Portrait of a Giver
Why I Give: Jeremiah Milbank Society Member, Susan Moore
Susan Moore is a passionate woman who is committed to changing lives. Today, the Merritt Island resident heads up three successful companies, but life has never been easy. “I’ve been helped by lots of people in my life,” Susan says, her voice heavy with emotion. “Now I want to help lots of people.”
According to Susan, her mother, Marie Stevenson, was the very definition of selfless giving. Marie worked for 22 years in a North Carolina furniture factory to keep food on the table for her four children. The family lived behind Susan’s grandparents, who helped her care for her younger siblings. Tragically, the job that kept Marie’s family clothed and fed exposed her to toxic chemicals used to treat the upholstery fabrics. Cancer claimed her life at age 42.
After decades of hard work, Susan now finds herself at the head of Atlantic Culvert Company, Atlantic Development Company, and Beach Organics Skin Care, which manufactures all natural bath and body products. She founded Beach Organics after discovering how much better she felt when she eliminated toxin-containing products from her routine. “The first two companies provide the means for me to do Beach Organics–and to give back,” Susan says.
Among the charities she supports is Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. “I know what it’s like to be that kid,” says Susan. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have any money. We lived behind my grandparents. I didn’t have the cool clothes. I got teased for things that were beyond my control.” She remembers being “so touched” when she attended the Brevard Faces of the Future breakfast a few years back with her brother, board member Tony Hurt. “I loved the idea of making life easier for children who have to struggle like I did. When I heard there were hundreds of kids on the waiting list, I wanted to help.” This year, when Susan joined Boys & Girls Clubs’ Jeremiah Milbank Society, she dedicated her $10,000 gift to another generous woman-her mother, Marie. “After my mother died, I decided to make my life about working and giving back. It’s the best way I can think to honor her.”