Generosity is demonstrated in a variety of ways. Some people, like Theo Embry, seem to have covered them all.
According to his daughter, Elaine Embry-Mullins, her father lives his life generously through his relationships, gifts, talents, and actions.
“My father did so many things – he worked with his hands as a builder, sold insurance and real estate – but he would also always teach people skills along the way,” she said. “When he built a house for someone who might have a hard time making ends meet, he’d have them work alongside him in the building process and count it towards their down payment.”
Embry-Mullins said her father has always been very community oriented, “looking out for the betterment of his fellowman. To his children, he gave us the understanding of valuing what was important, which was using what we had to help others,” she said.
That is one reason Embry, a longtime member of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Cleburne, first became involved with Methodist Children’s Home.
“He believes in what MCH was doing,” she said. “He knew they helped kids get a better start in life.”
Embry, who has been a benefactor and participant of the MCH gift annuity program for more than 30 years, recently donated the contents of his two large hobby workshops to the MCH Boys Ranch when he and his wife downsized to move into an assisted living facility near their daughter in Robinson, Texas.
Embry’s collection included many woodworking tools, a welding rig on a trailer, impact wrenches, lifts, pulleys, many trays of tools, and machines to bend and cut metal.
Allison Crawford, director of benefactor relations at MCH, said it took multiple trips by a moving company to transport all the items to the Boys Ranch. She recalled how proud Embry was of his workshops.
“When we would pay visits to Mr. Embry, he used to take us through his shops and show us projects he’d completed,” Crawford said. “Mr. Embry seemed to have every tool imaginable. He was very proud of his tools and kept everything in immaculate condition.
“Because of the quality, it was like receiving brand-new tools,” Crawford said of the donated items. “Many of the tools and machines were actually on the wish list of our teachers who lead our vocational program.”
According to Trey Oakley, MCH vice president for development, Embry’s heart for helping others, especially those served by MCH, has always been evident.
“The Embrys have been faithful benefactors for many years,” Oakley said. “This generous gift further affirms their support for our mission and will help transform our vocational/ag program at the Boys Ranch. As a result, countless lives will be positively impacted. Like so many of our benefactors who believe in the life-changing work we do, I know that is what the Embrys care about very deeply.”
One of Embry’s projects, a large mirror in a handmade wood frame, now hangs in the Perkins Heritage Home and Visitors Center on the MCH Waco campus. Embry-Mullins said the heavy piece is characteristic of her father’s projects, just as it mirrors his generosity to MCH.
“That’s how he did it – it had to be big and it had to last,” she said, laughing.