When Scott Brown was preparing to take the bar exam and become a lawyer, he made a deal with God.
“I made an appeal to God,” said Scott, thinking back to the prayer he said while at the California Western School of Law. “I said I’m going to do good for you if you give me a chance to be a professional lawyer.”
Part of the deal was he would never look down on someone else because he was a lawyer. The second part of the deal was he would use his skills to help the disadvantaged. Scott passed the bar exam. Then he began a life of giving.
“I’ve been blessed to be in a position where I can actually do that,” said Brown at his home in Centennial.
Scott and his wife, Susan, have spent their time, talent and treasure giving to those in need in Denver and the wider community. They believe they have a purpose in life—to serve their fellow man.
“We’re on this earth to serve a purpose and part of that purpose is to help each other out both physically as well as spiritually,” Scott said. “I think there’s a greater expectation, as Jesus said, for those who have much, much is expected. My wife and feel that we’ve taken that to heart. We couldn’t stand by idly and not be there for people financially and with our time. We wouldn’t feel comfortable.”
It was during his undergrad studies at the University of San Diego that Scott also strengthened his faith. He attended a retreat and volunteered to organize community service projects—an experience that taught him the joy of giving.
“You get so much from giving,” Scott said. “It was the first time in my life that I really experienced that—I remember the joy. I walked away feeling a better person.”
Susan, who was his girlfriend at the time, volunteered with him. They later married at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial. When newlyweds, they had $500 in their bank account, but giving was still important. They volunteered to lead Sunday school, cooked meals for mothers and children, and took St. Thomas More School students to volunteer at a downtown parish sandwich line. They’ve continued to volunteer in the sandwich line for more than 15 years until 2018.
“It’s just seeing their faces and seeing that they’re grateful that’s moving,” Scott shared. “It’s nice to know we’ve made a difference in someone’s life, even in a small way.”
While Susan raised their five children at home, Scott continued his career as a business litigator. He later took over his family’s business that offered support services to hospitals and led as CEO for 15 years. When they decided to sell the business in 2008, they had a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a really meaningful gift,” Scott recalled.
They established a fund through The Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado to support what is most dear to them—ministering to the poor and homeless.
“That was the first time we made a substantial financial gift to God,” he said. “We’ve always been very supportive of Catholic Charities because of the diversity of resources they’re able to provide to disadvantaged groups. They really hone in on many of the things we believe in.”
In addition to supporting Catholic Charities, Scott spends his time fundraising for local food banks and driving a truck to collect food and clothing donations. He also serves as a court appointed special advocate, or CASA, to assist and mentor youth in foster care.
It’s easy to give to Catholic ministries because of their faith.
“There’s just this confidence that Catholic organizations are on the same team, looking after God’s people,” he shared. “There’s a stamp of trust there with Catholic organizations.”
And the benefits are more than they expected.
“When people give, it makes a better world,” he said. “We have to help reduce suffering, and we all become more connected when we do. From a personal standpoint, I’ve made really good friends from giving of time. I think intrinsically knowing that I’m serving people, and hopefully in the way God wants me to, gives me comfort. I can’t imagine not doing it.”
“We’ve always been very supportive of Catholic Charities because of the diversity of resources they’re able to provide to disadvantaged groups.”
Scott’s take on giving
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering giving?
A: Take the leap. I would say take the leap because the rewards are so much more than you anticipate going in. It’s difficult to fully understand until you’ve done it. I think it’s true both with financial giving as well as giving of time and talent. It’s hard to realize how much joy you receive until you actually do it and you give your time. You see how it changes people’s lives. I was inspired, and the Holy Spirit told me to get out there and serve. It’s been awesome.