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Guenthers provide sustainability for ‘Coats For Kids’

December 27, 2021

ASHLAND – Christmas came early this year for staff and clients at Associated Charities, as a local family’s generosity allowed the organization to stock up on kids’ winter coats.

“We were just blown away,” Associated Charities Executive Director Chris Box said, after receiving an $8,000 check from the Herbert and Julie Guenther Family Charitable Fund at Ashland County Community Foundation. It’s enough money to fund Associated Charities’ “Coats for Kids” program for an entire year.

Even more astounding, Box said, is the knowledge that these checks will come every year.

At the suggestion of ACCF President/CEO Jim Cutright, the Guenthers recently decided to use distributions from their donor advised fund to provide annual support for the “Coats For Kids” program.

“Our passion is helping disadvantaged youth, so when Cutty suggested directing dollars from our donor advised fund to ‘Coats For Kids,’ it seemed like a great fit,” Herb Guenther said. “We love knowing our fund will sustain this vital program year after year.”

Associated Charities typically sees a surge of need for kids’ coats when the weather turns colder.

“We always know when the first cold September morning rolls around, the phone is going to ring,” Box said.

In addition to parents and guardians, community school liaisons from Appleseed Community Mental Health Center often reach out to secure coats for children who come to school without appropriate winter gear.

The organization has given out 166 new or good-as-new coats since the start of the school year, and Box anticipates another wave of requests in January as kids who have had growth spurts begin to outgrow their fall clothes.

Thanks to the Guenthers’ gift, Associated Charities staff were able to take advantage of holiday season sales to stock up on high-quality coats at good prices this winter. In past years, the organization bought just a few coats at a time as cashflow allowed.

As an expression of gratitude for the couple’s generosity, Associated Charities is renaming the program “Guenther Family Coats For Kids.” Box is exploring options for displaying the new name alongside the coat racks in the organization’s office.

“For us, it’s not really about having our name on something, but we do hope our willingness to do this publicly inspires others in our community to find ways to make their own impact,” Guenther said.

Ashland County Community Foundation is all about connecting people who care with causes that matter, Cutright said.

“Our donors value our connections with local nonprofit organizations and our understanding of the needs in our community,” Cutright said. “And, thanks to caring donors like the Guenthers, many of our local nonprofits are building sustainability through endowment.”

“Stories like these really demonstrate what we mean when we say we’re ‘Here For Good.’”

To learn more about how you can benefit your community and your favorite organizations or causes by establishing a named fund at Ashland County Community Foundation, contact Jim Cutright at (419) 281-4733 or

About Ashland County Community Foundation: Ashland County Community Foundation advances philanthropy and improves the quality of life in Ashland County by connecting people who care with causes that matter. ACCF has awarded over $20 million in scholarships, grants and distributions.