Donor Spotlights Just a few of the stories behind the people that power public radio.
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Donor Spotlights

Our donors tell us every day how passionate they are about supporting NPR and how deeply they believe in our work. We're excited to share a few of the stories behind the people that power public radio.

Miranda Dean

Workplace Giving

Miranda on a safari in Tanzania Miranda Dean hide caption

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Miranda Dean

Miranda Dean of Charlotte, North Carolina, first started tuning in to NPR while attending UC Berkeley and hasn't stopped since. A self-described "fanatic NPR listener," Miranda plugs in to Up First and Morning Edition on the NPR One app on her way to work, and listens to NPR podcasts throughout the day. For fun, she loves to travel the world, seeking out the best scuba diving spots and listening to NPR along the way. Miranda donates to NPR through her company's workplace giving program, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match to help maximize the impact of her gift.

In addition to her love for NPR, Miranda loves to travel. She recently returned from Tanzania, where she experienced her first safari. Miranda's favorite NPR podcasts—Planet Money and Rough Translation, to name a few—kept her entertained on the long journey there and back

What moved you to make a gift to NPR last year?

I've been an avid (better yet, fanatic) NPR listener since my college days, when a professor challenged our class to spend 20 minutes a day following NPR, The Guardian or BBC. I was so captivated by NPR's stories and reporting style that I spent all my commuting time listening to NPR. Before I knew it, I was referencing stories and examples I learned about on NPR in all my classes. Now, I love listening to NPR because it gives me something non-work-related to discuss with my colleagues every day.

I value NPR's sound reporting, and I love that they keep it fun. I also like that NPR reports on topics that stretch your mind and presents them in a funny and easy-to-understand way. Simply put, NPR keeps me in the know.

Do you have a favorite NPR program or host?

I absolutely love Planet Money! It's so dorky, cool and funny. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when the team is recording—they have the coolest office culture. My favorite host, however, is Korva Coleman. I just love the way she says, "Live from NPR News in Washington, I'm Korva Coleman." It puts a smile on my face every morning.

If you could describe NPR in one word, what would it be?


Samir Youssef Naguib

Planned Giving

Here, Samir shares a loving moment with the couple's standard poodle, Olive. Sarah Hawkins hide caption

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Sarah Hawkins

Samir resided in Denver with his wife, Sarah Hawkins, who has provided responses here on the couple's behalf. Samir's love of NPR and Colorado Public Radio was well known to his family and friends; he felt that their reporting and stories greatly contributed to his lifelong learning. Samir graciously chose to leave a portion of his estate to NPR following his passing in January 2018 after a fierce battle against cancer.

Samir took an interest in almost everything that NPR reported on and enjoyed sharing stories about animals with his wife.

What moved you and Samir to the decision of making a planned gift to NPR?

Samir felt NPR was instrumental in his ongoing education about the world around him. He was interested in just about anything NPR reported on: U.S. and global affairs, the environment, politics, the economy, social and gender issues, immigration issues, sports, health care, you name it, he listened. If he rattled off some statistic or factoid, it wasn't unusual for somebody to laugh and say they bet he had heard it on NPR.

I encouraged Samir to include NPR in his will as I knew it would be important to him that he be able to leave a significant part of his estate to an organization that he admired and trusted so fully. Now, when I listen to NPR, I think of my wonderful husband, whose legacy—in part—will be about helping to continue educating others.

Which NPR program or podcast best summarizes Samir as a person and why?

Car Talk—hosted by Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers—reminds me of Samir. He could take a serious, but often not well understood subject, like tax codes, and educate people on the basics, the obscure, the mundane and the ridiculous aspects of the U.S. tax code; and he would have a ball doing it and would make it a fun experience!

Dan and Phyllis Epstein

Major Giving

Dan and Phyllis Epstein NPR hide caption

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Dan and Phyllis Epstein of La Jolla, California, have been tuning in to NPR for over 25 years. After being longtime supporters of their local NPR Member stations, in 2016 the couple made a personally meaningful gift to the network to help launch the David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna Memorial Fund. The fund, which was created in honor of NPR photojournalist David Gilkey and fellow journalist and translator Zabihullah (Zabi) Tamanna, supports the safety, security and welfare of NPR's international journalists.

Passionate about the arts, culture, and education, Dan and Phyllis Epstein are known for their generous service to their community. In addition to supporting NPR, the Epsteins are steadfast supporters of Member stations KPBS, KPCC and KCRW.

What moved you to the decision of making a gift to help establish the Memorial Fund?

We started supporting public radio by giving to our local NPR Member station KPBS and also to KCRW and KPCC in LA; we've given to all of them over the last several years. After Jarl Mohn became president and CEO of NPR, we were inspired by his leadership and wanted to do more. We wanted to do something meaningful that would impact other people within the organization.

After the tragic passing of David Gilkey and Zabi Tamanna while on assignment, we decided we wanted our gift to help provide safety and protection for NPR's correspondents around the world who report in dangerous areas. That truly resonated with us.

How do you like to connect with NPR?

Dan: I've always been kind of a news junkie. I listen probably four hours per day. I listen in the morning—during my workout, getting ready for work, commuting in, whenever I'm in the car—and in the evening before bed. If I'm going to be in Scotland or Paris or wherever, I'll go online and listen to NPR. I travel a lot and wherever I am, it's with me.

Phyllis: You should hear what we used to do before the internet to listen around the world. We used to stick an antenna out of the windows of hotel rooms. There was one point, years ago, that we were traveling abroad, listening in a tent in the middle of nowhere on Dan's shortwave radio.

Listener Chris Cornelius poses for a photo in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Allison Shelley/NPR hide caption

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Allison Shelley/NPR