This story is the first in a series this year reflecting on the 15 years of Galesburg Community Foundation. The Galesburg Community Foundation was established July 1, 2004, from the sale of Galesburg Cottage Hospital. The Galesburg Community Foundation makes it simple for people to give in ways that make an impact in their communities and invests in local nonprofits to build stronger, healthier communities in Knox and Warren Counties.
No matter how much you have, or what you are interested in supporting, there is a place to give. Joyce Coffman found the place for her giving nearly 15 years ago when she helped form the Galesburg Community Foundation.
Joyce, who continues to serve on the Community Foundation board to this day, grew up on a farm less than 10 miles from Galesburg. As a long time, committed community member, she was one of the Community Foundation’s first donors, connecting her passion for mental health and healthcare with the opportunity to give through a donor-advised fund. Her fund has supported many causes that she and her family care about over the years, including her most recent gift which supports nursing students.
As Joyce worked as a psychiatric nurse for 38 years, she is partnering with Carl Sandburg College to provide a gift through her fund at the Community Foundation to support the college’s nursing program. Her gift will provide assistance to students who are performing well but struggling financially and need emergency funds. She also hopes it will help address the nursing shortage in the region. “Many of the students are working parents or a single mom, and will benefit from this boost. I see my gift as a way to help fellow nurses through their education,” she said.
Joyce said her commitment to positively changing her community reflects a belief that the region is a great place to invest in. “I give through the Community Foundation because I know that what they are doing now will continue well after I’m gone.”
Thanks to Joyce’s commitment to her community, she is also a member of the Community Foundation’s Bickerdyke Society which recognizes individuals and families who include the Community Foundation in their will or estate plans.
President and CEO Joshua Gibb said Joyce embodies the characteristics of generosity that have propelled the Community Foundation forward over the past 15 years. “We are in service to everyone and Joyce understands that,” he said. “She truly believes in this area. She’s from here and her family is also involved. Her generosity is a reflection of an entire family that believes in and utilizes the Community Foundation to help connect others with philanthropy.”
Joyce said it’s an honor to give, and to partner with the Community Foundation to create a legacy that is all about giving to others. “Our work here has grown beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” she said. “We have wonderful leadership and staff. People know who we are now and we’re touching so many aspects of the community. I can’t wait to see what happens over the next 15 years.”
One of the greatest joys of our work is partnering with people like Joyce to help them give back to their community. Let’s talk about how we can help you spread your generosity in the community you love. If you have a dream for your hometown, we’re here to help you do that easily through your giving. Contact us at JGibb@YourGCF.org today, or give us a call at 309.344.8898.