Initiatives impact Jackson County family

“In small communities, we’re capable of planting the seeds and giving them a little bit of water,” says Baldwin mother of three Allison Bock. “Places like the Community Foundation of Jackson County are the sunshine that really make things grow.” 

Her children, 12-year-old Casey, 11-year-old Chamberly, and 7-year-old Coral, are also growing with help from the Community Foundation. 

Coral used to cry before school. By the end of first grade, she was falling behind. Last summer, she attended the Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s Summer Adventure, supported by the Community Foundation. 

“We did reading, crafts, hikes, had recess and snacks,” she recalls. While Coral was enjoying herself and combatting summer learning loss, her mom noticed a change. “She never cried one morning before Summer Adventure,” said Allison. “By the start of second grade, she definitely did not have the anxiety she did before.”

Today Coral is nearly on track with her peers. “She had more confidence after Summer Adventure, and without that program I don’t know if she would be where she is now,” said Allison.

Casey and Chamberly both wear glasses, and have received exams and lenses thanks to the Community Foundation’s Vision To Learn initiative. Chamberly got her glasses at Briggs Elementary School, where principal Pat Bollman emphasizes the importance of philanthropy and community. 

The Bock children are familiar with those concepts. Their dad, Tony, is a volunteer firefighter in Baldwin, and Allison, a city councilor, has helped apply for grants from the Community Foundation on behalf of the fire department as well as an organization she started with neighborhood moms, Kids of Baldwin. 

Kids of Baldwin’s mission was to improve the city park, and Coral, Chamberly and Casey helped fundraise. Allison got a grant from the Community Foundation for part of the project, and the park is looking better. “All the work we’ve done is paying off,” said Casey. “It feels good.”

The Community Foundation of Jackson County works to empower families and children through its initiatives, through grants to nonprofits, and by building endowment funds that help position all residents for continued success.  

To help your community grow, contact Mary Jo Gothard. Future generations are counting on it.