Planning today for a future legacy

Published: April 5, 2022 by Johnson County Community Foundation

Thelma Slisher learned the value of hard work and giving back at a young age. She grew up in Michigan City, Indiana, where she pumped gas, washed windshields and checked oil at her family’s gas station.

They were not wealthy, but her mother made sure that she and her siblings had what they needed. Thelma’s mother took them to church every Sunday and emphasized the importance of having a relationship with God. She taught them that you did not necessarily need money to help others. And this has inspired Thelma throughout her life.

“My mother died when I was 22 years old, but the legacy of giving back was planted in me at a young age and is still growing after 38 years,” said Thelma, who is now JCCF’s Chief Financial Officer.

Thelma does not have children to pass on the legacy to give back. “I was excited when I learned about JCCF. A light bulb went off in my head that this was my opportunity to continue to give back to my community after I am gone,” Thelma said.

Thelma has made plans for a Legacy Fund that will carry out her wishes. She has already chosen the name for her future fund – The Kids Can Do Fund which gives her the flexibility to revise at any time.

“My desire is to give kids of all abilities a chance. Like my mom did for me, I want to provide opportunities to those who may not have the resources to meet their needs,” she said.

Thelma started a basketball program to give kids with disabilities an opportunity to play.

“People with disabilities are close to my heart. They have so much to give but not the opportunities to show it,” Thelma said.

After 16 years, Thelma has observed that the kids in her program have turned into remarkable young men and women, and she would love to see this opportunity grow.

With The Kids Can Do Fund at JCCF, it will.

For more information on how to include JCCF in your estate plans, email VP of Development Kim Kasting at

Thelma's basketball program

A special thanks to our Platinum Community Partners!

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