When Karen and Ormond Hyers retired and moved from New Jersey to West Virginia to be closer to their daughter and new family, it didn’t take long for Karen to get involved in her new community. Karen, who spent 25 years as a teacher and guidance counselor, was eager to stay involved in helping improve the lives of children and families.
Karen quickly learned about a local group of people working to improve child and family services and started attending meetings. Through her involvement with this group she led the effort to establish the Hampshire County affiliate of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation.
Since then Karen and Ormond have helped establish the Slanesville Presbyterian Church Angel Fund, the Hampshire County Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Fund, and have contributed annually to these and other endowment funds held by the community foundation.
More recently, the couple turned their charitable sights towards children in the community in need of warm clothing. “Ormond and I believe all young people and children need to be warm in the winter; we chose to help warm the kids closest to home,” said Karen.
In September, they established the OK Hampshire County Warm the Children Fund. This designated fund will benefit the program of the same name, which has been providing warm clothing for Hampshire County children for the past 23 years, with the assistance of local volunteers and annual contributions from the community.
Rather than making a gift annually, the Hyers chose to create an endowed fund with the Community Foundation. “We have always thought of Community Foundations as locals helping locals build for the future, growing bit by bit – slow but steady – and lasting forever”, said Karen. “The fund will grow through additional contributions and market earnings while it offers the designated recipient a bit of help, “ she added.
Designated funds are one of several types of funds available to donors to help them preserve their charitable interests. Designated funds allow donors to support, in perpetuity, those organizations and causes that they have cared about most during their lifetimes.