Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

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Watch FAO Stories

See the difference philanthropy can make

Watch the stories of FAO and hear directly from our community partners, grantees, honorees, and donors. Their stories are best told in their own words. 

For an update on FAO’s work to create abundant opportunity in Appalachian Ohio, click here to attend our virtual 2020 I’m a Child of Appalachia Celebration.

Growing Opportunity Through the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund

FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund supports Appalachian Ohio’s greatest needs and opportunities, including programmatic initiatives across all areas essential to quality of life: Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services. Below, learn what the program initiatives supported by the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund have helped make possible.

FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund provided the initial investment to launch our Emergency Response Fund in March 2020. This Fund supported over 150 nonprofits responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Appalachian Ohio. Hear directly from the Fund’s grantees.

Librarians like Beth are accessing
high-quality books and resources through
FAO’s partnership with the nonprofit,
First Book. Encourage the educators in
your life to register with FAO and
First Book at

First Book and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio have supported hundreds of educators in connecting over 34,000 young learners with books and high quality learning tools in Appalachian Ohio. Hear a few stories of what this partnership has made possible.

Community Foundation Profiles

As a regional community foundation, FAO is structured to support communities without their own focused community foundation. Communities partner with FAO to grow philanthropic resources for the permanent, long-term benefit of their communities, giving donors a chance to Grow Home.

The African American Community Fund

The Community Foundation for Perry County

The Meigs County Community Fund

Scholarship Stories

FAO is honored to support over 280 donor-established scholarship funds in sustaining the continued educational pursuits of the region’s students. And we take pride in honoring the legacy and story behind each fund.

Iman Abukamail received the Ariana R. Ulloa Scholarship from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in 2019. Learn what the scholarship means to Iman, and why she will use it to pursue her passion for international relations.

Emily Polcyn received the Doctor Allen Smith Memorial Scholarship and Jackson City Schools Alumni & Friends Fund scholarship awards through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in 2019. Learn what these scholarships mean to her, and why she will use them to pursue her passion for theater and music.

Wyatt Sipple received two scholarships from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in 2019, the Ora E. Anderson Scholarship and the Bob Evans and Wayne White Legacy Scholarship. Learn what these scholarships mean to Wyatt, and why he will use them to pursue his passion for conservation.

Hunter Welch received the AK Steel Foundation Scholarship from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in 2019. Learn what this scholarship means to Hunter, and why she will use it to pursue her passions for science and helping her community.

The Southern Perry County Academic Endowment Fund (SPCAEF) was established to promote learning experiences for the residents of the Southern Local School District, providing scholarships and mini-grants for students and citizens.

Janet Downs, a recipient of scholarships from the Southern Perry County Academic Endowment Fund, discusses the positive impact scholarships made on her life.

The Guernsey County Education
Assistance Grant Fund
supports students
who are residents of Guernsey County at
the time of their graduation or those with
an equivalent degree and 10 years of
residency in the county.

Jenco Awardees

The Jenco Awards, through the Jenco Foundation Fund, began in 2002 to uphold the legacy of Father Martin Jenco, who dedicated his life to the service of others. The Jenco Awards recognize individuals for direct, caring action that contributes to the quality of life of individuals living in Appalachian Ohio. Their commitment to others is not simply a part of their daily jobs; it is a passion.

2018 Jenco Awardee, Ada Woodson Adams

2018 Jenco Awardee, Dan Palmer

2018 Jenco Awardee, K. Allene Kilgore

2018 Jenco Awardee, Grant Plummer

2018 Jenco Awardee, Tami Phillips

2018 Jenco Awardee, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Shaw

2015 Jenco Awardees

2014 Jenco Awardees

Stories of Philanthropy

Behind every gift of time, talent, and treasure, there is a person and a story. Below, watch the stories of philanthropy that make our work possible.

Drawing upon his experience as a child
of Appalachia who grew up in Nelsonville,
Charlie Mechem, a friend and shareholder
of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio,
speaks about the role of philanthropy
in the region.

Child of Appalachia Awardees

The Child of Appalachia award seeks to encourage pride in the Appalachian Ohio region and its people by highlighting the achievements of people from the region.

2014 Child of Appalachia awardees, Marianne Campbell and Dick Hubbard

2014 Child of Appalachia awardee, Bill Morgan.

FAO Milestones

FAO has celebrated many important milestones in our more than 20 years of creating opportunities in partnership with donors, grantees, nonprofits, schools, and communities. A handful of these milestones are captured below.

2014 was a very special year, with the success of Leadership 100 and the launch of the Pillars of Prosperity Funds.Watch FAO’s President & CEO Cara Dingus Brook deliver her report to the region.

A first-of-its-kind campaign came to a close in November of 2014 as FAO announced the success of Leadership 100. Hear directly from the shareholders who made this movement possible about why they were a part of Leadership 100 and what it means for Appalachian Ohio’s future.

Take a peek at FAO’s IPO – Initial
Philanthropic Offering – complete with bell
ringing, marking the closing of
Leadership 100!