change. You can’t help but want to be part of it.
Julie Duim Stay-at-home mom