ST LOUIS (Christian Examiner) -- Stan McCurdy planned to retire from real estate development in 2010 to become a missionary. Instead, a year later he found himself making a global impact from the office of Aventura Property Management Group changing the lives of children worldwide.
The St. Louis native was a founding member of the successful property and asset management company MLP, where he worked for numerous years before he and three business partners started Aventura. Now they sponsor a number of children through Compassion International, a Christian sponsorship organization that seeks to advocate for the long-term development of children who live in poverty.
Today McCurdy's ministry looks much different than what he envisioned his mission field would be, but the impact of his work is far reaching. Aventura donates at least $125,000 a year to Compassion and they sponsor 110 children. McCurdy also has pledged to sponsor an additional child for each of the rented apartment units in one of the company's developments, according to a PRWeb press release.
McCurdy told Christian Examiner by email that a few years down the road he would like to see 1,000 children sponsored through his company.
"It's a lot more rewarding than trying to make a profit," McCurdy said. "You go to work each day knowing you are helping someone else. That work never gets old."
The inspiration to use his business for philanthropy first came after attending a Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in Chicago. While processing the event, McCurdy learned about TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, who established a way through his business to help individuals in need.
In seeking to use his own business to help others, McCurdy was especially interested in creating a model that focused on longevity. Working with Compassion was ideal since the non-profit assists churches to develop impoverished children into responsible adults.
"[This model] allows us to take a skill set that we have gained over years of real estate development and put it to use in helping others on a long term basis," he said.
Now McCurdy hopes his business can serve as an example for other business owners and company leaders to find room for philanthropic partnerships like the one he's established with Compassion.
According to the press release, in the future McCurdy also hopes to provide complimentary hotel stays to families traveling frequently to and from the St. Louis and Shriners' hospitals near one of Aventura's most recent constructions, a Hilton Home2 Suites.