Funds raised from The Rotary Club of Fayetteville’s inaugural senior prom generated a $5,000 donation to The Yellow Butterfly Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing assistance to seniors in need of emergency services not covered by insurance or family or community resources such as medications, mobility devices, and even rental payments.
The Yellow Butterfly Fund, inspired by the life of Bettye Gurley Mintz, seeks to bring kindness to Fayette County in a fashion reminiscent of the late Ms. Mintz’ legacy. A native Georgian, Ms. Mintz loved spending time volunteering for her community, playing the piano, and taking care of her family. She is remembered as a positive force in her community; it was not uncommon for her to donate clothes to a child in need, pay a friend’s medical bills, or spend time with a lonely neighbor. Ms. Mintz’s 37-year teaching career further reflects her devoted and compassionate character. Ms. Mintz encompassed the meaning of devoting oneself to quietly bringing joy to others. After a long, fulfilling life, Bettye lost her battle with dementia and passed away at 78 years old in August of 2008.
Fortunately, Bettye’s loving legacy continues to impact our community. in October of 2010, Candy, one of Ms. Mintz’s two daughters, generously donated the seed money to establish The Yellow Butterfly Fund in memory of her late mother. Candy and her husband Derrick Peacock wanted to honor Bettye’s life by taking away at least one of a struggling senior’s worries. The fund helps to fill cracks in FSS’ traditional services by offering one-time assistance for a myriad of seniors’ difficulties.
Candy explains the name as a reference to her mother’s love for butterflies.
“We are lifted each time one flies by as we wonder if it is Mom’s sweet spirit just checking in on us,” she notes, “To many, the butterfly symbolizes the soul that physical death cannot destroy. We felt this was the perfect way to pay tribute to my mother’s quiet passion for helping others.”
Today, The Yellow Butterfly Fund has been making a difference in our community for nearly 10 years. The fund has been utilized more than70 times to help individuals in times of need. Recipients must be Fayette County residents who are 60 years old or greater.
Before receiving assistance, a care manager conducts an in-depth income and household-expense assessment while verifying that the client has no family or community resources available. They then research the exact need and determine the appropriate cost, before giving a comprehensive assessment to CEO Nancy Meaders for approval. After approval, the award is distributed to the senior and monitored for successful implementation.
Resulting aid has covered prescriptions, wheelchair ramps, rental assistance, and heating and water repairs among other things. While the fund’s uses have been varied, the intent remains the same as each instance has sought to bring a little sunshine into our seniors’ lives.
As the founders of The Yellow Butterfly Fund, my husband and I want to give credit to the large matching donation we received from The Georgia Power Foundation. Through its generosity, we have been able to serve many seniors in the Fayette community. It is likely surprising to most that we have seniors with such basic needs in this affluent county. This greatest generation just suffers in silence. If you would like to help with this initiative, please contact Iris Harris or Nancy Meaders at Fayette Senior Services for more information. Thank you. Candy Peacock