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Foundation helps now, and forever

November 19, 2005|By Bradley Sell

This is National Community Foundation Week. Nov. 12 kicked off a weeklong celebration of these unique, totally local, charitable organizations who do so much good. There should be parades! Fireworks! Sadly, not even a single sparkler will be lit. But we should celebrate these special organizations that are successful and dedicated to providing for the future needs for all of us, for generations to come.

The Community Foundation of Washington County MD Inc. (CFWC) - your Community Foundation - is one of more than 700 such organizations across the United States. Each one is an independent charitable organization with a mission to accept and hold assets to support its own local area. Each provides a vehicle to enable charitably-minded citizens to make gifts to the future.

Community foundations accept contributions of all sizes, with all types of assets and place them in permanent endowments. These endowments make distributions to charitable causes according to the donor's recommendations - year after year. Forever. It's that simple.

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Ready to celebrate? Probably not, but you should, because, since our founding in 1997, your Community Foundation has invested more than $2.2 million in Washington County. And it gets better!

The foundation invests all assets received and works with new donors every year to grow those resources for a better quality of life for our area with each passing year. Not only are we benefiting today, but our great, great grandchildren will benefit, too. How cool is that? As more people understand the unique ability of the Community Foundation to accumulate assets to support their towns, regions, favorite nonprofit organizations and charitable causes, the foundation grows. And, as the assets grow, the grants given back to each community grow. A gift to the CFWC is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Washington County is so lucky to have a Community Foundation. While we celebrate, we should thank all of the people we know who have made this organization a success today and those who we don't know who have been thoughtful enough to include CFWC in their wills.

These people are not the Rockefellers or the Kennedys. They are people like you and me - teachers, doctors, farmers, employers - people who care about the community they live in and the community their grandchildren will call home. The thoughtfulness and generosity of our neighbors will be of ever greater importance in keeping this a wonderful place to live.

There is no other organization, public or private, whose sole mission is to provide for the future needs of our communities, right where we live. As we see government returning fewer dollars back to our communities, we must rely on ourselves to ensure the needs of our communities are met.

With your Community Foundation, we are able to make that an easy task to accomplish. The people of Washington County are resilient, generous folks who love their communities. CFWC is about community, the people and the good deeds that touch us all. We can all work together to leave our collective legacy to create a better tomorrow through the Community Foundation of Washington County MD, Inc.

Alas, there will be no parades or fireworks during Community Foundation Week 2005. But if you listen closely, you can almost hear future generations cheering - cheering for their Community Foundation, the one left to them by us.

Bradley Sell is executive director of the Community Foundation of Washington County Md., Inc.

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