Arkansas's top grantmakers
I enjoyed reading Leslie Newell Peacock's recent article about Arkansas's top grantmakers. But our foundation is feeling a bit left out.
The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas should appear on your annual list, coming in around No. 12 in your ranking. During 2015, we had assets of $47.3 million and awarded $3.1 million in health-improvement grants to organizations in Arkansas.
Our foundation was created in 2001 by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to fund health-related programs solely in Arkansas. In our 15 years of grantmaking, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $27 million to 1,036 health programs in Arkansas, in 176 communities and in every county of the state, except one (come on, Prairie County!)
Thanks for continuing to recognize and report on the importance of philanthropy in Arkansas.
Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas
Whoa! Watch those decimals. In the report of Arkansas's top grantmakers, the assets of the Walton Family Foundation are listed as $2.6 trillion. In fact, they are approximately $2.6 billion (at book value; about $3.1 billion at fair market value).
From the web
In response to the Dec. 19 Arkansas Blog item "Arkansas electors vote for Trump amid protests":
I don't remember the exact year, but many years ago my mother was selected to cast a vote for the Arkansas Electoral College. Even back then, I thought it was a concept whose time had come and gone and I begged her to decline the position. She considered it an honor and when I refused to congratulate her, my dad intervened (not good!). I told him I would never support something that took power from the people and gave it to a select few.
Hubby and I were having the Electoral College discussion last night and I told him what I did to my mother and that 30 to 40 years later, I still feel the same way.
So what if there is a bigger concentration of people in California than Arkansas? That doesn't make the people who vote in California any less significant, enough to diminish the value of each one of those individual votes. But we are doing that exact thing and that's just not something I can support.
But I am sorry I was disrespectful to my mother.
A winner in name only
When this indirect election system started in 1789, the person receiving the most electoral votes became president and the runner-up got the vice president's office. The 1800 election with President Adams and Thomas Jefferson showed the problems with the system, so the Constitution was quickly amended so candidates have run specifically for president and vice president. By the way, in 1800 Jefferson became president and Aaron Burr vice president. How did that work out? Can you say "Burr-Hamilton Duel"?
In response to the Dec. 15 nonprofit profile of Arkansas Women's Outreach:
Thank you, David Koon, for bringing attention to the dignity of homeless women in Arkansas and for the information on how to contribute. Great article. I applaud Katy Simmons and Rachel Achor for seeing an overlooked need and doing something about it. Many people may just think of the male gender when they think of the homeless people in Arkansas. There has been an increase in the number of homeless women in Arkansas over the past two years. Women, who unfortunately find themselves a part of Arkansas's homeless population, have basic, everyday needs, just like women who aren't homeless. Personal hygiene is very important to improving peoples' mental and physical health. Thank you, Katy and Rachel, for starting Arkansas Women's Outreach and for doing something practical to restore the dignity and quality of life to Arkansas's homeless women.
In response to the Dec. 8 story, "Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave":
In this new age of Donald Trump, more of this will be going on until the Section 106 review process is completely removed as a requirement.
You are hired to do a job. You perform exceedingly well in the job. You are fired from the job for doing so (excellent job performance). What does this say about the folks in charge of said employee?
This is what happens when a dilettante is made head of an agency requiring actual knowledge. I thought at the start that the director would be a disaster after my disappointing experiences with her as my city councilwoman. Now with the atrocious new headquarters building and yet another example here of failure to follow the most basic steps to preserve knowledge about the city's past we see that we are getting what we voted for with Governor Hutchinson. All governors are guilty of patronage. But rewarding smart people who know their jobs and foolish people who just want to be in charge of something is quite a different thing.
CORRECTION: The feature on the top grantmaking foundations in the Dec. 15 issue of the Arkansas Times had an error in the order of magnitude by 3, reporting the Walton Family Foundation wealth in the trillions rather than billions. For 2015, the family foundation reported assets of $2.6 billion and grant awards totaling $373 million.