The Community Foundation Blog

A Partnership Made in Heaven
By The Community Foundation / February 9, 2016
A Partnership Made in Heaven

A partnership made in heaven

Dr. Gail Inlow was a devout man who believed in helping his neighbors. In 1988, Dr. Inlow made a generous gift to the Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church in Henrico County to support outreach to assist local individuals and families experiencing financial hardship. With the support of the founding pastor Richard Brand and the church session, the gift helped to create a designated fund at the Church, which his son Ron was asked to administer as long as he was a member of the congregation.

(l to r): Dr. Marilyn Johns, Elder; Rev. Janet James, Pastor; Ron Inlow; Rev. Dick Brand, Pastor Emeritus; Molly Dean Bittner, TCF

Over time, the fund grew with additional contributions from Gail and other members of the church. Ron worked with the Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church and its current pastor, Rev. Janet James to identify people who needed temporary assistance with rent, medical expenses, utility bills or other items.

After years of meeting personally with potential grantees, Ron and church administration turned to Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS) to more easily identify individuals and families during periods of financial crisis. ACTS offers help and hope to people who are at risk of becoming homeless, preventing homelessness before it can take hold. It was a perfect fit.

Still, questions remained. Ron became concerned about the future of the fund. Would it continue if he was no longer able to administer it? Would the Church manage the assets in perpetuity? Would his father’s intent be honored when the current partners were no longer involved? A meeting with his attorney, Derek Smith of Virginia Estate & Trust Law, pointed him to The Community Foundation (TCF). Building permanent endowments to benefit the community and following donor intent have been among the core values of TCF throughout its 48-year history.

After a few meetings, and with the blessing of Rev. James and the church session, the assets were transferred into the Inlow Assistance Fund of the Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church (USA) at TCF. Advised by a committee of the church, the fund continues its support of individuals and families in need and Ron can remain involved as long as he would like.

One year into the new arrangement, the Inlow Assistance Fund is growing as a result of Spider Management’s prudent investment strategy and ACTS is currently receiving two grants a year in support of its mission. Most importantly, Gail Inlow’s vision will be carried out in perpetuity, helping hundreds of Richmonders succeed when their days look the darkest. His devotion and care for his neighbors will continue for generations due to a unique and personalized partnership between the Gayton Kirk and TCF.

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