For some people giving just comes natural, Roy Helen Ackers is one of those. Often referred to as MizCheevus, MisGenerosity seems to be more fitting. She is an icon in our community known for great hats, great outfits and a great love for the people and place she calls home. “Abilene has been good to me and my family, I must be good to it,” explains Roy Helen.
In the early days of the Foundation she recalls being asked to be a cheerleader for the new organization. This role has become one of her easiest tasks. “I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to be part,’ quips Roy Helen, ‘they take my gifts (no matter the size I choose) and combine it with others to help the agencies I love.” The list of agencies she supports is quite extensive and extends over all of the various fields of interest from the Center for Contemporary Arts to Hendrick Home for Children. Support from this special lady is something these agencies treasure because her gifts are not only monetary, but she also acts as an ambassador for them spreading the news of their good works.
Roy Helen, like many others at the Community Foundation of Abilene, uses her donor-advised fund to make her charitable gifts to agencies of her choice. She also partners with the Foundation’s discretionary grantmaking through Community Connection, a biannual publication for donor advisors. “You all make my giving easy and meaningful; it also makes me feel good. Maybe that is why at my age I look and feel the way I do,” Roy Helen chuckles, with a wink.
Roy Helen is also a charter member of Friends of the Community Foundation. In 2015, we had 135 Friends that help us meet our budget, enhance our grant and scholarship programs, customize services to donors and charitable organizations.
Many donor advised fund holders use Community Connection, a publication that the Foundation provides each discretionary grant cycle that gives a brief description of grants submitted and allows them the opportunity to participate in grantmaking. In 2015, over $116,000 was contributed through Community Connection by donor advisors.