Charitable Foundation Strives for Community Betterment

CLEARFIELD – Since its formation in November 2004, members of the Clearfield Community Charitable Foundation have strived to enrich life across the county.

“We’re endowing the future today for the next generation,” said Vicki Myers, board member.

Board member John Kordish echoed the same thoughts, adding that the foundation allows individuals to make long-term investments in their communities.

“It allows neighbors to help neighbors across generations,” he said.

Funds & Donations

Chairman Kevin McMillen said the foundation, which has a total 16 active funds, is a means for individuals to realize their vision for the county.

McMillen said the foundation’s received donations are put toward the philanthropist’s goal. He said those goals can be both broad-based and more specific.

According to him, the donor can make a contribution and allow the foundation’s board members to administer it through the discretionary fund.

He said they can also set a broad goal, such as support for an environmental or cultural cause, by way of the “field of interest” funds. Donors can even take it a step further and specify a type of organization.

In addition, McMillen said donors can opt for the advised fund and have the “most influence,” as they would offer input into its distribution annually.

McMillen said the foundation is backed by private individuals. He emphasized that people don’t need to make a large donation to be a part of its work.

“We can accept small donations. They can donate $25, and we will accept that,” he said.

“It’s a way for people who are of ordinary means to have an impact on the community.”

He said families, organizations or those of “like minds” have an opportunity to create a fund for $5,000 through the foundation. He said those who take this route will select a fund category and complete a one-page application.

“You make the initial contribution and are basically up and running. It’s very simple,” McMillen said. He added that it allows those to start their own foundation under the umbrella of another.

Kurtz Legacy Society

McMillen said the Kurtz Legacy Society honors those with a bequest in any amount in their estate plan to the foundation. But he noted these individuals must inform them of their bequest plans.

“It’s a way for individuals to make donations some time in the future,” he said.

He said they are not required to designate an amount. He said they only need to acknowledge that part of their estate will be left to the foundation.

McMillen said those who choose to do so are recognized in the foundation’s publications. He said they’re also invited to special society get-togethers.

Grants

McMillen said the foundation’s grant committee reviews and distributes through their discretionary fund. But he said that they can only provide funding to other tax-exempt charitable organizations for the operation of their own community programs.

McMillen said that the board recently awarded the Clearfield Revitalization Corporation with a $10,000 grant to jump start its program.

“It was one of the most fulfilling things that I’ve been a part of personally. It is a very exciting development. It’s a way for individuals to empower ourselves and have an impact,” McMillen said.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you like something, better it. You don’t have to wait for the Governor to come do it because the individuals (in this community) can do it.”

Myers referenced part of a quotation by American scientist Margaret Mead. She said it was a favorite among the foundation’s board members.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” she read.

History

McMillen said the foundation was established Nov. 1, 2004 but noted that much time was spent initially in its legal formation. He said the foundation has been “active” for about two years.

According to him, the foundation reached its fruition due to the commitment of many interested Clearfield residents over a number of years.

Myers noted that the foundation, which has now stretched its vision to county-wide, is one of more than 35 in the state. She said they all have a common mission of helping communities meet charitable and social needs.

McMillen said the Clearfield community is a “wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.” He believes the communities could do better though.

He said the foundation was formed in a joint effort to create a better environment for Clearfield County and to bring people together for a common good.

For additional information, please contact the Clearfield Community Charitable Foundation by mail: P.O. Box 171, Clearfield, PA 16830, or by phone at 814-765-7682 or fax at 814-765-7835.

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