CFM Partners with GHHI for Water Filtration Solution-Building

Three women stand around a table. The one in the middle demos a countertop water filtration system.
(Left to right) Melody Moody Thortis, CFM Director of Strategic Impact; Catherine Lee, Director of Client Services at GHHI; and Jane Alexander, CFM President and CEO look at a model of the countertop Zero water filter that will be used during the program. Lee shows the group how to use the included TDS meter to check the levels of dissolved solids before and after filtering tap water to show there is nothing left behind but the purest water.

While the boil water notice and immediate water crisis have ended in Jackson, the question remains for many, “Is my water safe to drink?” For women – especially those of childbearing age and expectant mothers – and children, the threat of lead in water is of increased importance.

During the Jackson water crisis, the Community Foundation for Mississippi immediately identified water filtration as a gap and barrier to health outcomes for citizens of Jackson. CFM is partnering with Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) to distribute countertop Zero water filtration systems and teach households about methods of water boiling and filtering commonly recommended by the City of Jackson. This programming will not only reduce potential exposure to unsafe drinking water but will also reduce the cost burden of purchasing drinking water for low-income households in Jackson and plastic water bottle waste.

“The Community Foundation for Mississippi recognizes that the work to resolve Jackson’s water crisis is a long-term investment that requires strategic mitigation efforts and partnering with leaders across sectors to imagine the possibilities for change. Our commitment to be “for Mississippi, for good, forever” allows us to invest in long-term systems change, build social capital and work with community leaders to identify and address critical issues for the sustainability and livability of the communities we serve throughout central and southwest Mississippi,” said Melody Moody Thortis, CFM’s Director of Strategic Impact. “We are so happy to launch this partnership with GHHI and to support efforts to work directly with Jackson’s most vulnerable populations, providing hands-on solutions and on-going education for increased access to clean and drinkable water at home.”

The Zero water filtration systems are certified to reduce heavy metals and PFAs, including lead, and include a testing meter to test for particles in the water. After learning about safe particle levels during a home visit, residents will be able to test their water before and after filtration to ensure their water is properly filtered. Each household will receive one dispenser and a pack of replacement filters to last up to one year on average. This investment will save families hundreds of dollars a year compared to expenses of direct purchasing of bottled water, as well as costs incurred in times of crises when residents spend significant amounts of time and travel costs to find available water. With the filter, residents will be able to boil water at home, cool it to room temperature and filter it for any contaminants – all at home.

Graphic of the five stages of filtration for a Zero water filter.“Through discussions with families engaged in GHHI programs we have learned it is very common, especially for families living in central, west and south Jackson, to not drink tap water and spend significant amounts of their monthly income to purchase bottled drinking water,” said Catherine Lee, AICP, Director of Client Services for GHHI in Jackson. “As water crises persist these practices will contribute to inequitable cost burdens for low-income households unless families can access alternative resources for water filtration and get more information about how to address water safety within their households.”

GHHI currently provides assistance to households applying for the Lead Safe Jackson Program, a program administered by the City of Jackson Office of Housing and Community Development, which provides lead risk assessments and repairs for lead paint hazard control. To be eligible households must have low-to-moderate incomes as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and include family members who are at risk of lead poisoning (children under the age of 6 or pregnant women), and their homes must be built before 1978 when lead-based paint was banned for residential use.

The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is a 501(c)3 organization and is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to advancing racial and health equity through healthy homes. The Jackson GHHI site, established in 2015, works across sectors to support improvements in housing, coordinate and improve service delivery and provide direct services to improve environmental health in housing. GHHI is dedicated to addressing the social determinants of health and the advancement of racial and health equity through the creation of healthy, safe and energy efficient homes. By delivering a standard of excellence in its work, GHHI aims to eradicate the negative health impacts of unhealthy housing and unjust policies for children, seniors and families to ensure better health, economic and social outcomes for low-income communities of color.

For Helping Others: CFM + Nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Mississippi celebrates the work of the state’s nonprofit sector by providing opportunities for its growth and sustainability. By enabling organizations to grow their vision, increase their financial resources and expand their long-term reach, CFM provides a valuable resource that can ultimately lead to increased nonprofit capacity both now and forever. 

Over the past year, nonprofits have started to consider what is next in a post-COVID world, particularly when benefits of endowments are more important than ever to ensure longevity. 

Here are a few nonprofits who began turning the page by working alongside CFM to create funds that will lead to their success for many years to come. 

A crowd cheers to the camera, all wearing green.

Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade

Central Mississippi’s annual celebration of spring began as a way to bring people together to celebrate the unique flavor of Mississippi’s capital city. Over the past 30 years, the parade has grown into a weekend-long festival bringing over 70,000 people to downtown Jackson and organizers are passionate about keeping it going. In 2021, support from the John F. and Lucy Shackelford Fund at CFM provided crucial supplies needed for parade safety and led to the creation of the Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade Fund to ensure that the event can continue to add to Jackson’s cultural landscape long into the future.

A crowd releases balloons in front of the new Magnolia Speech School.

Magnolia Speech School

Magnolia Speech School understands that all children need a voice. The school provides resources, early intervention and a nurturing community to provide and connect children and families to the tools they need to reach their full potential through listening and spoken language.  Known as a national pioneer for their work with sensory integration and classroom instruction for children with speech and language disorders, Magnolia Speech School worked with CFM to create an endowment fund that would allow them to grow and to build a long-lasting foundation to continue their work.

A ground of children sit at a high top table with Macbook laptops while an adult looks on, giving instructions at Operating Shoestring.

Operation Shoestring

At the core of Operation Shoestring’s mission is investing in the future of children — in their schools, their families and their community. By providing year-round academic, social and emotional support to children alongside support for their families, Operation Shoestring is transforming communities. By investing in their own future through an endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, they will be able to make a long-term impact in the lives of children and families in central Mississippi. 

Grant Opportunity: CFM Nonprofit Rapid Response Mini-Grant

Are you a nonprofit that was affected by the Jackson water crisis?

The Community Foundation for Mississippi’s Nonprofit Rapid Response Mini-Grant is a reimbursement program for 501c3 nonprofits residing in the Jackson area who have been directly affected by the Jackson water crisis. Grants will reimburse expenses related to the water crisis, which began July 29, 2022, for increased demand for, or increased supply of drinkable water. Expenses should be unplanned, un-budgeted expenses (related to water needs) related to charitable service by nonprofits from July 29 – September 15, 2022. Reimbursements may range from $200-$2,000.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Awards will be announced in early November.

Eligible organizations and expenses:

• All eligible nonprofits must be based in the City of Jackson or served by the Jackson municipal water system, including Byram, who were affected by the boil water notice and subsequent system failure.

• Reimbursements must replace past expenditures and past expenses should NOT have been paid by another grant source.

• Grant awards should be targeted to needs expended related to the Jackson water crisis.

Applicants will be asked about their additional needs and solutions related to the water crisis however, this round of funding is only related to water and ice-specific needs. Eligible reimbursements include documented ice and water expenses.

For Feeding Others: CFM + Food Insecurity

With one of the highest food insecurity rates in the nation, Mississippi has over 450,000 households without daily reliable access to affordable and nutritious food. The onset of COVID-19 caused this need to intensify, leaving many wondering how they might feed themselves and their families during the pandemic. 

CFM’s deep connections with the communities we serve allowed us to respond quickly and to work in tandem with community foundations across the state and the Mississippi State Legislature to serve nonprofits and food pantries across the state. CFM was able to administer more than $2.4 million in CARES Act funds to provide access to food and capacity to nonprofits providing services across central and southwest Mississippi. These reimbursement grants helped nonprofits who faced decreased revenue and vastly increased demand during the pandemic.

Mississippi has a history of coming together during disasters to help one another and COVID-19 was no exception. See how the community came together with CFM to find new ways to bring food to those most in need. 

Image of canned goods.

We Care Mission

Scott County

When We Care Mission’s thrift store closed for four months at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit’s income immediately dried up for its much-needed food pantry in Morton. We Care Mission was able to think creatively to re-open partially outside, but times were still tight. Connecting with CFM and CARES Act funding, We Care Mission was able to continue operations and supplement their food assistance to help many fellow community members also impacted by COVID-19.

Mississippi Center for Police and Sherriffs

Hinds County

Sheltering in place took on new meaning at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic for shelters around the country, including Joyce’s Hope Home, operated by the Mississippi Center for Police and Sheriffs. Hope Home, which provides emergency shelter care for homeless women and children, suddenly was over capacity and the need for their Friday morning food distributions to families in distress was increasing. CFM was able to administer CARES Act funds that helped sustain operations and connect families in crisis to much needed resources.

Arise and Shine

Copiah County

Arise and Shine leapt to action to adapt its programming to meet the needs that arose due to COVID-19. By converting a former Fred’s Dollar Store into a learning center, food pantry and food distribution center, they were able to provide educational services and daily food distributions to children, families and the elderly in Crystal Springs and Copiah County. This adjustment meant an increase in costs due to the expansion of space, food costs, sanitation, staff support and technology needed. CARES funds distributed through CFM allowed the organization to off-set costs allowing them to better meet the needs of those they serve. 

Learn more about Community Foundation for Mississippi’s impact in our 2022 Annual Report.

Bill Hunsberger Scholarship at CFM Announces 2022 Recipient Mia Robertson

Mia Robertson
Mia Robertson

The Community Foundation for Mississippi is proud to announce the 2022 recipient of the Bill Hunsberger Scholarship is Mia Robertson of Starkville. Mia Robertson is a Senior Presidential-Endowed Scholar and John C. Stennis Scholar majoring in Political Science and Philosophy with minors in Pre-Law and International Relations at Mississippi State.

The Bill Hunsberger Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi honors Bill Hunsberger, publisher of The Clarion-Ledger newspaper and a board member of the Community Foundation for Mississippi, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004. In his honor, his family and friends established the Bill Hunsberger Scholarship Fund at CFM, which provides scholarships to students studying the programs at the universities attended by his three daughters. Eligibility includes full-time female students entering her junior or senior year of undergraduate study. Awards are rotated annually between a journalism major at the University of Southern Mississippi, a journalism major at the University of Mississippi and a political science major at Mississippi State University with media involvement.

Currently, Mia works as a law clerk at Winfield Law Firm, a civil practice with a focus in chancery matters. Her passion for criminal justice has also led her to work as a legal intern with The Mississippi Bail Project, Fredericksburg Office of the Public Defender and New Orleans Office of the Public Defender. Mia also previously served as a Speech and Debate Program Assistant for the Stennis Center for Public Service and used this position to expand access to speech and debate to underserved school districts. At the Stennis Center, Mia also worked as the Junior Editor of the Public Service Review, a quarterly journal highlighting the contributions of young public servants.

Mia is the Founder and President of BARS, an MSU student organization dedicated to service and activism on behalf of the incarcerated. In the MSU Student Association, Mia serves as a Justice on the Judicial Council and previously served for two years as the Director of Community and Governmental Relations where she coordinated voter registration drives on MSU’s campus. Mia also serves as the President of the MSU Speech and Debate Council, a team she has participated in for four years. During her time on the collegiate Speech and Debate circuit, Mia has earned seven national championships in IPDA Debate, making her MSU’s first national champion in Speech and Debate. Mia is also a Regional Champion in Persuasive Speaking and Team IPDA Debate.

Ways to Help: Jackson Water Crisis

In July 2022, Jackson experienced increased rain and subsequent flooding of the Pearl River, impacting the city. This flooding exacerbated the city’s water issues, causing failures at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant. The City of Jackson and State of Mississippi, through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Department of Health, are working together under several states of emergency to address issues. On September 15, the boil water notice was lifted for the City of Jackson.

Below are ways to stay up-to-date on the water crisis and where to help support Jacksonians as we address ongoing issues with the City of Jackson water system. This page may be updated as information becomes available. (Last updated January 3, 2023)

Where can I find official information about the Jackson water?

Visit the JXN WTR site here for updated information.

Where can I support organizations who are helping address the water system (and long term solutions) in Jackson?

The Helping Friends and Neighbors Fund (Disaster Relief Fund) at the Community Foundation for Mississippi was created to respond to disasters in Mississippi, primarily in CFM’s coverage area of central and southwest Mississippi. It will not take the place of local relief efforts, but rather enhance disaster responses because of our community knowledge and connections, relief donations can easily adapt to current needs at hand, whether it’s food, medical supplies, shelter or something completely unforeseen. A donation to this fund will help wrap around needs related to Jackson’s water issues.

The JPS Response Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi has been established to offer financial assistance to the district and its schools for challenges caused by declared disasters, emergencies and Acts of God. This fund will help support the district address needs during this time of need.

Powered by the Good Samaritan Center and ExtraTable, the Hub for the Hungry program unites Mississippi nonprofit agencies with food distribution companies and local farmers. Current partners are KLLM Transport, Sysco Jackson, Two Dog Farms, Salad Days, and Central Mississippi Planning and Development. The Hub for the Hungry is assisting with water distribution beyond the water crisis for charitable organizations. Click below to learn more about the Hub for the Hungry.

Jackson Water Distribution Sites

Green icons represent water distribution sites. This map is not meant to catalog each individual site at churches and businesses.

The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition is continuing to distribute water to Jackson residents. The current schedule is:

Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

South Jackson

Sykes Community Center

Strong Arms, 520 Sykes Road, Jackson, MS

Oak Forest Community Center

Operation Good, 2827 Oak Forest Dr., Jackson, MS

West Jackson

Westland Plaza Parking Lot

MS Poor People’s Campaign


Wednesdays at 5 p.m.

South Jackson

Oak Forest Community Center

Operation Good, 2827 Oak Forest Dr., Jackson, MS

West Jackson

Westland Plaza Parking Lot

MS Poor People’s Campaign


Thursdays at 5 p.m.

South Jackson

Oak Forest Community Center

Operation Good, 2827 Oak Forest Dr., Jackson, MS

West Jackson

Westland Plaza Parking Lot

MS Poor People’s Campaign

IAJE Community Center

IAJE, 406 W. Fortification St., Jackson, MS


Fridays at 5 p.m.

South Jackson

Oak Forest Community Center

Operation Good, 2827 Oak Forest Dr., Jackson, MS

West Jackson

Westland Plaza Parking Lot

MS Poor People’s Campaign

North Jackson

Northtown Pharmacy

JXN People’s Assembly, 6220 Old Canton Rd., Jackson, MS


Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Northwest Jackson

People’s Advocacy Institute

Northside Drive and Hanging Moss Road

West Jackson

IAJE Community Center

IAJE, 406 W. Fortification St., Jackson, MS


Sundays at 3 p.m.

North Jackson

MS Move Across from Tougaloo College

Operation Good

(Please note, these times and locations are subject to change. Before heading out, check the MRRC website for an up-to-date schedule.)

City of Jackson Water Status Tool

If you are experiencing discolored water or no pressure, please alert the City of Jackson by using this online reporting tool.

Information is subject to change. Know of other ways to support the City of Jackson? Send us an email at

Unearthing the Past: The Admissions Project

Stories are a universal way to relate and understand each other better. And, all of us have school stories. Ellen Ann Fentress knows this firsthand as a storyteller, author and documentarian. Sharing her own story, in fact, about her experience attending a segregation academy in the 1970s has brought others to remember and tell their own story, too.

These academies were private schools that began to appear as a way for white parents to avoid the ramifications of integration – sending their children to school with black children. There are an estimated 750,000 attendees of these schools across 11 southern states. The project cataloging the subsequent memories of so many in the South during that time has evolved to become The Admissions Project – a collection of interviews, a website with written stories and oral histories of others in school under the shadow of integration.

“Along with the rest of the country, Mississippi has come to recognize that we can’t thrive in the future while suppressing the past,” said Fentress. “For Mississippi, that means understanding our racial history most of all. The Admissions Project is about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to grow. It matters to me that this is a project in which we tell our own stories in our own voices. This is no outside helicopter project, but our own home-led story sharing.”

Fentress says her work, which is supported through the Eyes of Mississippi Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, would not have been possible without the underlying infrastructure at CFM. “We see to our projects, and as a qualified 501c3 non-profit, CFM supervises our finances,” she said. “To launch this project, working under CFM’s nonprofit structure was essential. Supporters expect and deserve a tax-deductible donor framework, particularly in Mississippi where giving resources are always stretched.”

From the Beginning

Three people sit around a table. On the left, Ellen Ann is recording with a microphone and wearing headphones and a mask.
Ellen Ann Fentress (left), interviews David Taylor, Sr. (right) with Marshand Boone (center).

In 2019, after publishing a Bitter Southerner essay on coming to terms with her white schooling, Fentress received a flood of emails – both positive and negative – about their own reckoning with their past academy experiences. “I realized many in my generation wanted a public space to talk about the imprint of our defiant all-white educations, a key chapter of American history,” she said.

With the help of the Mississippi Humanities Council, a grant helped her launch the online platform – the Academy Stories. Well-known authors who were also segregation academy alumni wrote accounts for the launch, including Steve Yarborough, Alan Huffman and Kristen Green. Dozens more followed along with coverage from the Washington Post, Slate, Mother Jones, Forbes and the Hechinger Report. As more stories unfolded, a ripple effect happened. The more stories were told, the more others also remembered and wanted to share, too.

“At a moment when we are more aware than ever of our past failures to pursue social justice, it seems essential to me that we tell the stories of the segregation academies alongside the more positive stories of integration,” said Steve Yarbrough, discussing the project. “These narratives are timely and necessary.”

In 2020, an additional MHC grant helped Fentress expand her work to those who remained in public schools post-integration. Though unacknowledged initially, the burden of court-ordered integration frequently fell on Black students and teachers to assimilate into little-changed white spaces. Essays came in from nationally regarded writers like Ralph Eubanks, Margaret McMullan, Paulette Boudreaux and Teresa Nicholas. With the collection of memories growing, the work became known as The Admissions Project.

“Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about the early days of integration is how many of us were coached—by our parents and the mores of Southern culture–to move on and repress the memories of what happened to us. What this project does is bring those tightly imprinted yet closed recollections out into the open so that those who experienced this past can make sense of it,” said Ralph Eubanks. “Even more important, these stories can be used by students today so they can get of sense of how much the past had an impact on education today yet also led to a positive transformation of the structure of Southern society.”

What’s Next

The project shows no signs of stopping now. Soon, a podcast will be added to the lineup with a three-episode season, “This American Life”-style. As a documentarian, Fentress dreams of adding video accounts to the site, producing a full-length documentary film and staging a The Moth-style storytelling production for people to tell their school stories.

“All those avenues invest in the power of learning from each other’s personal stories,” said Fentress. “Besides these stories mattering to us today, I have to believe that the site’s first-person accounts are going to hold their importance for future generations as primary documents of history. Can you imagine the power of reading a parallel cross-section of stories from Mississippi a century ago or two centuries ago? Our essays stand to be that priceless.”

To support the Eyes of Mississippi Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, which supports The Admissions Project, click here.

Hear more from Ellen Ann here:

National Book Lovers’ Day: Let’s Read!

Book lovers unite! It’s National Book Lovers’ Day and we have plenty of ways to celebrate. From libraries to the Mississippi Book Festival, the Community Foundation for Mississippi has ways to support organizations that are creating more book lovers every year.

Mississippi Book Festival

A view from above of a full sanctuary at Galloway United Methodist Church for the Mississippi Book Festival.The Community Foundation for Mississippi is proud to the be fiscal home and presenting funder for the Mississippi Book Festival. Known as Mississippi’s Literary Lawn Party, the festival has become a nationally recognized premier event that attracts book lovers, writers, and publishers from Mississippi, the region, and the nation. Free and open to the public, the festival hosts author panel discussions and interviews, book signings, live music, local food, young adult and children’s activities, and exhibitors from across the state. The mission of the festival is to recognize authors and the books they produce, to celebrate writing, reading, and our literary heritage, and to connect readers with contemporary authors.

Jackson Friends of the Library

Outside view of the Willie Morris Library in Jackson.The Jackson Friends of the Library Fund supports the seven City of Jackson libraries in the Jackson Hinds Library System. Your support helps make programming and other initiatives possible!

Clinton Library Foundation Endowment Fund

Outside view of the Quisenberry Library.The Clinton Library Foundation Endowment Fund supports programs and operation of the Quisenberry Library in Clinton. The library, located on East Northside Drive, features a nature trail, Genealogy Room, Children’s Library and group study rooms that are available for quiet study throughout the day. The library offers a wide variety of public programming including an upcoming series on the history of the City of Clinton, a Halloween fall carnival and an Easter egg hunt in the spring.

Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Endowment Fund

Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters awards on a table.The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters honors Mississippi’s greatest riches – our artists, writers, and musicians. Each year the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters honors creative individuals with an award in their specific field. The prestigious awards, first made in 1980, are presented in eight categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Youth Literature, Visual Art, Music Composition (Classical), Music Composition (Contemporary), Photography, and Poetry. The Institute’s juried competition is one of a kind in the state.

University Press of Mississippi Endowment Fund

University Press of Mississippi logoUniversity Press of Mississippi tells stories of scholarly and social importance that impact our state, region, nation, and world. They are committed to equality, inclusivity, and diversity. Working at the forefront of publishing and cultural trends, UPM publishes books that enhance and extend the reputation of our state and its universities.

Founded in 1970, UPM is the largest and only non-profit publisher in the state. Affiliated with and supported by Mississippi’s eight state universities, UPM has more than 2,200 active titles and has distributed more than 3,200,000 books worldwide in print and digital editions, each with the Mississippi imprint. The press acquires, edits, designs, and promotes more than 95 new books every year.

Curious about other causes and organizations you can support? View our donate page for more!

The LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi Announces 2022 Grant Recipients

Image of hands holding up letter baloons in rainbow colors, spelling community. LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi.The LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi (CFM) announced 2022 annual grants today totaling $135,000 for ten programs around the state of Mississippi. Decisions were informed by the Needs Assessment from the Mississippi LGBTQ Study.

“I am truly excited about the opportunity to meet the moment for many LGBTQ organizations across the state,” said Justin Lofton, chair of the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi. “The LGBTQ community faces enormous challenges and I’m proud that the Fund is helping to close the gap and ease the burdens with its grantmaking. We look forward to continuing the work.”

2022 recipients include:

Campaign for Southern Equality (Ashville, NC): Manage a small grants process for new/emerging LGBTQ+ serving organizations.

Capital City Pride (Jackson, MS): Support groups for queer/trans kids and their parents.

Gulf Coast Equality Council (Gulfport, MS): Needs assessment for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity (Jackson, MS): Assist queer and trans immigrants in the state secure housing, health screenings, educational opportunities and legal services transitioning out of detention centers.

Link Centre (Tupelo, MS): Updated resource guide for Tupelo area/support groups for parents of queer kids.

Mississippi Positive Network (Statewide): Expand on the statewide network for people living with HIV by implementing a statewide calendar of events and train healthcare workers on the importance of networking for a new person diagnosed with HIV.

Mississippi Rising Coalition (Gulfport, MS): Create a mutual aid fund to assist LGBTQ+ people in the Gulf Coast with emergency needs when they arise.

Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS): Conduct surveys on LGBTQ+ health disparities and conduct research to give a better understanding of how to help LGBTQ+ patients in health care settings.

Mississippi University for Women (Columbus, MS): Seminar focusing on gender-affirming care and medical humanities from two experts.

Youth Improvement Services (Statewide): General operating funds and emergency housing money for trans youth.

Transforming donations into action, the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi pools funds to support LGBTQ+ organizations across the state that address the needs of LGBTQ Mississippians. As the first and only grantmaking fund in the state focused on supporting organizations that improve the quality of life for LGBTQ Mississippians, the fund at CFM works as a pipeline that fuels and enhances the work of LGBTQ-focused organizations by professional stewardship of funds and other resources from outside donors.

More information about the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, including past grantees, is available at

Members of the community are also encouraged to contribute to the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi through CFM’s website, found here.

Janet Leach Memorial Fund Announces 2022 Recipient Hannah Grace Hinckley

Image of Hannah Hinckley. Text reads: Janet Leach Scholarship Fund, 2022 Recipient, Hannah Grace Hinckley. Community Foundation for Mississippi logo at the bottom.The Community Foundation for Mississippi and the Mississippi Golf Association are proud to announce the 2022 recipient of the Janet Leach Scholarship is Hannah Grace Hinckley of McComb. A 2022 graduate of Parklane Academy, Hinckley is an active golfer and plans to attend Mississippi College in the fall and will play on the MC women’s golf team. After graduation, Hinckley hopes to attend medical school.

When anyone says the name Janet Leach, golf and Mississippi are never too far behind. Leach served for 22 years with the Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division as the program manager for golf. She promoted Mississippi internationally and served as a liaison for two Mississippi PGA Tour tournaments.

As a result of Leach’s tireless work, she was also the first woman to receive the Carpenter-Lindsay Award from the PGA Gulf States section and Mississippi chapter in 2015, which is awarded to individuals who have unselfishly served and supported the game of golf.

Leach passed away in 2017 at the age of 66. To honor her legacy, the Janet Leach Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi was created to support the next generation of female golfers. The fund’s scholarship is awarded annually in partnership with the Mississippi Golf Association to a deserving Mississippi female student who is associated with the game of golf either through play or other golf-related studies, regardless of the student’s golfing skill level. Special attention is given to students who attend smaller Mississippi universities and the various community colleges around the state, and those who may need additional financial support.

To support the fund and learn more, visit here.