Donor Stories

The Barnard Family

The Barnard Family

This story could easily have had a very different ending. After all, what expectations are conjured up when you begin with a family of four fatherless children and a hard working mother in a textile mill? The Barnard family is this family. Losing a father to tuberculosis and seeing how hard his mother worked to support the family, a young man was given a gift and the plot thickened. A love offering was taken up at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Cramerton where the Barnards attended as members. $500 was collected to assist George Barnard in pursuing higher education at Duke University where he had earned a scholarship.

Fast forward to today and the Barnard Family has grown in many ways. They have increased their number and have been working to pass on the love and support they received so many years ago. George Barnard went on to become a respected psychiatrist, married and have children of his own. As a legacy, he has taught the lesson that gifts are meant to be passed along to future generations and that people are worth taking a chance on and given a chance.

As a vehicle to express this legacy, the Barnard Family sought counsel among civic leaders and the Community Foundation. Jennie Stultz was the Mayor of Gastonia and familiar with the Gaston Education Foundation, an endowment managed by the Community Foundation. Her idea was to structure a scholarship to be awarded to a deserving student. The Barnard Family strongly believes in giving someone facing a head wind or obstacle the support needed as a foot up to turn that person’s situation around, thus allowing them a tail wind into a brighter future.

Since setting up the Barnard Scholarship in 2000, the Barnard Family gathers at the same church in Cramerton that gave George the love gift to interview scholarship candidates. The Scholarship is administered and advertised by the Community Foundation of Gaston County. This is viewed as a special family time and is said by David Barnard, George’s son to be “one of the best things our family does”. The Barnard Family encourages those who are able to find out as they have the joy and invigoration of passing on those gifts received.

The Nigbor Family

The Nigbor Family

When a person talks about something they care about, you can see it on their face and in their eyes. It is a look of happiness and possibilities. Some might call it a “twinkle” in the eye. That is the look you see in the eyes of Heather and Doug Nigbor when they talk about their giving. The joy of giving is a part of their lives and a value they have chosen to live.

The Nigbors became acquainted with the Community Foundation through involvement with Run for the Money. Katherine Sanders first recruited Heather as a volunteer then Will and Suzanne Current invited them to participate in the Next Generation Fund. Working with the Community Foundation was a perfect fit for both Heather and Doug. As many donors of their generation, they want their gifts to be community based and add the greatest impact. In 2007, the Nigbors established their own Fund at the Foundation to use as a vehicle for giving.

Living and working in her home town of Nashville, Heather and Doug, a fellow at Vanderbilt, met at a chance meeting in a local eatery. Their story reads like a screen play and should be sold to make the next romantic comedy. They exchange glances, talk about sports but do not exchange phone numbers. Only two days later, Heather turns around to the pew behind her in church to meet Doug again and share the passing of the peace. Let’s suffice to say they have been passing the peace ever since.

Doug is a practicing Nephrologist in Gastonia. When asked how they arrived in Gastonia, the answer is none other than a native, Max Fisher. Max and Doug were co-fellows at Vanderbilt and Max told Doug about his hometown. Since Doug was from a very rural part of Indiana and needed some space and Heather had always enjoyed the benefits of city life in Nashville, Gastonia offered the perfect blend.

Now settled and going about the business of family and career, Doug explains how the benefits of having a fund at the Foundation make his giving so much easier. Having online updates and tracking of annual giving, simplifies the process of the family’s personal accounting. Heather and Doug each have individual charitable causes. The Nigbors can individually recommend grants and be able to track each other’s grants. The flexibility of a fund also allows them to give to the fund during more profitable years and draw from the fund in more lean years, thus keeping a steady flow of gifting as they see fit.

The joy of giving, not out of obligation or for gratitude, is a basic philosophy for the Nigbors. A strong faith is at the heart of their giving. In 2010, they directed gifts toward basic needs due to the state of the economy. Using the Foundation as a source to vet organizations, one such agency selected by the Nigbors was Crisis Assistance Ministry. Working through the Medical Alliance, Heather was acquainted with CAM and was impressed with the care and attention paid to clients of CAM. A CAM volunteer, Margaret McCarver has been a wonderful inspiration for the Nigbors. Crisis Assistance Ministry is a Christian charity, which very much appealed to the Nigbors. The Community Foundation manages an endowment for CAM. It is important to mention that planned gifts can be directed to this endowment for the perpetuation of the services CAM provides our community.

Intentional or not, the Nigbors are also teaching their three children about giving by example. Ben, age 5 and twins, Darby Shaw and Kirk, age 3 are welcome visitors at the Community Foundation. An active bunch, the family of Nigbors has greatly enriched Gaston County with their time, treasure and talents. We are fortunate to have them in our family of donors at the Community Foundation.

Katherine and Jason Sanders

Katherine and Jason Sanders

The Sanders Family is very familiar with the Community Foundation. As a former staff member and RUN for the Money coordinator, Katherine has spent many hours working for our community. Armed with the knowledge of resources at the Foundation, Katherine knew about the many giving vehicles available including donor advised funds.

A business transaction took place late in the year and created a tax situation for the Sanders which could result in a charitable gift. The pressure to make an informed decision about making an impactful gift was an immediate problem for the family. As the clock ticked toward December 31st, a donor advised fund (DAF) at the Community Foundation became the solution.

Establishing a DAF allows the Sanders family to carefully consider present and future gifts to nonprofits and achieve the tax deduction during the year the DAF is established at the Foundation.

Quote from Katherine:

“Having a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation allowed us to make a gift in one year and carefully consider gifts from the fund for the future.”

Mary Frances Friday

Mary Frances Friday

Mary Frances Friday was known at the Community Foundation for her generosity, infectious smile, pleasant personality and unusually tasty sugar cookies. A friend of the Foundation, she is greatly missed since her death in 2013 and might be embarrassed at the telling of her story. Thankfully, her family has given permission to tell her story because of the value of such a case study.

Mrs. Friday was introduced to the Community Foundation via professional advisors. Her particular circumstances left her with 100 acres of land formally farmed by her late husband, W. Kenneth Friday. Paramount to Mrs. Friday was how she would facilitate a gift to her church. Adding to the stress of how to liquidate assets was the daily management of the property itself.

The Community Foundation was able to help Mary Frances Friday achieve all of her goals. Several giving vehicles available at the Foundation were used to accomplish her specific wishes. Mrs. Friday donated 75 of her 100 acres to the Foundation to gain a tax deduction in that year. The proceeds of the sale of the land were placed in a charitable remainder trust, from which Mrs. Friday received an income. She was able to plan a gift to her church which is what precipitated the actions she took. Mrs. Friday also gained three nice neighbors, an unforeseen but added benefit.

Mary Frances Friday is remembered as a woman that loved her church, family and friends. We are better for having known her.

Share the Community Foundation's Impact

Do you have a story about how the Community Foundation has made an impact on your life, the life of someone you know, or an organization that is important to you? Share your story by contacting Donor Development Officer, Elizabeth Patton at (704) 864-0927 or by email.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 123 Gastonia, NC 28053

Street Address:
1201 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054




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