Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

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

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Giving Tuesday 2022

Watch FAO’s 2022 Giving Tuesday Event!

On Giving Tuesday, we joined virtually with our community of givers to rejoice in all we have accomplished together and to be inspired by the possibilities that lie ahead. If you were unable to attend — or if you’d just like to re-watch stories about the amazing work being accomplished and opportunities being created in Appalachian Ohio thanks to gifts of time, talent, and treasure — please watch. Thank you to everyone who is contributing in any way to advance sustained transformations in communities throughout our region!

Our 2022 Award Recipients

Chaddock Philanthropist of the Year
Stephen Philip McKean

Stephen Philip McKean was a child of Appalachia — born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1973 before moving to Cincinnati. A child of many athletic and academic talents, it was opportunity and Stephen’s love of English that brought him back to Appalachia to study at Ohio University.

Like many who come to this region in pursuit of education, Stephen fell in love with the area — the natural beauty, communities, and people. During his studies, Stephen taught in K-12 classrooms within Appalachian Ohio and was surprised to discover the level of remedial instruction students needed in his English classes. Stephen went on to enjoy a successful career in writing and to travel the world. But he never forgot about those students — the children of Appalachian Ohio.

When Stephen began facing health challenges, he realized he was in a unique financial position to leave a legacy of opportunities for students in Appalachian Ohio. He had already been giving monthly online donations to FAO, had researched its investment stewardship, and discussed with his parents a planned gift to FAO.

On June 1, 2021, this world lost Stephen McKean — a thoughtful writer, world traveler, beloved family member, and generous philanthropist. To honor the one million dollars Stephen bestowed to the Foundation, we created the Stephen McKean Legacy Fund for Appalachian Ohio. The Fund is advancing FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® programs and launching and enriching life-changing opportunities for the children of our region, today and forever.

FAO Changemaker Award
African American Community Fund Board

We are proud to present the FAO Changemaker Award to the board of the African American Community Fund who, in just three years, has grown resources that are changing lives and elevating the quality of life for African Americans in Appalachian Ohio.

Established in January 2020, the African American Community Fund serves as a vehicle to address disparities in the African American community and to improve the physical, economic, and structural conditions that affect quality of life.

In less than three years, the Fund has received more than 150 gifts, totaling nearly $500,000.

Because of this generosity and with support from the AEP Foundation, the African American Community Fund has been able to award more than 25 grants that have benefited Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit and public organizations serving African American communities throughout the region.

About ICA

FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund is dedicated to unleashing the potential of the people of Appalachia by addressing the areas of greatest need and opportunity in the region. The I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund supports:

  • FAO’s work to build local capacity by nurturing local community foundations and connecting partners around issues of regional importance
  • Programmatic initiatives and grant programs creating opportunities across the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio in five areas known to increase quality of life in a region: Arts and Culture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Health and Human Services
  • Expansion of FAO programs that include a mobile vision clinic, providing free eye exams and eyeglasses to schoolchildren in the region, and a new leadership development program that is keeping and calling our young people home to serve as leaders.

We invite donors to join us in growing this fund to increase opportunities and advance sustained transformations throughout Appalachian Ohio. Gifts to the I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar while matching funds last.

Other Ways To Give

To mail your donation, please write “ICA Fund” in the memo line of your check and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, 35 Public Square, Nelsonville, OH 45764. To learn about other ways to give, including gifts of appreciated stock, IRA transfers, and more, click here or contact FAO at 740.753.1111.