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FY2016 Board Chair Carolyn Blakely: "Why I Give"
/ July 29, 2015


We're excited to welcome Carolyn Blakely, Ph.D., to the position of chairwoman of the Arkansas Community Foundation board of directors.  Here's what Dr. Blakely had to say about why giving back is a priority in her life: 

"Having been born in a small town in Arkansas, Magnolia, and brought up by a grandmother who had reared four grown sons (one of whom was my father), I became the ward of that grandmother after my mother died.


My grandmother was determined to nurture and protect me, but at the same time she modeled and taught me that although we were poor, we had many blessings that some others did not enjoy. Therefore she introduced me to the wonderful feeling of empathy and love that resulted from giving to others and helping to make life a little better for them.

The joy that she had as a result of making a pie for someone, providing flowers for the church, being a "grandmother" to other children in the neighborhood, giving from what little money she had to charitable organizations made her look radiant because she felt that she had a purpose for her life. Her lifestyle was infectious and convinced me that it really did feel better to give than to receive.

Hence, I have spent both my personal and professional life responding to my need and desire to have some kind of positive impact on the lives of others in any way that I can. I am convinced that the success of our communal environments is dependent on the members of that community and each member's commitment to improving the quality of life for the majority, rather than focusing on small segments.

By the way, my grandmother lived to be 105 years old, at which time she was happy and satisfied that she had "cloned" herself in me and that I would carry on her charitable work.”

Fulfilling her commitment to give back, Dr. Blakely has served or currently serves on the following Boards: United Way, Arkansas Humanities Council, Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra Board, Sister Cities Board, Pine Bluff Convention Center Board, Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation Board, Arkansas Schools for the Deaf and Blind Board, Susan G. Komen Board, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Board, Arkansas Blue and You Foundation Boar, UAPB Development Board, and Arkansas Community Foundation Board.

Learn more about the tools that we have for people who love to give. Schedule a visit to talk with us about your charitable goals or visit our page Tools for Smart Giving to read about your options. 

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