Brothers Sam (left) and Ed Reed flank their mother, Brenda Reed.

The Community Foundation’s Heart of Nashville series revisits stories of donors and active community residents who have stepped up to ensure that our region continues to be one of the very best places to call home.

When one generation educates the next generation about the importance of giving back, good things happen.

Such is the case with the Reed family, as brothers Sam and Ed Reed prepare to follow in the footsteps of their parents, longtime philanthropists Brenda and Colin Reed.

“We learned different things from each of them,” says Sam Reed of his parents. “From my dad, we learned more about treating people right and creating a culture in business that fosters cooperation and raises morale.

“I learned hands-on philanthropy from my mom, who is one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet,” Sam says.

“Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of us delivering meals through the Meals on Wheels program,” he continues. “We’d spend three or four days every week during the summer in Memphis just driving around delivering meals to folks. I was probably 10 years old at the time.”

Born and raised in England, Colin moved his family to the United States in 1987 to head Harrah’s Entertainment in Memphis. In 2001 he was named CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties — at the time Gaylord Entertainment — best known for the Grand Ole Opry, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and the historic Ryman Auditorium.

With a strong belief in giving back, the Reeds established the Brenda and Colin Reed Advised Fund at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, with sons Sam and Ed as participants, to support and enhance their Middle Tennessee home.

“I know they’re already giving,’’ Brenda Reed says of her sons, “but it will be nice when they can do it on a larger scale.”

Support Brenda and Colin Reed Advised Fund