June 20, 2023

Honoree: Karla and Erich Schultz

Friends - Central Oregon honors the Schultz family for their support

When people think of their core values or the reasons they know right from wrong, quite often they credit their parents. Such was the case for Karla and Erich Schultz.

Their parents, Roger and Priscilla, raised them with the knowledge that it was their responsibility to give back. They led by example, championing a major fundraiser every year for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Karla and Erich were expected to participate. They look back fondly on their early years of volunteering. “They were long days, up before dawn,” Karla told us. “It was hard work, but we had so much fun working with the other families. And we knew it was for something really important.”

The Schultzes led a decades-long effort with the fundraiser and out of it a family legacy was born. Erich and Karla both eventually relocated to Central Oregon and built careers around their dad’s example. “Honesty and integrity were a huge amount of his life,” reflected Erich. Roger impressed on his kids the importance of reputations built on relationships. “Whatever you do, do your best.” This motto turned into their philanthropic philosophy.

They first heard about Friends of the Children separately. “Duncan’s book laid out the model, the research and the data, so effectively. If you’re going to ask business people for money, you better be able to show that it works.” Each fueled by individual excitement about the work, they dove right in. Throughout our first 5 years, we have known we can count on Karla and Erich to jump in whenever and wherever needed. Whether it’s sorting food donations into boxes for our families, leading activities for our youth at summer camps, or advising our organization through commercial real estate transactions and strategic planning, the Schultzes know the full meaning of giving their time, talent, and treasure.

When Roger moved to Bend in 2016, he got to witness firsthand the impact he’d had on his kids. He joined them in supporting Friends of the Children Central Oregon, leading the effort to purchase our first program vehicle and making a transformative gift when we purchased Friends Ranch. “Giving to Friends is connected to our success,” said Erich. “It’s proven. We’re changing lives that need change and for us, it checks all the boxes.”

Friends of the Children - Central Oregon is incredibly lucky to have the support of the Schultz Family. We quite literally could not do what we do without them!