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Good Eggs

Anne Nethercott has lived her life following her mother’s advice — give an egg, knit a sweater. 

Jim and Anne NethercottAnne Nethercott has lived her life following her mother’s advice — give an egg, knit a sweater. 

“My parents went through the Depression and you gave to your neighbor, even if it was only an egg, or you knitted a sweater,” she shared. “Giving is part of living, you know. You have to do it. If you don’t, you think too much about yourself. My mother used to say, ‘the best way of finding yourself is losing yourself and helping your brotherhood of man.’” 

Anne and her husband Jim, who passed away in 2009, made helping others a lifestyle. The Canadian couple moved to Cincinnati for Jim’s job at Procter & Gamble and immersed themselves in their adopted hometown through volunteering. 

Their church, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the YMCA were among the many organizations that benefited from their time. Avid travelers, the Nethercotts opened their home to international students and helped establish the Sister City program with the former Soviet Union. 

“They always placed their focus on others, not on their own needs,” said daughter Sandra Waters. “My parents were not ostentatious people. My Dad didn’t have a fancy watch or a fancy car. This was not a value to him.” 

“I remember once at Thanksgiving, we had three kids from Longview Hospital for dinner,” she said. “I’m sure it was designed as a teaching moment for me.” 

Jim ultimately became the Chief Financial Officer of P&G. His success just reinforced their belief that you only need so much money to live on and you should give away the rest. 

With their daughter’s encouragement, the Nethercotts sought out GCF to help establish their legacy. By working with Amy Cheney, GCF’s Vice President for Giving Strategies, they established a series of funds that reflect their wide range of interests. 

The Nethercotts entrusted GCF to carry out grantmaking in areas they cared about — including educational improvement, early childhood education, community and racial harmony, and employment. One of the funds will provide resources across the Nethercotts’ whole spectrum of interests, but will give GCF the privilege and responsibility of making unusual, sizeable grants that can “significantly improve the quality of life in the Cincinnati area.” 

“The Nethercotts were just a joy to work with,” Amy said. “They were extremely thoughtful about what was important to them and what changes they would like to bring about in their adopted hometown. It is quite possible that their bequest will be the largest GCF has ever received. We are honored and humbled that they chose us to carry out their legacy.” 

Anne is still giving back in a very personal way. She volunteers with the Sarasota Symphony and is involved in raising scholarship money in both Sarasota, Florida and Cincinnati. And she knits. She knits hundreds of blankets for Alzheimer’s patients and earmuffs for soldiers in Afghanistan. 

Her mother would be proud.

Originally published in the 2009 Annual Report