Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

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

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Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. Pilot

What if FAO could fund worthy projects with grants today while also growing dollars in the Pillars of Prosperity to support tomorrow’s projects? This was the question that inspired FAO’s Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. pilot and launched a new strategy for investing in FAO’s Pillars of Prosperity.

The Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. pilot inspired FAO’s new blended giving model to support the Pillars. 50% of each gift to the Pillars will go to projects making an impact today, while the other 50% goes to endowment to grow for tomorrow’s projects.

We are excited to share more about the projects funded through the Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. pilot program below. To learn more about the original pilot, please review the original Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. pitch materials.

Appalachian Muse | Jazz Outreach Program | Guernsey County

Appalachian Muse seeks to provide high-quality arts education to schools, as arts programs are often the first to be cut when budget constraints arise. The Jazz Outreach Program will bring professional jazz musicians to local schools in Guernsey County, including Cambridge, East Muskingum, Rolling Hills, and East Guernsey school districts. The program includes a performance by a jazz quartet while also familiarizing students of all ages with the history and cultural relevance of jazz, all within the school building.

Clermont Senior Services | Your Brain on Aging and Health | Clermont County

Clermont Senior Services offered a series of workshops devoted to brain health for their clients, which was made possible by a grant from Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. Seniors and their caretakers participating in this program learned about topics like Health Brain Lifestyle, How You Make Memories and Why You Forget, Money and Dementia, and Your Brain on Aging and Health. As the population ages within the region, programs like these are that much more important for those experiencing aging and those who provide care during this phase of life.

Franciscan University of Steubenville | Hellbender Habitat Analysis | Jefferson and Harrison Counties

The Hellbender Salamander, a native salamander of the Appalachian region, is a near-threatened amphibian in the Cross Creek watershed. Through this project, Franciscan University and local school districts partnered to track water quality and hellbender salamander population data. Students will also install artificial “Hellbender boxes” to provide suitable breeding habitats to facilitate the reproductive recovery of the local Hellbender population in Cross Creek.

Guernsey County Senior Citizens Center | Senior Center Leadership Project | Guernsey County and Neighboring Counties

Senior Center leaders in the region rarely have the opportunity to gather together to share best practices, challenges, and new ideas to problem solve together. Through Give Today. Grow Tomorrow., Senior Center leaders were able to hold two Senior Center Director Leadership Summits that allowed senior center leaders to engage with one another for a full-day through a leadership retreat. The summits included roundtable discussions about senior center updates and hot topics, discussion of Meals on wheels, certification advocacy efforts, and concluding discussions based on conversations throughout the day.

Harrison North Elementary School | Bless Shoe | Harrison County

We often take for granted the shoes on our feet. But, for many of region’s children, a safe, warm pair of shoes is something they think about everyday. Staff at Harrison North Elementary School saw this need and decided to take action. With grant dollars, staff purchases winter boots and shoes for over 50 students that were given to the students to make sure that safe, warm, and sturdy shoes to last through the winter months.


Harrison North Elementary School | Underground Railroad Simulation | Harrison County

We often hear that the best way for students to learn is hands-on; that’s exactly what 5th grade students at Harrison North Elementary did by participating in a Living History Program about the Underground Railroad. Students went back to 1851 and learning about the people, places, and events along the Underground Railroad through the eyes of a runaway slave. The trip also allowed students to connect other classroom lessons to the experience, establishing greater connections with academic content and increasing their empathy and understanding of diverse cultures through the experience.

Inter-Faith Assistance Association | Shed & Freezer Acquisition | Adams County

In addition to providing meals to people experiencing food insecurity throughout the region, local food banks and pantries often need physical infrastructure to be able to safely store donated food. The Inter-Faith Assistance Association in Adams County did just that through a grant through Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. With this grant, the Association was able to purchase a new, larger shed that allows volunteers to safely store food separately from other materials to be able to serve additional clients in the community.

Muskingum County Library System | Library WiFi Park | Muskingum County

Wireless internet access is no longer a nice-to-have; it is a necessity. The Muskingum County Library System and the community of Dresden recognized an opportunity to increase access to WiFI while also creating a gathering place in the community. This grant supported the purchase of a new wireless router to provide reliable, fast, and free internet connection in a park community park next the library. This will provide residents access to outdoor public WiFi while expanding opportunities for innovative events and programs.

Nelsonville Food Cupboard | Cooking & Budgeting Program | Athens County

Staff and volunteers at the Nelsonville Food Cupboard often discovered some food items at the Cupboard were going unused because clients weren’t sure how to use them. That’s why they decided to offer a series of cooking classes for  clients to learn more about basic nutrition, essential cooking techniques, how to plan and stretch your food budget, and how to shop and stock the pantry. These classes, taught by local chefs, will allow clients to practice more creativity while cooking to further stretch their food dollars and enhance the regular food distributions they receive from the Food Cupboard.

Stuart’s Opera House | Appalachian Music Program | Athens County

Appalachian music is a distinctive part of the larger regional culture; that’s why Stuart’s Opera House wanted to offer classes in common Appalachian instruments through its Appalachian Music Program. Students participate in string bands and bluegrass ensembles while learning about the historical development of the music of the region. This grant through Give Today. Grow Tomorrow. purchased banjos to use in the Appalachian Music Program at Stuart’s.

United Way of the River Cities | Students Optimizing Aerial Robotics Skills (SOARS) | Lawrence County

SOARS is an after-school program conducted by the United Way of the River Cities at the River Hills Community Center in Ironton. SOARS challenges middle school-aged youth to learn and write computer code that commands robots and drones to perform specific tasks. This grant allowed participants to enter the FIRST LEGO League Challenge to research a real-world problem and apply STEM concepts and imaginative thinking to develop a solution.