February 27, 2023

Gloria Barr: Retired School Teacher

A social worker and teacher by trade, Gloria Barr dedicated her entire life to helping others.  So it is natural that she partnered with the Community Foundation to create a Field of Interest fund to support in perpetuity the people, animals and environment she cared so much about during her lifetime.

A Chattanooga native, Gloria began her career as a social worker within the Department of Public Welfare. It was here that she gained first-hand experience on the importance of caring for others in our community – specifically, the elderly and children. This became clearer to her when after a few years as a social worker, she began a 36-year-career as an elementary school teacher. As an educator, Gloria cared for thousands of children in the Hamilton County Public Schools system. In this role, she witnessed daily the effects of poverty on a child’s ability to learn and grow. As a result, she developed a strong passion for causes that offer economic opportunities as pathways out of poverty for the neediest in our community.

Gloria’s caretaking and compassion extended well beyond her students, enriching the lives of her furry, four-legged “children” as well. One cocker spaniel in particular, Winston, left an enduring mark on Gloria’s heart. It is this special bond that led Gloria to honor Winston through her continued support of animal welfare causes both during and beyond her lifetime.

Additionally, Gloria’s childhood among the natural resources and beauty of Chattanooga instilled in her a passion for the natural environment.  Whether it was hiking local trails or simply photographing our region’s innate beauty, nothing made Gloria happier than being close to nature. That is why she took great pleasure in knowing her philanthropic gifts would continue to support the environmental causes she cared about well into the future.

Just as Gloria’s life experiences influenced the causes she was passionate about, it was the biblical teachings of tithing that exposed her to philanthropic generosity. The idea of setting aside a portion of one’s income in support of those in need is something that guided Gloria from a young age. And it’s why a planned gift to the Community Foundation to create a Field of Interest fund that is used to support the causes she cared most about in her lifetime – people, animals and the environment – made sense.

According to Gloria, her philanthropy can best be summed up by this excerpt from author George F. Burba’s Philanthropy’s Role in Civilization – Stories of Notable Givers:

This thing of giving, I do not understand, any more than you do, but there is something about it that blesses us. Those who give most, have the most left. I believe that everyone who dries a tear will be spared the shedding of a thousand tears.

I believe that every sacrifice we make will so enrich us in the future that our only regret will be that we did not sacrifice the more.

Give – and somewhere, from out of the clouds, or from the sacred depths of the human heart, a melody divine will reach your ears and gladden all your days upon the earth.

To learn more about planned giving vehicles that enable you to support the causes and the community you care about in perpetuity, contact us.