(December 26, 2022) – Catherine S. Smith was delighted to have spent fifteen years as a resident at Abernethy Laurels retirement community. Always sensitive to the needs of people less fortunate than herself, she was firm in her desire to direct a generous measure of her good fortune to improving residents’ quality of life within her beloved community.
With that goal in mind, she chose to leave a legacy gift to the overall community, the staff, and particularly her neighbors and residents in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing. As a member of EveryAge’s Julius Society (a group that furthers the organization’s mission through commitments to charitable giving), Catherine attended every annual gathering to celebrate the members who had already left legacy gifts. Inspired by their philanthropy, Catherine’s own contribution honors the foresight and spirit acknowledged in the age-old adage, “Blessed is he who plants trees under whose shade he will never sit.”
A life-long North Carolinian, Catherine grew up on a self-sustaining dairy farm in Iredell County. As she recalls, “We were very poor, but we never knew it.” She and her husband John “Smitty” Smith were both raised with strong values, faith, and a life purpose that guided them to always be kind to others. This personal ethic was first demonstrated in Catherine’s career as a Head Start teacher supporting the educational needs of low-income, pre-K children. It found expression afterwards in many years of volunteer work.
After her passing, Catherine’s family proudly honored their mother’s wish to leave a legacy gift to the EveryAge Foundation in benefit of Abernethy Laurels. The gift will be divided equally between the Catherine S. Smith Family Fund and the Catherine S. Smith Family Endowment, with annual disbursements from each account supporting spiritual life and benevolent care.
Nancy Beard, outgoing president of the EveryAge Foundation, gratefully accepted the gift as welcome support for the work and sustainability of the Foundation. She stated, “Receiving such a big-hearted contribution from one of our longtime residents is a beautiful tribute to the communities we’ve built and the care that we provide. Catherine’s wish to enrich the lives of others is absolutely in keeping with her character and love for people. This is a great new year’s gift and a testament of faith for our future.”
The EveryAge Foundation uplifts people in need and provides funding for programs that enrich the lives of the entire EveryAge family, which includes three continuing care retirement communities, two PACE programs, a child-care ministry, a home care service, and seven affordable housing communities. In development are a third PACE program and a mid-range senior living complex. The Foundation grows and manages a variety of funds devoted to benevolence, innovation, campus enrichment, employee assistance, employee education, spiritual life, and more.
For additional information about the EveryAge Foundation or to learn how you can contribute to the organization’s mission through a one-time donation or a legacy gift, click here.