Foundations are created to provide support to charitable organizations to fulfill one’s philanthropic legacy. In 2018, the Orell Farley Foundation was established with The Peoples State Bank as Trustee under a 1997 Trust Agreement to benefit tax-exempt organizations in Jasper County, Illinois.
Farley, a retired schoolteacher, began her career in 1928 in a one-room schoolhouse with grades first through eight. According to an article written by former student Ray Elliott, she was instantly someone the students respected.
“She made the rules and we played by them,” Elliott wrote. “We read when we were supposed to read, studied when we were supposed to study and kept quiet when we were supposed to keep quiet.”
Farley acted as teacher, janitor, coach and PE teacher to hundreds of rural students over her 45-year span behind the desk. She taught a total of 45 years in Crawford and Jasper Counties, mostly with all the grades in the same room, and appreciated knowing where her students were coming from.
“By knowing the background and family life of each student, I knew what to expect and sometimes what to overlook,” she said. She rarely found it necessary to spank students. However, she was a stickler for rules and expected them to be followed.
“If we broke one of her rules, she’d discipline us but never made us feel as though we were a total waste of humanity because she had to,” Elliott wrote. “She ran her classroom like a Top Sergeant, yet she was both kind and loving to everyone.”
That kind and loving spirit is the spark that created the Orell Farley Foundation. The Foundation is accepting applications for grants to charitable, education, religious or scientific purposes within Jasper County that currently have 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. These organizations should sponsor projects and activities that enhance the public health, safety, recreation and education for the use and enjoyment of the general public in Jasper County. Grant forms are available at the Peoples State Bank as Trustee of the Foundation, which has offices at 100 W. Washington Street in Newton. Grant forms stating requirements are available now and applications for this year are being accepted through July 31, 2019.