Shimchick Stewardship Fund

Est. 2021 by David Shimchick

David Shimchick (center) with his family (L-R: parents Walter and Louise and sisters Debra and Cindy.) courtesy of David Schimchick

David Shimchick has been thinking a lot about the word stewardship as, “The careful, responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”

As the volunteer leader of the Friends of East Rock Park, he has spent years looking after acres of woodland and leading hundreds of volunteers to clear invasive vines, shape trails, create an education garden full of native species and plant thousands of daffodil bulbs. He has also taught a new generation how to care for the park through a youth-at-work program.

Now, he is taking on a stewardship of a different kind, tending to the legacy of members of his family. With The Community Foundation, David has created the Shimchick Stewardship Fund to honor his late parents and sister.

David’s father Walter and his mother Louise were fixtures in the Milford Public Schools, teaching for 37 and 30 years, and his sister, Debra Shimchick, worked for 30 years at Hubbell Inc. Each was very involved in their church and community. While his parents had a long and happy retirement, Debra died at 60 and didn’t have the opportunity to have that.

“The three of them were such incredibly hard working, diligent people,” he said. “They saved their money and were never wasteful.”

“Their legacy of hard work needs to be preserved,” Shimchick said. “It needs to be shared.”

After talking with Foundation staff, David created a donor advised fund and chose to support four nonprofits that captured what his late parents and sister cared about.

“My Dad was an avid fisherman and boater,” he said. “He found great solace and joy in his boat out on Long Island Sound. In his honor, I opted for Save the Sound.”

His mother Louise was born in Italy, moving to the United States at seven. “She was a wonderful cook,” he recalled. “She made all kinds of Italian dishes. She loved to feed us.” She never wanted to see anyone go hungry, so David chose to fund the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen in New Haven.

For his sister, an animal lover who always had a cat, the Fund supports the Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter.

And for himself, Shimchick, who retired in 2020 as a teacher and math coach in the Milford schools, picked the Urban Resources Initiative “for the incredible work they do for the environment in New Haven.”

During his years leading the park group, David has been inspired by the many ways people give and how that has greatly enriched East Rock Park and the lives of people who use it.

“When you give you can make things happen,” he said. “I think that’s just awesome. I’m a New Havener now. It is a city full of people who are committed to giving back and we are a community of tremendous need. I’m proud to be able to create a fund that can help.”

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Shimchick Stewardship Fund