Mr. Robert Sims

Robert Sims smiling Like many people, Robert Sims thinks most of his life experiences and actions are not that extraordinary. But the more you get to know Mr. Sims, the more you sense the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

He has never had kidney disease, nor has anyone in his family. "I started supporting the American Kidney Fund because I knew some people who were on dialysis and had one friend who had a kidney transplant."

AKF is not the only charity Mr. Sims supports. He estimates he makes gifts to more than 100 charities annually, and these are gracious amounts.

Mr. Sims and his sister were raised by their mother. She ran a small grocery store. Though they were constantly struggling to make ends meet, whenever his mother heard a radio appeal for a community emergency she would offer three to four bags of groceries.

As treasurer of his church, he knew firsthand the challenges of balancing a budget from charitable contributions. One time the finances were so tight they couldn't purchase a replacement typewriter for the church office. A used IBM Selectric was $250. Mr. Sims put in $50 and asked four others to do likewise. His logic was: "If I'm going to ask others I need to be willing to contribute."

He contributes his time. He's been a member of his Lions Club for more than 50 years. He is actively recruiting "30 Somethings" to help lower the average age of members.

He also served as a fighter pilot of P38's during World War II.

Mr. Sims established a charitable gift annuity with the American Kidney Fund in 2003 with appreciated stock. His wife did the same a year later with another charity. Both of those worked so well that Mr. Sims did a second annuity in 2006. The guaranteed payments from the American Kidney Fund were attractive. With a retirement fund from the telephone company that has returned the same amounts for the last 27 years, and with the recession, "I'm glad to be getting the annuity payments."

"I'm 87, still in good health, never been hungry, never made a lot of money, and I'm grateful I can still support as many good charities as I can. The charitable gift annuity allows me to do well for myself and benefit the American Kidney Fund."