Community funds going to good causes

Published 8:37 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022

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There were 99 community funds at the Davie Community Foundation at the end of October, representing an investment of more than $5.5 million.

With an average fund size of $56,000, opening a community fund can seem daunting; but they can be opened with $5,000.

The foundation also started the Davie Community Impact Fund from the beginning of operation. It is a fund that everyone in the community can contribute to in any amount, at any time.

“The importance of the Davie Community Impact Fund is that it provides a place for everyone who wishes to give to improve the lives of Davie County residents to participate,” said Jane Simpson, foundation president and CEO. “You may have heard that the foundation is only for the rich and famous, but you have heard wrong.

“As a community foundation, we strive to be accessible to everyone.”

Thanks to the gifts of many, the fund’s balance has grown to more than $220,000 from a lot of $100, $500, and $1,000 gifts.

“Grants from the fund are part of what makes Davie such a special community. We care about one another, and we strive to make our community a better place for everyonel,” she said.

“Of course, it can be difficult to give to your own community while you are living, especially in times when inflation takes every extra dollar.

“Some of the community funds were established through a bequest in a donor’s will. I think of Mildred Modlin, Millie to most of us, who left a significant bequest to open the Mildred Modlin Fund for Education when she died in 2013. Millie taught senior high English and journalism in China Grove, Thomasville, and Wilmington before returning home to Mocksville. Her newspapers won national awards for excellence year after year. Millie was a caring, inspiring and respected educator who expected and got the best from her students.

“It made sense to Millie to start a fund that would support education upon her death. Since that time, her fund has provided support for many school projects and for the innovative creative education taking place at Cognition of Davie County. Millie would have loved that space,” Simpson said.

If you know where to find Andy’s Country Store in Davie County, you may have heard of the Smith sisters, Louise and Frances. Both married and lived most of their lives in Winston-Salem while continuing to own property in Davie County. Andy’s Country Store and the house on the opposite corner are two of the properties owned by the sisters. Neither Louise or Frances had children but they both were surrounded by them in their classrooms, teaching in Winston-Salem for 38 and 35 years, respectively.

Louise married Sam, who was associated with retail business through Watkins Book Store and Bocock-Stroud for 54 years. Frances married Jesse, who owned and operated Temple’s Jewelry and Gift Store in Winston-Salem for 34 years.

Both couples chose to give back to the community where the girls grew up. Upon their deaths they created unrestricted community funds to provide support for their beloved Davie County.

Sam and Louise left the C.D. “Duke” and Effie Smith Family Fund in memory of her parents in 2005. Frances and Jesse left the Frances & Jesse C. Temple Fund in 2013.

“Important grants have been possible from both funds over the years since,” Simpson said.

“All three of the funds created through bequest have played an important role in grantmaking in Davie County since their creation. I have to believe that Millie, Louise and Sam, and Frances and Jesse would be well pleased with the impact they have had on Davie County.”

Contact Simpson at (336) 753-6903, or visit