Fayetteville, NC, June 2009 – Cumberland Community Foundation received a record $2.7 million gift from the estate of Flora Cornelia “Neill” Bullock Wilkins, a retired teacher of Fayetteville, NC. Wilkins worked with her advisors and the community foundation in 2006 to arrange the gift in her will that would support a variety of causes and help those less fortunate. She died in June 2007 and the estate was settled in June 2009.

“We are honored to be part of Mrs. Wilkins’ generosity to the community,” said Mary Holmes, executive director of the community foundation. “We look forward to carrying on her wishes — forever.”

The endowment will be called the Cornelia “Neill” Bullock Wilkins Charitable Endowment Fund and will be administered by the community foundation according to instructions from Mrs. Wilkins. The endowment will support health care, seniors, education, and the botanical garden every year. The income earned on the endowment will be paid as follows:

25% for programs to benefit senior citizens,
25% for health care programs,
25% for education programs, which may include scholarships, and
25% for the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, one of her favorite charities.

Wilkins was born on a farm near Autryville, NC, the youngest of five daughters. She was a teacher until her marriage to Samuel B. Wilkins, M.D., a VA doctor. “She lived quietly and frugally, enjoying her church, family, and old friends,” according to biographical information provided to the foundation by the family. Dr. and Mrs. Wilkins did not have children.

“The largest gifts usually come from good people who lived quietly in service to family, church, and community,” Holmes said. “More and more the foundation is receiving large gifts from individuals who put a few words in their wills and change the world.”

So far, in the fiscal year that will end June 30, 2009, the community foundation has received 1,461 gifts totaling $7.1 million, a record year due to the gift from Mrs. Wilkins and several other major gifts. “In the worst economy since the foundation’s start in 1980, we received the most gifts. Gift development is a long term process and is not always sensitive to the economy,” Holmes said.

Most gifts to the foundation are less than $250.00 (68%). Holmes said, “The large gifts get more attention from the public, but every gift is important to the community foundation. There are more people who can give $100 than there are that can give $100,000. It is a very generous community. Together, everyone can make this a better place to live.”


Tel: (910) 483-4449
Fax: (910) 483-2905
Mailing Address:
PO Box 2345,
Fayetteville, NC 28302
Physical Address: 308 Green St.,
Fayetteville, NC 28301
(Parking and entrance in the back)

Federal Tax ID #: 58-1406831