Inspired by the example set by his parents, this donor impact story highlights one reason why donors choose to establish a fund at the Community Foundation.
Dr. Jeff Walden is truly a game changer in the Greensboro community. A family medicine physician at Cone Health Family Medicine, he has a passion for refugee and immigrant patients, starting a weekly clinic for area refugees in need of healthcare. The clinic, which also trains residents to deal with cultural differences, has served over 50 people from 13 different countries speaking 19 different languages.
Dr. Walden has become an important part of the refugee resettlement process as they flee persecution, war, and famine in addition to his clinical work, he has been involved in community forums, numerous volunteer activities, and is a member of the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network. Dr. Walden has also written and taught extensively to increase awareness about immigrant and refugee health issues for both the public and the medical community across the US.
Established in 2009 at The Community Foundation, this fund underwrites the costs to implement a “Learn to Swim” program at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Initial financial commitments of $20,000 a year for the next five years will help finance the Aquatic Center’s “Learn to Swim” classes in partnership with Guilford County Schools. The Greensboro Aquatic Center developed a curriculum-based “Learn to Swim” lifesaving skills program for all first- and second-grade students in Guilford County.
“This groundbreaking program is having an enormous positive impact on this entire community,” said Walker Sanders, Foundation president. “The Learn to Swim program is providing every child in Guilford County the opportunity to learn how to swim. In doing so, the program is not only educating our children but helping save lives, too.”
Sanders said a group of residents who wish to remain anonymous felt very strongly about the need for the Learn to Swim program at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. They established the fund at the Foundation by contributing the first $100,000 toward it. “And they challenge others who feel as they do to step up to the plate and contribute, as well,” Sanders said.
A recent study by USA Swimming found that nearly 60 percent of African-American children cannot swim, almost twice the figure for white children. In addition, the non-swimming rate for Hispanic children was nearly as high (52 percent).
The fund at The Community Foundation enables the Greensboro Aquatic Center to contract with certified life-saving skills instructors, recruit guest appearances by well-known Olympic swimmers advocating Learn to Swim programs, provide transportation for students between schools and the Greensboro Aquatic Center and provide each participating student with a personal achievement commemorative “Learn to Swim” certificate and a swimming accessory novelty gift.
In 2017, the fund was renamed The Matt Brown Learn to Swim Fund in honor of his tireless efforts and contributions to the city of Greensboro.
In November 2014, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro unveiled plans for the new Carolyn & Maurice LeBauer Park, slated to open in Spring 2016 in downtown Greensboro, N.C. The park will be made possible by a generous bequest from the late Carolyn Weill LeBauer, who directed that the assets of her estate be used to create a fantastic park for her community. For more information on the park, visit Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc.