Donor Voices

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Our donors have a place in their heart for Central Appalachia – its people, its rich and varied culture, and its natural resources – and they have generously provided critical financial support for grassroots social change work in our region.

 Here is a sample of what our donors are saying:

“As an African American, I see groups in our community that have such a hard time trying to get funding. We have so many that have been struggling and volunteering their time, not even knowing that they could get resources. ACF funds these groups when no one else will.”

– Chioma Adaku, Nashville, Tennessee

“The Appalachian Community Fund’s work for Change, Not Charity™ really appeals to me. I value the fact that ACF understands the importance of going beyond well-meaning giving to funding work that equalizes the distribution of wealth and power in this country. Through the wide range of projects and issues that ACF supports, I know that my donations to ACF really affect social change in a –broad way.”

— Rich Stonestreet, Charleston, West Virginia

“When my Mom died I wanted to honor her legacy and her spirit. She grew up in Appalachia and had worked so hard to make sure that I would have the opportunities that had been denied to her. Seeing the injustice that had been perpetrated upon her because of her class and gender left me with a desire to make sure that women in Appalachia today would not be limited in the way that my mother had been. But I didn’t know how to honor her legacy – until I discovered the Appalachian Community Fund. ACF provides resources for Change, not Charity, for people to work on what’s needed in their own communities, for long-term solutions to long-term problems.

Please join me as a donor to the Appalachian Community Fund. I guarantee that your gift will go to the work, the place, and the people that you want it to. It will go to sustainable, long-term change in Appalachia. It will go to the people who all too often get overlooked by traditional funders, people who often, ironically, are most in need of this kind of support. Your gift will make a difference. Please be as generous as you can. ”

– Kevin Jennings, New York, New York

“We chose to establish the FOCIS Giving Circle to pass on our values and vision of being in community with others and to create a legacy that would live on after we are gone. It was important to us in selecting an organization to work with that it has a policy of socially and environmentally responsible investing of assets, as well as a social change grant distribution process. The Appalachian Community Fund has both of these in place and partnering with ACF was the perfect fit for our vision and values.”

– Anne Leibig, FOCIS President, Dungannon, Virginia

“I was attracted to ACF because of its active support of those citizens who push back against the status quo. The grantees supported by ACF fight embedded economic, racial, environmental, and social injustice in their communities; this is a fight I can identify with and why it is so important to me to support ACF. The groups that ACF supports and, particularly, the young people I see working for justice give me hope for the future.”

– John Wilborn, Louisville, Kentucky

“ACF seeks out the voices from rural communities, migrant workers, prisoners and so many that are often silenced. They are calling for peace, respect, democracy, and civil liberties. ACF can seek out these voices and lift them up when they are out of my reach. It’s a powerful connection, and it is one I am very proud of.”

– Brenda Bell, Maryville, Tennessee