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The Smith Family: Making an Impact for Generations

Smith family

“We were very inspired by what our kids wanted to do in the community and how they wanted to make an impact. From the beginning, we made it our family fund, and the decisions on where to put our money would be decided upon as a family.”

– Cheryl Smith

“We chose the Yakima Valley Community Foundation because they have such a diverse footprint in the Valley,” Cheryl said. “Through them as a partner, we could direct money toward health care and the arts... there was such a broad range with the Yakima Valley Community Foundation that we felt could touch on all the different areas that are near and dear to each of our hearts.”

Altruism and passion embody the Smith family who have been flourishing in the Yakima Valley for generations. Cheryl and Mike Smith, local business owners, are the parents of three driven children (Patrick, Kevin and Meghann) who have since married and started their own legacies with their spouses (Colleen, Anna and Kevin). The three siblings are 4th generation hop farmers with crops first planted in 1932. Along the way, the Smiths recognized that they could give back to the community that has nourished and supported their family by coming together and being strategic in how they donated funds.

This led Cheryl and Mike to start a Donor-Advised Fund with the Yakima Community Foundation for the entire family to give back to the community in a meaningful and impactful way. Choosing where to direct their support required careful thought, as the Smith family wanted to do the most good in areas where it was especially needed.

Cheryl’s daughter-in-law, Colleen Smith, agrees that the family’s interests are varied and best reflected through the Community Foundation’s charitable flexibility.

“I think that because we do have some good diversity through the family in our careers – we’re involved in agriculture, food and beverage, medicine, and education – we all see these things, what needs to happen and how we could possibly help in this community, and we have those conversations as a family. Then, we make decisions from there,” Colleen said.

Colleen adds, “The Community Foundation is a good way to be more strategic about giving. They lay it out very clearly for our family to see where our money will do the most good in the areas we’re passionate about.”

For other family members, a love for the Yakima Valley grew from life experience. Meghann Quinn left at 18 for the University of Washington, then moved back 10 years later to start Bale Breaker Brewing Company.

“Just seeing how Yakima’s changed over the last 20 years and being able to know that we can be a part of that change and make Yakima a better place – that was one of the big things that made us start Bale Breaker,” said Meghann. “But there’s a lot of other areas in our community that still need help and different things that the brewery on its own can’t do. So being able to have our family in a position to support different causes can better the community for the people who live here and visit here. Really just making this a desirable place to live and visit.”

Since opening their Donor-Advised Fund in 2019, The Smith Family Fund has accelerated and supported the work of 18 different nonprofits in the Yakima Valley. Thank you to the Smith Family for choosing YVCF as your philanthropic partner.

Click here to learn more about opening your own Donor Advised Fund.