“Back when I was in college, I worked in the comptroller’s office,” said Lowell Jackson. “I would see them passing out scholarships and that’s where I first got the idea about making a difference for someone. It was 35 years later when I finally partnered with the Community Foundation here in the area.”
Lowell grew up in Pennsboro. After serving in the Army from 1957 to 1959, he was later hired by Ford Motor Company. After 30 years in southeast Michigan, he retired and moved back home to West Virginia, this time to Mineral Wells. At that point, he was thinking about ways to help Ritchie County.
“We talked with the PACF about setting up a fund that would help us [Lowell and his late wife, Wilda] to make a lasting difference in the community,” said Jackson. “The Foundation staff described all that was possible with a partnership. And so that’s what we did—we set up a fund and were the first donors to the PACF’s Ritchie County Community Foundation affiliate.”
Jackson’s Donor Advised Fund enables him to recommend grants to projects that help the area and its residents. Through his fund, Jackson has helped to improve schools and volunteer fire departments, provided food for the needy, and supported community centers. As part of the PACF, the fund benefits from a consolidated investment pool, which generates income from which meaningful grants can be made.
Jackson plans to leave a gift in his estate to his Fund to continue supporting the causes he cares most about long after he is gone. According to Jackson his reasons for giving were simple: because there was a need and because he could. “The great thing about having a fund managed by the Foundation,” said Jackson, “is that it will give forever.”