Winter 2019 REPORT


Building a Promising Future

In this issue of the Report, we share stories about how we’re working to ensure a promising outlook for each of the seven counties we serve, while also highlighting some of the generous donors who have made that work possible over our 35-year history.

There’s a Maya Angelou quote that goes like this: “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”

As a philanthropic organization looking back on 35 years of community service (and looking ahead to plenty more), Angelou’s words ring especially true for us.

While it’s undeniably helpful to look back on the past, our work — as always — remains focused on the future.

Read the Full Message from the President

Stories of Impact

Youth and Families in St. Clair County Benefit from Family Philanthropy

Beyond the tourist attractions, Port Huron, like any community, has its share of needs. Low-income families in the area often seek services ranging from food to health care, and hundreds of children seek educational opportunities and services to address mental health, substance abuse, and other issues.

The Stebbins Family Fund — a donor advised fund with the Community Foundation — has been addressing those needs for nearly 15 years.

Discover how we are helping the Stebbins family grow projects that align with their giving goals.

Supporting Women in Southeast Michigan

With an original gift of $123,000 to the Community Foundation, the Women’s City Club Endowment Fund was established in 1993.

Since then, the fund has grown, thanks to investments, to about $200,000, and has supported approximately $210,000 in grants. As the needs in our communities change over time, gifts like the Women’s City Club Endowment Fund enable the Community Foundation to make tremendous impact.

Read about how we helped the Women’s City Club make the change they wanted to see

Eugene Howe: A One-of-a-Kind Philanthropist

A resident of Detroit’s Cass Corridor from the ’70s into the ’90s, Eugene Howe lived modestly. He typically wore a ragged shirt and tattered pants, which were covered on one leg with rubber bands and a long, white sock on the other. Neighbors could often find him, with his wiry frame and scraggly beard, at local soup kitchens, churches, and shelters, taking math lessons and playing pool.

He said he was working with a lawyer and he wanted to “start a fund like Mr. Rockefeller”— a seemingly odd mission for a person who, on the outside, appeared to be an individual looking for help rather than someone devoted to helping others.

Read how we helped Howe battle homelessness in the region

Accelerating Giving and Advancing Family Literacy

For many donors, there comes a time when they feel their gift could accomplish even greater goals. They may discover an organization that’s working in a field that aligns closer with their passion, find opportunities to increase the amount they can give, or learn more about a community issue where they believe they could make a more lasting impact.

For Janet Rex, longtime donor to the Community Foundation, it was a little of all three…

Read how we helped the Rex family improve literacy rates