Join me in saying “Welcome to a New Year of Living Well and Doing Good In 2024”

As we officially begin the New Year with a renewed spirit of reflection and gratitude, I invite you to join me as we reflect on the past year with a deep sense of gratefulness and pride, along with a sincere thank you to each and every one of you, our donors, partners and advocates of regional Philanthropy! We are reminded that it is only because of you and your gifts that are entrusted to us, that we can inspire and enable Philanthropy to build community capital that is beyond measure on many levels. As we invite you to join us in our mission of Living Well and Doing Good in 2024, I remind you to never forget that “Every Gift Matters”. True Philanthropy begins with a simple question which is “What Can I Give” and it is then followed by asking “How can my gift be of value”? At The Community Foundation of NC East, we have these meaningful, transforming and inspiring conversations 365 days a year with our Donors and Donor Families, Community, Regional, State and National Leaders whom all share our vision of “Making Every Gift Count” as we invest our financial resources in the philanthropic needs and opportunities across the eastern North Carolina region, our great state of North Carolina and across the United States.

Living Well and Doing Good has continued to be our mindset and although we are all living in a world of economic challenges and other concerns, I am reminded of the significance of our Foundation’s long standing, deep rooted and strong presence, always a constant lifeline to countless organizations and initiatives, public and private partnerships and an ability to remain change makers through every kind of economic environment and global environment.

It is with a profound sense of gratitude that we are able to announce that the CF of NC East was able to distribute over $2.5 million dollars in grants and charitable funds to charities, nonprofits, colleges and universities and state initiatives in the past year. In addition, we had a tremendous year of growth with the addition of $3.5 million dollars in new Funds along with an addition of more than $5 million in new Estate Plan Endowments and testamentary gifts. We are honored to welcome many new Donors and Partners into our Foundation Family. Enabling our donors to fulfill their charitable giving wishes, through the expertise and high level professional services that our leadership offers, is an incredibly rewarding and humbling honor, one that we greatly appreciate. The generosity of our Donors and their placing trust in the integrity of our organization, enables us to leverage the financial assets of our Foundation to levels that create change and transform lives and the communities we all live in and hold close to our hearts.

2023 brought many accomplishments and opportunities to serve as change makers for the citizens and families in eastern North Carolina. Without a doubt, one of those successes we are extremely pleased to highlight is the continued success of our HBOT 4 Heroes Program, in partnership with the Extivita Clinic in Raleigh, NC, in which we provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments free of charge to our North Carolina Veterans suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD. The suicide rate amongst our nation’s Veterans has continued to climb, and we have remained committed to working together with our Veterans and their families, our state and federal leadership and funding partners, to not only reducing but eventually eliminating the suicide crisis in North Carolina and nationally. By providing this treatment to our Veterans, we are saving lives and giving our Veterans a return to the quality of life they so greatly deserve.

I would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the North Carolina General Assembly and our state leadership, for the approval of $500,000 in state funding to directly go into our HBOT 4 Heroes Program and provide continued treatments to our Veterans in need, while also expanding the number of clinics and Hyperbaric Chambers across our state to help as many Veterans as possible. It has been my honor to work tirelessly on behalf of our state’s Veterans and to work closely with our elected officials to ensure these financial resources would be possible.

In addition, we have been advocates of other regional and state wide initiatives such as NC Stop Human Trafficking, fighting against food deprivation, family violence prevention, the support of education and the uplifting of women and girls in their education process and the workplace, the expansion of parks and greenway spaces while enhancing our rivers and waterways, providing scholarships and promoting the development of young Entrepreneurs and giving circles, and countless other significant charitable organizations and institutions that offer life changing opportunities, connecting our financial resources to needs and opportunities.

As the CEO of the CF of NC East, as I begin my 25th year in this leadership role of a lifetime, I will continue to be a Champion of wishing to evolve, grown stronger and greater, while holding on to the one thing I know with certainty, “Every Gift Matters”! The investments of our financial resources, our time, talents and our tireless commitments to the causes and communities that we serve, are absolutely what makes us successful. Most all positive outcomes are not a result of limited efforts, but rather a direct result of our relentless passion and desire to see change, leaving everything better than we found it.

May we always be mindful of our successes, grateful for the opportunités to be change makers, and never lose our desire to continue moving our life changing work forward, because the top of every mountain is the bottom of the next! May we Live Well, Do Good, and never forget, that Every Gift Matters!

Melissa Q. Spain
Chief Executive Officer
Community Foundation of NC East