John and Alison Ferring
When we moved to St. Louis and the Lafayette Square neighborhood from Boston in the late 1970s, it was clear that there was a big disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots.” In those days, we did what we could to lend support. We got involved, volunteered our time, and even “adopted” neighborhood kids.
We’ve been fortunate to continue some of these efforts and are able to do more as our economic situation improved. We are committed to this region and the City of St. Louis, and want to support nonprofits that move the needle and make our community better.
Unlike some areas of the country where community philanthropy can often be tied up in family pedigrees, we believe there are so many more opportunities in St. Louis for civic and community involvement – no matter what your circumstance or background.
Education and the arts are our charitable passions, and we tend to gravitate toward organizations and causes that fill educational, social or neighborhood needs. Alison just recently finished working on the renovation of the St. Louis Public Library, while I have spent a lot of my time and energies on Forest Park Forever, COCA, the Contemporary Art Museum, and Opera Theatre. We enjoy working with organizations that bring our community together.
We’ve made a good life here. We’ve raised our three boys, and now call the Central West End home. It is important that we take the steps today – through initiatives like the Gift Pledge – to ensure that the organizations and community resources that have enriched our lives are strong and vibrant for the generations of the future. For us, that’s citizenship.