Life can be a real adventure. One day, we may wake up with a routine, day plans, and goals, and the next day, our reality can change in an instant. The job we expected to retire from can be taken from us. Our perfectly healthy bodies that allowed us to crush it at the gym every day can become ill or impaired. Our once-stable relationships can begin to feel more like an earthquake. We never honestly know what tomorrow has to offer. For some, this reality is what makes life such an exciting journey! Others may not even feel comfortable thinking about this notion because their comfort level and identity may be so entrenched in the status, careers, images, or relationships they have today. If tomorrow, your world took a one-eighty from where it’s at today, what would be your attitude? Think about it, and then read about how our guest has chosen to respond to the adventure of life.
This week, we’re joined by Nancy Ostler! You may have seen or heard Nancy’s name around the community, especially if you’re involved with a local nonprofit because she was the mastermind behind Newmont’s Legacy Fund. For those of you who may not know, the Legacy Fund allowed Newmont’s employees to donate to Elko area nonprofit organizations with the guarantee that their employer would match their contribution, one hundred percent. Nancy was the face and leader of this program.
After the merger between Barrick and Newmont occured, Nancy’s position at the company came to an end; however, this has not stopped her from still diving headfirst into serving our community in extravagant ways! She wholeheartedly believes that God currently has her on a new adventure, and you could tell after five minutes of speaking with her that she couldn’t be more excited to be on it!
Nancy, thank you so much for joining us this week! Before we talk about your past and present adventures, can you please tell us about your history in Elko?
“I’m a native! I was born and raised here; I graduated from Elko High School. I went to The University of Nevada Reno and got my degree. I stayed down in Reno for about eighteen years. By then, I had both of my boys, and we decided it would be better to raise there here [Elko] rather than Reno. So, we moved back here in 1991 and have been here ever since.
“I was saved in my mid-twenties while I was working at Nevada National Bank as their first management trainee. They gave me a full-ride scholarship and began their youngest assistant vice-president, ever. After that, I went into mortgage banking and then construction financing. After I had my boys, I went to school to get my credentials to be a teacher. I got my substitute license and homeschooled my kids for years and became the president of a nonprofit group that supported homeschoolers. Following that adventure, I really jumped into the nonprofit world by working for PACE Coalition, and then eventually, I started working with Newmont and their Legacy Fund. I’ve done a lot of stuff because God is always calling me to new things!”
Before we talk about all the fantastic things you’re doing now, can you break down what it was like for you to get involved with the Legacy Fund and so many local nonprofits?
“Newmont hired me in 2010 to basically make the Legacy Fund. With my time, we developed it from scratch. It was great because we were able to include faith-based organizations in with the other nonprofits when they usually get the short end of the stick. Over the years, donations increased every year. The highest we got was three point one million in one year. All of that came from our employees and Newmont’s one hundred percent match. We ended up with over three hundred and fifty nonprofits that we gave money to. We had seventy-five percent employee participation with the program throughout our over-four-thousand-employees, which is three times the national average of programs like this! We were also able to build an endowment fund for our community. The idea behind this fund centers around being able to support our local nonprofits if mining ever left our community.
“I’m actually, currently, contracting with Newmont. They love the Legacy Fund and would like to keep it going at the Colorado site and their corporate site! I’m working to keep it going out there and get it sent that way!”
Now, let’s discuss what you’re up to these days. What has life looked like for you in this new chapter of your story?
“Without a job, God has let me be much more involved with instilling His word into people and doing great things in the community that way.
“I started a faith-based nonprofit with my son called, For God so Loved. It’s growing, and more and more people see the value in it. We started in October 2019. We want people to know Jesus. Our whole mission, right now, is to engage our youth, and then broaden it out to everyone. When it comes to our youth, so many of them are floundering and struggling to figure out who they are. The statistics on addictions, suicides, and depression are so high among teens, so we wanted to combat that. We created an outreach where we take the twenty most popular worship songs of today, play them, and then explain where we found these songs in the Bible. We read about what God has to say about us through these songs and have open conversations with them. We meet with students at Adobe Middle School on Tuesdays, Elko High School on Thursdays, and people at Morning Star Health Center. There’s a real spark in the kids’ eyes when they hear about how loved, cherished, and valued they are. It’s so cool to listen to the teens talk and be vulnerable with their questions, and since we’ve started, we’ve had four kids come to know Christ as their savior!
“At the same time, I’ve been able to partner with Celebrate Recovery, a twelve-step recovery program that names Jesus as our higher power. I’ve been acting as a group leader, and I’ve loved the process. There’s great healing that happens there.
“I also lead a Saturday morning Bible Study at Calvary Baptist Church where, twice a year, we have a simulcast for women. I would love to see our entire church filled during these events to get in the word and fellowship. Nevada is one of the least churched states in the country. There’s a real need to get back to the great things God is doing. I’m excited to bring that to Elko.”
So, you’ve gone from serving nonprofit organizations to starting your own! That’s wonderful! Why do you think these types of services, groups, and programs are so essential to the success of our city?
“They help people who may not be able to help themselves. Our community has members that are trying to get ahead but just need that helping hand. If someone is down and out for a minute, they’re there to help a person out where they are.”
Nancy, thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us this week! Your positive, joyous attitude about your new situation is very encouraging. What words of wisdom would you say to someone else who wakes up one day to find themselves on an unexpected new path?
“God has a great plan for us all. We may get worried about where our life is going three steps from now, but He tells us that He’s directing our path right here and now. One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” That’s where I go with my life, and I’m excited about my newest adventure!”
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See you around, Elko!
Written by: Anthony Crosby
Edited by: Nadara Merrill