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An Inventor’s Imagination, a Daughter’s Dedication

In 1922, Henry Phillip Kraft—a businessman and inventor—patented an invention that changed the world. It was a valve that allowed inner tubes to be filled with air.

When Kraft’s daughter, Dorothy, died in 1995, she honored him in her will by establishing the Henry Phillip Kraft Family Memorial Fund in The Trust. She had a clear purpose: to protect the national and globalenvironment, but she left The Trust’s program officers to choose which nonprofits would carry out her wishes.

Started with gifts totaling about $69 million, the fund has given out $54 million over nearly two decades. It’s now worth more than $89 million.

In April, we gave $75,000 to Ecology Center to work with large retailers to phase out toxic chemicals in products, from shampoo to furniture. Another $75,000 went to the University of California, San Francisco, to educate doctors about the connections between poisonous chemicals and reproductive and children’s health. And $100,000 went to Resources for the Future to create a community flood insurance approach to rescue the bankrupt federal program.

“The Kraft Fund shows how we honor a donor’s intent as we work to solve today’s problems,” said Patricia Jenny, vice president of grants.

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