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Jay & Nancy Talbot

Finding Their Way in the City

Trying to engage in a new community can be daunting. New York—if only because of its size—is incredibly rich in the number and variety of civic opportunities. So we were delighted when Nancy and Jay Talbot, who had recently moved to the City, made us their first stop some three years ago.

“Community foundations know about their hometowns,” Jay explained. We’re even more thrilled that he and Nancy—who works on behalf of women and children—are involved donors, who created a fund shortly after coming to The Trust.
 
Young people ages 10 to 22 can get confidential medical and mental health, family planning, and education services at Mt. Sinai's Adolescent Health Center.

When they moved to New York, settling in the Village, they were confronted with too many possibilities.“It’s not easy to find your way or figure out how best to get involved,” says Jay, who had a long career in neighborhood development and urban issues when he worked at another community foundation for 23 years. Nancy agrees: “Without help, the City is unknowable.”

Gay Young, our vice president for donor services, was a key guide. “She’s introduced me to extraordinary nonprofits and wonderful, dedicated people,” says Nancy, who is now involved with the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center. With the help of Trust program staff, Jay, who is particularly interested in getting people connected in their neighborhoods, volunteered with a Trust project that enlists older adults and teens to bring fresh produce to lower income neighborhoods by buying it wholesale and selling it at affordable prices. Using his long experience with nonprofit start-ups, he helped get a project in upper Manhattan off the ground. And he’s still volunteering. Gay also introduced Nancy to the WellMet Group.

Nancy and Jay are regulars at our donor briefings, where we bring in outside experts to illuminate City issues and offer suggestions for how our donors can help. “The Trust gets high-level, talented speakers in an informal, intimate setting. The presentations and discussions are superb. The staff are very responsive and founts of information about the City and its nonprofits,” says Nancy.

Jay concurs: “Instead of hitting the ‘default mode’ and giving to large charities, we learn about smaller nonprofits making a difference, something we could never do on our own.”

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