Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

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

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Amos Loveday | Honoring a Legacy with a Named I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund

How would you memorialize the legacy of someone who delighted in giving books to children?

Mary Jean with her reading partner and grandson, Eric

Mary Jean Brestle Loveday was a Woodsfield native who had a lifelong passion for sharing her love of reading with the children she met. She was never without a book to slip into gifts for nieces, nephews, or friends, or put in the hands of little strangers. She believed children should be encouraged to love books and value reading and in her low-key way acted on that belief throughout her adult life.

When Amos Loveday and his daughter, Amy, were considering how to honor Mary Jean’s legacy, memories of her shopping for just the right children’s book, and of her countless trips to the library with her grandson often came to mind. As Amos observed, “A gift that would carry forward Mary Jean’s love of children and reading just seemed natural.”

Because he knew the importance of sustainability in making a lasting difference over time, Amos decided to give to an endowment fund. And through conversations with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, he learned about the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund.

Amos was pleased that the Fund provides opportunities for the children of Appalachia and that it has focused early on books, reading, and educators. With the blended model of the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund, a gift to celebrate Mary Jean’s legacy would make a difference through programs like FAO’s partnership with First Book today while also creating a fund in her name to continue making a difference in the future: the Mary Jean Brestle Loveday Legacy Fund.

Want to honor someone you love through your matched gift to the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund?

Examples of the impact provided by the Mary Jean Brestle Loveday Legacy Fund and other I’m a Child of Appalachia Family of Funds include:

  • Expanding Bright Spots such as Eye Exams on Wheels to Our Region’s Students:  Within the next three years, 10,000 children across 20 Appalachian Ohio counties will receive a mobile vision clinic visit, providing free eye exams and free glasses to k-12 students during their school day!  Visits started in 2021! 
  • Helping to Address the Region’s Internet Connectivity Challenges:  Many areas in the region have no or very limited internet access, greatly affecting jobs and education.  The I’m a Child of Appalachia Family of Funds have helped provide:
    • 663 hotspots
    • 94 access points
    • $55,000 in investments to map connectivity gaps
    • A partnership with the Ohio Technical Telecom (OTT), bringing quality, high-speed, affordable broadband opportunities into rural communities.
  • Creating an Online Giving Platform and Uplifting Philanthropy:  Cause Connector, FAO’s online giving program, was launched February 14, 2021!  FAO launched Cause Connector,, in February 2021, an entirely new, online charitable giving platform and promotion of philanthropy in Appalachian Ohio. Through Cause Connector, donors everywhere can learn about and donate to a project closest to their hearts, helping to meet the dreams and needs of nonprofits throughout the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. With almost half a million in funding raised during the inaugural launch, the 2nd round of Cause Connector will open on February 14, 2022!
  •   $245,000 was raised in 2021 for 88 projects across Appalachian Ohio’s 32 counties.  The second round of launches February 14, 2022!
  • Contributing to FAO’s First Pillar Fellowship.  FAO provided matching funds for a fellowship with the American Academy of Arts specifically for Kari Gunter-Seymour, Poet Laureate of Ohio.  Ms. Gunter-Seymour will shine light on the voices of Appalachian Ohioans through the “I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing,” an anthology and experiences of emerging Appalachian poets.  Once completed, the anthology will be distributed across public and school libraries in Ohio. 
  • Funding Game Changers. FAO awards recoverable loans to game-changing nonprofit ventures and our first grantee was Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio. The loan will support their development of a new contracting venture that will serve as an employment program, turn dilapidated properties into homes and increase revenue to Habitat to increase their impact. Once the venture is successful, Habitat will repay its loan to FAO so the loan can be used to fund another venture.
  • Connecting the region’s educators with First Book.  Together, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and First Book continue to make a difference for the children of this region and the adults who serve them. Over 500 nonprofit and education providers who serve children in Appalachian Ohio are accessing free and low-cost books and resources through the FAO/First Book partnership. 
  • Responding to Emergency Needs:  I’m a Child of Appalachia donors helped provide flexible resources for the region’s unforeseen needs and opportunities. In 2020, when COVID required fast action, FAO was able to respond quickly and established a regional emergency fund, providing much needed grant support to nonprofits and schools across all 32 counties

With a gift of $10,000 or more, you can create a named fund that honors or memorializes someone important to you. The Fund will forever support the work of the
I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund by focusing on the greatest needs and opportunities facing Appalachian Ohio’s communities and the people who call them home.

To learn more about how you can help build an abundance of possibility across Appalachian Ohio, visit and click ‘Give Today.’ Or, contact FAO at 740.753.1111 or