News & Event
Doris Leonard claims she’s ordinary.
A native of Bethel, Ohio, she was an only child raised by Depression-era parents who courted by mail.
“My mother and dad were very ordinary people, just as I am,”she said. “Nobody special, but it’s enjoyable to help someone. It really is.”
Ordinary or not, Doris has an extraordinary heart.
As a young woman, she left Washington University to return home and care for her parents until their deaths.
“I grew up with the attitude that what you have, you give back,” she said. “My parents had grownup in an era where to survive you had to share and it didn't matter if you had a lot. They never had a lot of money.”
Doris said she was also influenced by Bill Friedlander; she was his assistant for 25 years at Bartlett & Co.
She learned a lot by observing Bill and his wife Sue—she noticed that they didn't just write checks to charities, they gave of their time and influence as well.
It was also through Bill that Doris first became acquainted with GCF.
When Bill was appointed GCF’s Volunteer Director in 1990 he brought Doris with him. She got to know the Foundation and the community through her work with grants.
More than 20 years later, she’s still interested in the work of the community foundation.
“I know a lot has changed but the bottom line is the same,”she said. “You (GCF) don’t just hand out money because someone says they have a good cause. You do due diligence, you do your homework. But you also err on the side of compassion and I like that too. I like the fact that GCF is broad-based and has its fingers in so many different pies.”
When Doris found herself with extra assets, she turned to GCF for help.
“I decided, ‘let’s make this money work for somebody else,’”she said. “I know if I go through GCF, they are going to do the paperwork. They make it easier.”
By opening a donor advised fund, Doris knew she could give to the areas she’s passionate about—education, children and senior citizens. She also felt strongly about supporting the Weathering the Economic Storm Fund, established last year during the economic downturn.
Not only did this collaboration remind her of how people helped each other during the Depression, she was impressed that a group of foundations and corporations were pooling resources and making decisions together.
“I felt it was something that needed to be done,” she said. “My ten cents doesn't go very far but if you put it with somebody’s 50 cents you get 60 cents to work with and can do more with it. You leverage it.”
What would her parents think about her ability to give away money?
“They would be proud and I think they would be shocked that I have enough money to do something with,” she said. “In fact, I’m shocked.”
Doris shared that at her death, her donor advised fund will turn into an unrestricted fund and increased through a bequest.
“After I’m gone, I want the assets that I have to continue to give something back,” she explained.“God has been very good to me, much more so than I really deserve. He has blessed me in so many ways and I just want to give some of it back. I’m not a Pollyanna, I’m not a do-gooder, I’m not any of those things, I just got to thinking it would be nice.”
Not just nice. Extraordinary.
Originally published in the 2009 Annual Report to the Community
If you ask Linda Pavey to tell why she puts her heart and soul into caring for horses, she will tell you about Zodiac.
Rescued by Days End Farm, a nonprofit organization in Maryland, “He was nothing but skin and bones; he was in dire straits,” Linda said. “He was actually unable to stand on his own and had to be in a sling that was hooked up to the rafters because horses should not lie on their sides all the time.”
“Part of my mission is to help abused and neglected horses, as well as those who just need retraining,” Linda explains.
Horses like Zodiac. Linda says the general public may not realize that equine abuse and neglect is a problem throughout the country.
“I’ve heard of cases where they let them go in abandoned mines or out the Everglades, they let them go fend for themselves,” she said. “There are a lot of great organizations who will take in horses from those situations. That’s the type I like to grant to as well as those who take horses off the race track who can no longer race. They train them for a second career and adopt them out.”
And Zodiac? His days of hanging from a sling are long behind him. He’s back on his feet and was adopted by loving owners.
Ready to make a difference? Learn more about establishing your own fund.
Generous volunteers are the heart of GCF. Governing Board members and other community volunteers contribute their time and expertise on a variety of standing committees and task forces. Volunteers also helped plan and implement our 50th Anniversary and Big Idea Challenge in 2013.
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CINCINNATI (August 28, 2017)—Our hearts and thoughts are with the thousands of individuals impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the Texas coast. If you would like to help, please consider a donation to one of the following organizations providing support in the disaster relief effort.
The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana Relief Fund
To give directly to Hurricane Irma relief, please visit our Irma Relief page.
About The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Greater Cincinnati Foundation is known for strategically connecting people with purpose. While those needs are always important and timely, there are also events which require an immediate response. The devastating threat of Hurricane Florence to millions of our neighbors in the coastal regions of southeastern United States is one such moment.
Locally, here are two organizations that are organizing relief efforts in the wake of the storm:
Matthew 25 Ministries
American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region
In the region likely to be hardest hit, Foundation for the Carolinas has established a Hurricane Florence Response Fund.
You could also consider supporting these two local funds dedicated to supporting those in need:
The purpose of the Heart of South Georgia Fund is to support the ongoing disaster relief efforts in Albany, Georgia, and other needs of the community.
The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities.
Funds raised will go toward disaster-related response and recovery. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax deductible.
In times of critical need, we remember that the definition of “neighbors” extends far beyond our own back yard. Those connections strengthen and sustain us all.
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come.