Changing lives since 1855

The Highest Level of Charity

“We recognize the importance of educating at-risk children and teaching them entry-level job skills so that they can support themselves and have productive lives. We take great joy in seeing the impact of our giving.” –Dave & Barbara Stafford

The medieval philosopher Maimonides defined eight levels of charity in which each one is higher than the preceding one. Of the greatest level, he said “There is no greater thing than to support another by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him in order to strengthen him.”

For Barbara and Dave Stafford helping others – especially those with critical needs – is of paramount importance, and their giving is grounded in their faith. They were introduced to Jackson-Feild in 2004 when our former CEO spoke to members of their church in Smithfield.

Intrigued by what they heard, the Staffords asked to visit the campus, tour the facility, and meet some of the staff and residents. After their visit they had a great appreciation of what they saw. They took particular note of the staff’s professionalism and felt that the loving kindnesses they saw over and over again that day was what sets Jackson-Feild apart from other organizations that work with children and adolescents.

Now retired from Stafford Quality Homes, Inc. – a company they built – the Staffords visit campus regularly to see just how their donations are helping our children. During one visit, they enjoyed lunch with the children and were delighted to learn that the cupcakes served for dessert were made by students in our Gwaltney School as a part of a cake decorating class.

Over the years, the Staffords have witnessed – and applaud – the significant changes that include the acceptance of boys into the program, evolving into a residential psychiatric program, implementing a trauma-focused treatment model, and improving the buildings and grounds.

While they are regular monthly donors, it’s the special needs and projects that truly motivate the Stafford’s giving. Every few months, they contact our development office to inquire about any pressing needs that may have arisen, and often increase their giving to meet the need.

We believe that Maimonides himself would agree that Barbara and Dave Stafford have met the highest level of charity and personify the spirit philanthropy. They have made a tremendous difference in the lives of many children, and we are blessed to know them.