Terry and Linda Van Der Aa Testimony

Stewards Fund

Terry and Linda Van Der Aa’s testimony illustrates the power of leaving a legacy and the benefit of having a Stewards Fund, Barnabas Foundation’s donor-advised fund. When asked about the role of Barnabas Foundation, Terry made an interesting observation. He said, “Just because the timing is right to sell a business, does not mean that the timing is right to give to certain causes. Barnabas Foundation was very helpful in assisting us in making the most tax-efficient gifts in connection with the sale of our business. They were a great resource for us in facilitating our charitable goals at an important time in our life.” Terry and Linda have used their Stewards Fund account instead of setting up their own private foundation to help bridge the gap. This testimony can be shared with your supporters.  (131 words)

Van Der Aa

A business built by the Lord...

Just a small service station on a corner in South Holland, a few yellow school buses parked behind, an inauspicious beginning for one of the great stories of how the Lord works through His people.

After a stint in the military, Terry Van Der Aa joined his Dad and brother and three mechanics in keeping the fleet on the road. It was the family business so it was natural to simply step in.

Terry and Linda were married in 1970. Just three years later, his Dad sold the business to the boys on a 20 year contract. Then began the process of acquisition. First a small company, then another and another. Just five years into the contract, the business was thriving and Mom and Dad were paid off.

During the 80’s the process continued with several large acquisitions each year. Near the end of the decade, the company moved from a regional powerhouse to a national contender with a major acquisition on Long Island, NY. And in the 90’s, the company became an international firm with an acquisition in the Netherlands. While Terry is reluctant to claim the title of the world’s largest family-owned bus company, he is certain that there were no larger bus companies in the United States.

In the late 90’s, with a run up in corporate valuations and a strong stock market, the offer by Laidlaw to buy the company was simply too good to pass up. Terry credits Bill Terpstra, his mentor, with helping to make the decision to sell.

He credits his parents with instilling a legacy of tithing. First, the business tithed on all profits and then Terry and Linda tithed on their income. And the Lord saw fit to bless them. That is why Terry insists on giving credit to the Lord for building the business.

While Terry was growing the business, Linda was busy with raising their three children. Today, both Terry and Linda enjoy their time with their children and grandchildren.

When asked about the role of Barnabas Foundation, Terry made an interesting observation. He said, “Just because the timing is right to sell a business, does not mean that the timing is right to give to certain causes. Barnabas Foundation was very helpful in assisting us in making the most tax-efficient gifts in connection with the sale of our business. They were a great resource for us in facilitating our charitable goals at an important time in our life.” Terry and Linda have used their Donor-Advised (Stewards Fund) account instead of setting up their own private  foundation to help bridge the gap.

Their Stewards Fund Account allows them to make tax-efficient donations to Barnabas Foundation that eventually benefit multiple charities. “Barnabas Foundation really simplifies our charitable giving; this is why we utilize the Stewards Fund instead of establishing our own foundation!” Terry and Linda use the online E-grant Recommendation System to recommend grants to their  favorite charities found on the Barnabas Foundation website.

Terry and Linda also established a Charitable Remainder Trust in connection with the sale of their business. The Trust allowed them to defer capital gains taxes, receive an income stream for life and support some of their favorite charitable organizations after they have passed on.

We praise the Lord for hundreds of Terrys and Lindas who use Barnabas Foundation’s expertise to accomplish their financial goals and also to help in growing God’s Kingdom.