In its inaugural award year, the Orell Farley Foundation awarded eight organizations a total of $10,000 toward projects that benefit the general public of Jasper County.
Initially funded in 2018, the Orell Farley Foundation supplements qualified organizations in Jasper County, Illinois that sponsor projects and activities that enhance public health, safety, recreation and education for the use and enjoyment of the community. An organization must be either a tax-supported governmental unit or entity, or must be a tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and must be located in Jasper County.
Ms. Orell Farley, a retired schoolteacher, began her career in 1928 in a one-room schoolhouse with first through eighth grades. 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 May 15 through July 31, 2020 to charitable, education, religious or scientific purposes within Jasper County that currently have 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Grant applications are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.