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Leaving a Dynamic Legacy

Lewis Shropshire had a big heart for giving back to his community.

“He was very invested in the Athens Area Community Foundation,” explained his wife Pam Shropshire. “He saw it as a good way for people to pool their money together to help the community.”

Lewis, who passed away in 2018, served for seven years on the community foundation board and also established the Shropshire Family Foundation.

“When he did pass away, we asked that all the donations in his honor be made to the family fund. And people were very generous. So, I was able to give those dollars out to organizations that were very near and dear to his heart,” explained Pam. “That made me feel very good.”

In the years since then, Pam said she has continued to contribute to the family foundation, supporting various nonprofits.

“I was a licensed clinical social worker. I did medical social work for 30 years in this area, so I’m very familiar with a lot of the nonprofits, especially ones that helped my patients,” she said. “It’s very rewarding and fulfilling to be able to give back to those organizations now.”

So, what made her choose to continue giving through the Athens Area Community Foundation?

“...they really help and advise people who may not know where to give or where the needs are,” she said. “They’re really attuned to the Athens community and that helps greatly.”

She also loves the support donors receive.

“They help you with the paperwork. They make sure an organization is a 501c3,” Pam explained. “To me, all that’s very important. … I’m just a very big promoter of the Athens Area Community Foundation. I think it’s an excellent concept.”

Another big bonus? Seeing the difference her gifts can make.

“I like seeing how these funds impact the local community,” Pam said.

One project she was able to support recently included a ministry happening through the Hartwell First United Methodist Church. Their goal? Encouraging women recently released from prison.

“When the women are released from prison, a lot of times they can be walking out with their things in a garbage bag,” she explained. “To give them some dignity, they get a backpack filled with some necessities and some gift cards.”

Giving to the Athens Area Community Foundation powers projects like this and so much more.

“Knowing that my dollars are going for things like that — it’s very heartwarming,” Pam said..

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The Athens Area Community Foundation is a public grantmaking foundation that builds community by encouraging long term giving through funds created by caring donors.

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