Most of you have probably never heard of Frank or Gladys Porter. We didn’t know the Auburn couple either until their bequest (gift from a will) unexpectedly arrived at Placer Community Foundation (PCF) in 2010. This happens every so often, and it’s an act that reminds us that selfless generosity lives in the hearts and homes across every type of neighborhood in our community.

Imagine not evening knowing PCF personally, but entrusting us to carry out your wishes. That’s just what the Porters did. It’s a remarkable gesture that invites us to look deeper into the lives and values of a couple who embody the simple truth behind charitable giving:  leaving a legacy is accessible to anyone.

Frank and Gladys enjoyed a quiet life in Auburn. Frank made a living as a house painter and Gladys kept up their home and loved to garden and grow flowers. They treasured their two white German Shepherds and their comfortable home. They didn’t have children, so they enjoyed one another’s companionship and the company of friends during their decades-long marriage. As they aged, they faced health issues and became more and more restricted in their ability to leave their house and remain active. Frank and Gladys turned to Auburn’s nonprofit organizations for help, and they were provided with meals, in-home care, and medical assistance. The helpers that came to see them were some of the only people that Frank and Gladys saw in the last years of their lives. Within a month of each other, they passed away, Frank the housepainter, and Gladys, the homemaker were 88 and 87, respectively.

Like many couples of that era, frugality was a way of life, but years of hard work painting houses and saving money provided the assets for the Frank and Gladys Porter Endowment Fund, making this hardworking couple into extraordinary community philanthropists. Their fund offers on-going support to organizations providing services to many home-bound older adults in Placer County.

You might not think of Placer Community Foundation as a place that working people, the painters, contractors, welders, machinists, masons, and plumbers of our community turn for charitable giving. But that’s the secret of community foundations—we belong to everyone and empower everyone with the ability to make a lasting difference. With our grants, we support people from all walks of life in many pursuits. Though the word “philanthropy” might sound out of reach, it’s not. It’s just another word for goodwill toward other members of the human race. Our donors live and work throughout Placer, and we help them with their community giving in meaningful ways.

Regardless of the work you do and how you make a living, you have a place at Placer Community Foundation. We care about the same causes as you do and have the expertise to help create a gift or fund that fits you perfectly.

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