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Seven Counties in Care
The Coastal Bend Community Foundation (CBCF) has improved the quality of life in the Coastal Bend for over 35 years, serving primarily as a permanent endowment for seven counties: Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio. What began with a $150,000 donation from the Paul and Mary Haas Foundation has increased to $71 million in assets held in 305 funds.
CBCF assists donors in their giving by offering a variety of funds and an easy set-up process. Donors may establish a named fund or contribute to an existing fund. Whether for a named nonprofit, a general interest such as art, or the community’s greatest need, CBCF helps donors decide how best to meet their charitable interests now or long after they are gone. CBCF’s 25-member board of directors, all long-time, respected residents of the seven-county area, ensure funds are distributed according to donors’ directions.
Grants to nonprofits and student scholarships from CBCF funds, totaling over $93 million since 1981, provide lasting impact in our community. In 2016 alone, 99 nonprofits received an annual grant from the Foundation. Three of those organizations are First United Methodist Church, West Side Helping Hand, and the Coastal Bend Kidney Foundation.
Anita Woolsey, Director of Adult Education at First United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi, helps volunteers with the Seniors Assisting Senior program. She noted, “CBCF grants help SAS provide services such as dentures or home repair to very low income seniors. One client’s bathroom was unusable due to rotting flooring; we made the necessary repairs to make it safe for her to use again.”
Fr. James Farfaglia with West Side Helping Hand, a new youth outreach program on Hiawatha Street said, “Our summer program attracted 85-100 kids daily in June and July. Gaige Ramos, a participant, told Rudy Trevino, KIII reporter, that instead of watching TV at home, he enjoyed playing outside, learning about nature and making new friends. Others enjoyed the program because there were no bullies.”
Jettie Powers, Executive Director of the Coastal Bend Kidney Foundation, also appreciates the impact of CBCF grants. “We screen clients for chronic kidney disease, which is fatal if not caught early. With a simple finger stick test, they are either relieved to discover they are okay, or are counseled and referred to medical professionals if the tests find disease.”
Upcoming Coastal Bend Day of Giving
CBCF scholarships have not only helped top academic students but also those who have overcome obstacles such as homelessness, family strife, or full-time employment while still a student to help provide for their families. In spite of hardships, they have persevered to attend colleges, including Texas A&M University and the University of Texas, among others.
The Foundation’s continuing initiative, the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, is November 15 this year. Since 2009, the event has raised over $7.3 million for nonprofits providing basic services to our neediest neighbors. This year, 24 matching funders are providing a $725,000 matching fund for this one-day online program, allowing donors to give to any of the 45 participating nonprofits and have the amount doubled up to $16,111. Donations must be made through the Coastal Bend Day of Giving site, www.coastalbenddayofgiving.org on that day, or “prescheduled” November 6 – November 14.
The Coastal Bend Community Foundation, and its directors, are appreciative of the many local citizens who have made gifts to the CBCF during their lifetimes or through bequests. May the legacy continue!