Couple believes in investing in local charities Donor Next Door
Trotwood residents Adrienne and Calvin Heard share a dream to make Greater Dayton greater.
Similar to her consulting business, Heard Management, that helps organizations succeed, Adrienne helps area nonprofits and individuals succeed through her community activities. She is a board member of Greater Dayton RTA and Trotwood Madison Board of Education, a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a student mentor for Montgomery County Ohio College Promise.
Similarly, Calvin Heard dedicates his time as treasurer of Trotwood Madison Educational Foundation and chairman of Believers Christian Fellowship Church Board of Trustees and Dayton Alumni Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, as well as current president of the African-American Community Fund of The Dayton Foundation, where the Heards also have a charitable fund.
Q. Who has influenced your desire to give your time and dollars to charity?
Calvin: My mother, Barbara Heard, was a big influence in my life. Through her 34 years as an educator and administrator for Dayton Public Schools, her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, our church and other community organizations, she was always involved in something. She could not play an instrument, however she would go from school to school in the Miami Valley talking about the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Adrienne: For me, it was my father, John White. He was a leader in our community, Fairfax County, Va., with the concern he demonstrated for others, especially youth and underprivileged families. He served as the advisor for the Springdale Junior Civic Association that enabled African-American teenagers to get a taste of leadership and politics, as well as organization and administration. He also served on the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Advisory Board in Virginia and was an advocate and mentor for youth in the Fairfax County Public Schools, helping to mediate and facilitate interactions among various racial and socio-economic groups.
Q. Why is helping others so important to you?
Calvin: We want to assist others in Dayton and ensure that people have opportunities to better themselves, particularly young people with employment and recreational activities so that they will remain in the area.
Adrienne: Helping others is a part of who I am and how I was raised. There’s no specific reason why I do what I do. I just do it.
Q. How is the African-American Community Fund making a difference in the community?
Calvin: Founded in 1992, AACF has provided numerous ways for African-Americans in the Dayton area to give back to their community. It demonstrates that you don’t have to have a lot of money or a big position to assist others. Today, AACF has grown to 186 charitable funds created by individuals, families and organizations that care about our region. As a longtime member and current president of the Advisory Board, I’m very proud to support these individuals and their leadership role in continuing the tradition of African-American giving in our community.
Q. What inspires you most about our community?
Adrienne: I came to Dayton straight out of college. I knew no one except the NCR recruiter who promised me fulfilling work and college tuition towards my master’s degree in business administration. The community was very welcoming and continues to address challenges with a smile and a hug. When I came here as a “big-city girl,” I was just passing through while I got my MBA. Dayton’s charm has kept me here.
Calvin: The people in Dayton are very friendly. They welcome you into their homes for a variety of events versus meeting someone in a restaurant like in other cities.
Q. What do you feel is most needed in our community?
Adrienne: The people of Dayton are our greatest strength. Together, they are willing to work to move everyone forward. However, we lack employment opportunities to attract and retain a “new generation” of leaders. Plus, we need more adults involved as mentors for our youth to show them the positive values of volunteerism and community involvement.
Q. What advice can you share about giving to the community?
Calvin and Adrienne: Consider it an investment in your future — and the future of our children — and a “thank you” for your past.
Q. How would you complete this sentence, “My giving makes me feel____”?
Calvin: … great on the inside!
Adrienne: … that I’ve made my father smile.
The Dayton Foundation has been helping people help others since 1921 by managing charitable funds, awarding grants to nonprofits and launching community initiatives. Contact the Foundation at (937) 222-0410 or visit www.daytonfoundation.org.