Real People Making a Difference:

Charlotte Green

The Power of Smart Giving

Giving has been a part of Charlotte Green’s core for as long as she can remember. Raised in Conway County in a family with fourteen siblings, Charlotte was taught to pay it forward by parents who were strong believers in their faith.

“Giving is a spiritual principle,” said Green. “Your return is not measurable because the impact is so great!”

In honor of her mother, Icy Lee Rainey, Charlotte, along with her siblings, created an endowment at Arkansas Community Foundation to help young women continue their education. But the qualifications set forth are a little different than most scholarships that help with higher education, focusing on female students with children who show a commitment and drive to improve both their lives as well as their children.

Living proof that education is the great equalizer, Charlotte has worked in education herself for more than 17 years both in the classroom and in administration for the Conway School District.

“My mother was my inspiration and my role model. She never went to college and always put her children first. She said she would attend college after her kids finished school, but died when the youngest was finishing her schooling. Our scholarship honors her legacy. When parents are intentional about teaching and giving to their children, it’s immeasurable,” said Charlotte. Naming the endowment in her mother’s honor is what Charlotte describes as “an intentional way to ensure that person is not forgotten and their purpose continues.”

“When I give, I feel honored that I am able to carry on someone’s legacy,” Charlotte said.

Dr. Tom Bruce

Knowledge for Smart Giving

Tom Bruce was a physician and an educator, but to many people in Arkansas he has been known as a philanthropist. “It was an evolution,” he said. “My giving pattern evolved over time.”

His career also evolved over time, from Arkansas roots to studying at Duke, Cornell, London, Harvard and beyond. His medical specialty in heart disease led to a second career teaching and research, then serving as dean of the College of Medicine at UAMS for 11 years.

“People give in different ways. Doctors are trained to be generous in giving of themselves. There is a tradition of professional sharing of time and talent that is common,” said Bruce.

It wasn’t until he served 12 years as a program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, however, that his personal giving patterns changed. In this position, Dr. Bruce had the opportunity to evaluate and recommend proposals for funding in health, leadership and rural community development. “I learned that needs and problems tend to turn people off,” Dr. Bruce said. “But when you look at human potential, it gets people excited.”

He saw the world through two sets of lenses: knowing about the underlying problems and understanding better ways to solve them. “I’ve gone from treating the individual to advocating for the public’s health – how we keep the broader community healthy.”

Dr. Bruce was a key advisor to the Community Foundation, most recently by conducting research around Arkansas’ charitable needs and identifying the gaps our donors can help to fill. His personal generosity will continue to reach deep in community development, youth programs, health, social services and higher education. A favorite cause, however, is the one he and his late wife Dolores shared: supporting gardens, development and music education Wildwood Park for the Arts in Little Rock.

“Altruism is a learning process,” said Dr. Bruce “Generosity becomes habitual.”

Read more about Dr. Bruce's Generosity Study 

Barbie Graham

Barbie Graham
“Why I Give”
Barbie Graham

For Barbie Graham, building a culture of giving is about continuing the tradition set forth by her own parents, C. N. ‘Kent’ Jr. and Helen Beth Scott, and passing it along to her grandchildren.

Barbie created the Samantha and Alea Vaccarella Endowment when the girls were just two and four with the goal of teaching them the importance of giving, and about personal finances.

“We sit at the dining table and talk about how we can help other children who don’t have the same things,” said Barbie. As a former educator, she understands that children need concrete examples to relate to, so she will talk about some of the needs in the Mountain Home area, and let them decide where they want to give. “One year they decided to help refurbish a playground at church. They also gave to a program that filled children’s backpacks with non-perishable food items every Friday so that they would have food to eat over the weekend.”

By establishing a Donor Advised Endowment at Arkansas Community Foundation, Barbie and her grandchildren will be able to give to their community in ways they choose to, for the rest of their lives. She even has the girls hand deliver the gift to the non-profits they select.

“Most people think of Bill Gates or Rockefeller when they think of philanthropy, but we believe it’s more about prayers, presence, gifts and service,” said Barbie. “And plus, it’s really a lot of fun.”

Robert Zunick

Joy in Smart Giving

When the term ‘Renaissance Man’ is used to describe someone, Robert Zunick would have to fall in to that category. He graduated magna cum laude in Chemistry, yet became a financial advisor. He grew up playing music and now creates Zuni inspired stone carvings in his spare time. When he became a father, Robert began to realize yet another part of himself; he finds great joy in giving to youth and to human service.

Robert started the giving process when his two boys were young. “We’d sit down as a family every Thanksgiving to decide on how to give to others,” he said. “It was a great exercise to make them think about what to support. Now that they’re grown, we see them giving freely.”

One of his pet projects is Hot Springs Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), where he has served 12 years as a youth advisor. “It’s encouraging to see teenagers embrace philanthropy so naturally. So many people complain about young people and their occasional shortcomings, but after one hour watching these kids your faith in humanity and our future is fully restored!” One of the other organizations his family fund has supported is Jackson House, a crisis center that helps folks down on their luck and helps kids from going hungry.

“I believe Woodrow Wilson sums it up best: There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed,” Robert said. “In this time we have on earth, we should make it a better place. We have an obligation to do that.”

Glenn Williams

Connections for Smart Giving


Glenn Williams is no stranger to working hard – whether that means putting in the time it takes to support his 300-acre cattle ranch in Berryville or serving as a leader in his community. He realizes the importance of local relationships and connecting resources. 

Hoping to find a way to commemorate an agricultural nonprofit he was involved with, Glenn first learned about the Community Foundation and the tools it provides. Through Carroll County Community Foundation, a local affiliate of Arkansas Community Foundation, the nonprofit was able to establish an endowment ensuring the mission would continue forever. 

Glenn served several years on the board of the local office in Carroll County and was able to connect with his community in new ways. During this time, he realized the positive impact the Community Foundation can provide in partnership with its volunteers, donors and grantees. “The Community Foundation works well alongside individuals and other nonprofit organizations to bring encouraging and constructive outcomes for the people, environment and education of the area it serves. It is a ready catalyst for donors searching to establish or contribute to beneficial funds and future grant recipients,” Glenn said.  

While attending a reception held by the local Community Foundation, Glenn looked around the room and saw business men and women, housewives, school teachers, judges, farmers and ranchers, bankers, executives, retirees, volunteers, government officials, benefactors and others. “I thought to myself, This is truly community.” 


Jane Hunt Meade

A Heart for Smart Giving

Jane Hunt Meade's charitable path has been molded by her family’s practice of encouraging generosity. Her parents J.B. and Johnelle Hunt, well-known for successfully building their trucking company, understood the importance of giving back to the community and raising their children to do the same. 

Through the years, Jane has had the opportunity to passionately support a variety of causes. Her generosity has stretched from nonprofits that support education enrichment programs to organizations that help women and children build a stable and successful life. When the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter was on the brink of closing their doors, Jane offered a matching incentive to help them continue their mission providing necessary services. Additionally, through funding prize dollars for ArkansasGives, she has been able to support the invaluable work that the entire nonprofit sector offers our state.

By making Arkansas Community Foundation her partner in giving, Jane believes her role as a contributor has been made easy and more purposeful. "The Community Foundation provides the information I need to make educated decisions about where my charitable dollars are well-spent. I feel confident that I have the tools I need to make a difference for the long-term."   


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