Donors Stories


Considering donating to the Foundation for Southeast Texas?
 Take a look at why some of our donors choose the Foundation for Southeast Texas:

Samuel and Evelyn Lord Endowed Fund

It is a wonderful and warm feeling for me to know that, when we are no longer here, the groups that we invested ourselves in would still be receiving a little financial support from their friends Sam and Evelyn Lord through the Foundation for Southeast Texas, an organization in which I have absolute trust.  Read More

JoAnne and George Dishman Charitable Fund

JoAnne and George Dishman, long time supporters of numerous nonprofits in the community, established an endowed donor advised fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas.  During their lifetime, the Dishmans direct the Foundation to grant the earnings from the fund to a charity or charities of their choice.  As the fund increases in value, the size of the gifts to the nonprofits have grown.  Upon their death, their children will continue choosing grant recipients in the community. The Foundation for Southeast Texas is pleased to have the Dishmans as donors and thanks them on behalf of the charities that benefit from their gifts.

The Ross and Eva Smith Donor Advised Fund

Ross and Eva believe that the Foundation for Southeast Texas is an excellent way for anyone to give to charities in the community.  The donor establishes the fund and the Foundation does the work of investing the gift and making the grants to their chosen charities.  Ross feels that the flexibility of the Foundation for Southeast Texas is one of its attractions. Read More

The Elizabeth Gilbert Fortune Endowed Fund

The Elizabeth Gilbert Fortune Endowed Fund was established from the residual of the estate of Elizabeth Gilbert Fortune.  Mrs. Fortune was a native of Beaumont and left generous legacies to many nonprofits in Beaumont.  The fund is used for upkeep and for emergency repairs to the Foundation’s building.  The Foundation has already benefitted from Mrs. Fortune’s  gift.  A generous portion from the gift was used to assist in the rebuilding of the Foundation’s building after it was destroyed by Hurricane Rita.

The Gisela Houseman Donor Advised Fund.

Houseman says, “The Foundation is a hidden gem that could be valuable to many charitably minded people in the community.  I hope that by my using the Foundation as my vehicle for giving, it will encourage others who want an easy way to give back to the community to establish their own fund.” Read More

The John Wasser Memorial Fund

The board of the Foundation for Southeast Texas established the John Wasser Memorial Fund in memory of John Wasser who served as board treasurer until his death in November of 2011.  The fund was established with earnings from mineral leases. It is a non-endowed fund, and it is used as an additional source for competitive grants or emergency grants.  The Foundation for Southeast Texas welcomes gifts from the community in memory of John to enhance this fund.

The Laing Family
Donor Advised Fund

In December of 2003, the Laing family established a donor advised fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas.  John Laing has had a successful career and is pleased that his family is able to give more back to the community now and for generations that follow.  John chose the Foundation for Southeast Texas because he believes that his family can “systematically give back to many nonprofits in a controlled environment.  Also the diversity of services a community foundation offers is the perfect solution for a family with varied charitable interests.” Read More

The H.O.W. Center, Inc. is a local nonprofit who is taking advantage of establishing a fund with the Foundation to ensure its financial future.  The H.O.W. Center‘s mission is “to provide a safe and structured living environment for individuals recovering from addictions while they gain skills to live independently and successfully.”  The board members and executive director established the fund and named it the H.O.W.  Center Inc.  Endowed Fund.  The organization is planning to build a new facility and, with gifts from friends, established a non-endowed pass through fund with the Foundation.  The fund has been named “Friends of the H.O.W. Center Pass through Fund.”  Donations will be made directly to the Foundation and distributed during the construction phase.  A site for the new Center has been chosen, and a campaign is underway to raise the funds for construction of the facility.

The Friends of CASA

CASA of Southeast Texas opened an endowed fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas to provide financial security for years to come. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, stands up for abused or neglected children and walks with them through their journey to safe and permanent homes.With thousands of children being removed from their homes every year, the “man power” of the volunteers is what changes their lives. These volunteers, with the support and guidance of CASA’s professional staff, help search for information to improve the happiness and safety of the child.  They are the only adults with them every step of the way; from their step out of danger to their step into safety.  Read More

The Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Crawford Family Fund

The Crawford family chose the most personal style of fund for their contribution to the Foundation for Southeast Texas.  The initial fund was established with a donation of stock in late 1997 with an addition in 1998. For donors with diverse philanthropic interest, the donor advised fund offers significant advantages.  The Crawford Family Fund is a fine example of grants given to diverse areas of civic and social concerns.  In 1998, gifts were made to the Salvation Army and the St. Stephens Episcopal School.  In 1999, a number of very generous gifts were given including gifts to the Jefferson Theater Restoration, Some Other Place, Lamar University for scholarships, to University of the South for chapel restoration and to St. Stephens Episcopal School for a physics lab.  Read More

The AB2 Memorial

Scholarship Fund

Our community of southeast Texas was stunned and saddened when Alicia Bonura and Ashley Brown, members of the West Brook High School Girl’s Soccer Team, lost their lives in a bus accident on their way to an out of town game.  Other members of the team were severely injured, and all of the girls will live the rest of their lives remembering that afternoon in March of 2006 and realizing how it would change their future.  The Soccer Booster Club with support from administration, faculty and students from the school and from this community and beyond, rallied to memorialize Ashley and Alicia and to support and honor the rest of the team by establishing a special fund.  The fund is called the AB Squared Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Foundation for Southeast Texas. . Read More

The Garth House Endowment Fund

The Board of the Garth House has a goal of securing future funding for operations of the Garth House. They hope to continue to build the fund with donations from their supporters, with fundraisers and with bequests. Garth House executive director, Marion Tanner says, “So many social agencies have to intervene for the crisis at hand and deal with daily situations that not much time is left for seeing what the future holds.  As large donations are being made to the Garth House, you do not want them to dwindle away on utilities, office supplies, etc.  Therefore, the future of Garth House had to be considered.  We strongly feel now is the time to prepare for future crises for the children of Southeast Texas.  The Garth House Endowment Fund is a major step for the future in order to take care of the smallest of victims in our communities and to help them become survivors.” Read More

The Homer Walles Fund

Through the generosity of Homer Walles and his dedication to the Central Baptist Church of Port Neches, the first endowed fund of the Foundation for Southeast Texas was created on December 30, 1996.  Mr. Walles created the fund because he wanted to give a perpetual gift with a yearly stream of income to his church.  In addition to the initial gift setting up the fund, he made additional gifts to the fund.  Each January, Central Baptist receives a larger grant that the one received the previous year because the value of the fund has grown as a result of high investment returns.  Read More

The Anayat House

Anayat House, Inc., A Medical Hospitality House, has been in successful operation for over 21 years.  The Board of Directors and staff are dedicated to conservative stewardship of every single dollar donated to provide affordable accommodations in a safe and restful family setting to outpatients or to family members of patients using local medical facilities.   In order to perpetuate our mission of serving families in Southeast Texas enduring the emotional, physical, and financial strain of medical crisis, the Anayat House Board elected to create a Donor Advised Fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas. It is an honor to join this group of civic minded citizens and organizations who all work to better the community in which we live.  Southeast Texans are kind, caring, and generous.  

The Gayle Ann Nagai Donor Advised Fund

In 2017, Gayle Nagai established a donor advised fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas.  Because, she is a long-time animal lover, the Gayle Ann Nagai Fund will primarily support animal rescue and welfare charities.  During her lifetime, Gayle will select the charities to receive earnings from the fund.  Upon her death, the Foundation of Southeast Texas will manage the fund and select local animal rescue organizations to receive grants from the Gayle Ann Nagai Fund. Read More

The Audrey P. and Edward M. Curtis Endowed Fund

A great tribute was paid to the Foundation for Southeast Texas and to our community when Jewel (Jan) Curtis Spayth bequeathed a one million dollar trust to the Foundation in order to establish an unrestricted endowed fund named for her parents Audrey P. and Edward M. Curtis.  The earnings from the fund is used yearly for our competitive grant process which awards grants to qualifying nonprofits in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties.  Mrs. Spayth was born in Beaumont.  Her parents moved to Beaumont before she and her twin brother, Ed, were born in 1926. Read More

The Alan and Cherrie Hefty Donor Advised Fund

Alan and Cherrie Hefty recently established a Donor-Advised Fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas.  


Mr. Hefty, a CPA and business consultant, feels the donor-advised fund is the most flexible way to make donations when supporting more than a few charities. “It has many of the benefits of a private charitable foundation without the high cost, complexities, and 'red tape', and the Foundation of Southeast Texas is the best option for this type of arrangement.  Once the fund is established, the Foundation tends to the complicated tasks of investing fund assets and administration of grants to charities. Read More

JoBeth and Mike Jenkins Endowed Donor Advised Fund

JoBeth and Mike Jenkins have established an Endowed Donor Advised Fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas. Together with their children, the Jenkins will direct the Foundation to grant the earnings to charities and programs of their own choosing.


The Jenkins decided that a Donor Advised Fund through the Foundation is a  beneficial way for their family to give to charities because their money will be invested therefore enabling them to give more than their initial gift. Read More

Click Here to check out a list of current funds.