Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

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

Learn more

John Lyons | Gifts of Time

How often do you discover a chance to volunteer where you can give back to the place you grew up and challenge yourself at the same time? John Lyons has found just that as a volunteer with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

John Lyons headshotJohn grew up near Cambridge in Guernsey County and studied computer science at Muskingum University. He spent his career with the Timken Company, a role which included travel to Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States, working with computers and in manufacturing along the way.

When it came time for John to retire, he looked for a way to give back to the Guernsey County community. Through high school and college friends involved with the Guernsey County Foundation, John discovered the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. As he learned more about our mission, his interest in volunteering expanded beyond Guernsey County.

“When I found out that the Foundation works in the 32 Appalachian counties in Ohio, I thought, rather than just focusing on Guernsey County, maybe I could do something bigger for the region,” added John.

From his home base in Dover in Tuscarawas County, John has helped the Foundation in a number of ways since he started volunteering. His initial volunteer work focused on helping local communities grow philanthropy for the first time and build their capacity to invest in local efforts.

John has put his computer expertise as well as his professional background to work helping the Foundation reach more communities and partners. He is an ambassador for how FAO can help others to find the right way to give back to their community and leave a legacy there with their gifts.

“So often it is about communicating what you are passionate about,” explained John. “I am passionate about my community, its history, my family, and the pride I have for the region where I grew up. Sharing the Foundation’s mission and how it can help other people and organizations advocate for their own passions allows us to discover opportunities for philanthropy that may not have been visible on the surface.”

John’s commitment to and vision for the future is what keeps him volunteering with the Foundation.

“Philanthropy is about giving, whether monetary gifts or gifts of our time, not just for the short-term, but for the long-term,” shared John. “Volunteering with the Foundation helps create the momentum that will keep our region moving forward.”

Thanks to volunteers like John and the many others who help the Foundation create opportunities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy, the Foundation is able to reach more citizens and communities throughout our region with grants, scholarships, and the opportunity to make a lasting difference. To learn more about how you can volunteer with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, giving back to the region that is closest to your heart, please visit or call 740.753.1111.