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Cumberland Community Foundation announces $1M grant to help people with disabilities

Funds for the grant are provided by Franklin Clark and will go to the local ServiceSource Foundation


The Cumberland Community Foundation on Monday gifted a $1 million grant to the local ServiceSource Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to ensuring people with disabilities have the means to live independently.

The $1 million grant comes from the foundation’s Clark Endowment to Enrich the Lives of People with Disabilities. The funds are provided by Franklin Clark, a retired surgeon and president of Village Green Real Estate and Development.

Along with the $1 million pass-through grant that goes directly to ServiceSource, Clark’s contribution includes another $250,000 that will remain with Cumberland Community Foundation for quality-of-life expenditures, according to foundation Executive Director Mary Holmes. 

The $250,000 will be for quality-of-life events that usually do not have a funding stream, such as going to the movies or a ballgame.

Clark established the Endowment to Enrich the Lives of People With Disabilities in 2022. His gift — through CCF — to ServiceSource of North Carolina provides vocational training and employment programs for adults with disabilities. The North Carolina regional office is at 600 Ames St. and has a presence in approximately 45 counties in North Carolina, according to Tara Hinton, the regional philanthropy director.

The organization has more than 250 employees who work at Fort Bragg, operating dining facilities, grounds maintenance and mail services, said Andy Rind, executive vice president for program services. Rind estimates those employees probably serve at least a million meals a year to Fort Bragg’s warfighters.

Clark was a member of the Cumberland Community Foundation board from 1983 until 1986, where he helped develop the first endowment building program, Holmes said.

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Clark serves on the ServicesSource Foundation board of trustees. Clark said he had been involved with local programs that help disabled individuals live independently since high school; among them Cumberland Sheltered Workshops and Windows.

The $1 million to ServiceSource will create The Clark Endowment to Support Independence and will provide gap funding for ServiceSource to create partnerships and services to support people with disabilities, their families, their caregivers and community members to build more inclusive communities, Holmes said.


Rind said as a result of the $1 million gift, ServiceSource will launch its own efforts to provide matching dollars for the Clark Endowment to Support Independence. 

Clark’s late sister, Clair Clark, inspired him to become involved in efforts to enhance the life of someone disabled. Although disabled herself, Clair Clark rode her bicycle to work at ServiceSource daily for many years from the home she shared with her mother.

“Clair enjoyed her job, her independence, and her freedom, thanks to our mother devoting her own life to protecting those things for Clair,” Clark said in a prepared statement.

“ServiceSource provides supportive living and job-coaching services to people with disabilities as they move from transitional to permanent homes in the community,” Rind said.

He said ServiceSource provides support and training for those with physical disabilities as well as intellectual and substance abuse-induced disabilities.

“We try to create a more inclusive community by integrating individuals with disabilities into the community,” Rind said.

“It’s important for them to earn money, to earn their money,” Clark said.

“I just wish it had come 50 years ago,” Clark said of the local programs to ensure independent living.

Fayetteville, Cumberland County, Cumberland Community Foundation, Franklin Clark, $1 million grant, ServiceSource Foundation