ST. LOUIS – We salute Wayne Kaufman with our Proud to Serve award for the month of March. Wayne’s life of service began just out of high school. He enlisted right out of Pattonville High School and ended up in Vietnam as a sergeant in the 25th Infantry Division in 1969 for a year.
Wayne served four years in the Army and then came home. He quickly went to work with his older brother, Ralph, who was 12 years older and had an established career following his service in the US Air Force.
Ralph was deeply involved in the St. Louis community, serving on boards and doing whatever he could to help children and veterans. Wayne learned a lot about service from his brother, so when Ralph died in 1990, Wayne took over The Kaufman Fund to welcome veterans with open arms by providing them with much-needed support.
“We give free dental care to veterans. Same thing with legal help,” Wayne said. “We have over 40 St. Louis lawyers on board with us.”
During the month of March, The Kaufman Fund kicked off a new Food for Vets program, which will serve over 400 families in the St. Louis area.
“Veterans don’t like to say they need help. They always think someone else, another brother or sister, needs more help than they do,” Wayne said.
Homelessness and suicide are serious problems among our vets and that’s where Wayne hopes The Kaufman Fund can help.
“Since 1990 until today, the Kaufman Fund has raised and given over a million and a half dollars to over 25 veteran organizations and some children’s charities,” he said.
Wayne was nominated for our Proud to Serve award by his daughter who told us:
Wayne Kaufman is the founder and President of The Kaufman Fund, a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to serving Veterans and children in the St. Louis area. He has built this organization from the ground up and includes 5 different platforms, Food for Vets, Mental Health, Dental, Legal help and Christmas Trees for Vets. There are no paid employees. Everything done by Wayne and the rest of the board and volunteers is done out of the kindness of their hearts. Please check out the website at www.thekaufmanfund.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.
That’s what has earned him this month’s Proud to Serve award including $500 from Brown & Brown Law Firm.
“What really struck me about Wayne was just his passion, I mean, throughout his complete career,” said David Shulman, director of marketing for Brown & Brown. “I think you have to have a passion to serve in the Army, to win a Brown Star medal, and dedicating the rest of his life helping his fellow veterans.”
Wayne works tirelessly fulfilling his passion, and his brother’s dream.
“My brother would be overly proud of what the Kaufman Fund has done to help veterans and children,” he said.
If you know of a first responder, police, military, or veteran, let us know! Nominate them for the Proud to Serve award here.