The James M. Cox Foundation Announces $1.5 Million Grant to Families First®

The James M. Cox Foundation Announces $1.5 Million Grant to Families First®

Grant supports expansion of organization’s facilities

L to R: Marybeth Leamer (Cox Enterprises EVP and Families First Board Member), Nancy Rigby (Cox Foundations VP), Jim Mills (Families First Board Chair), Kim Anderson (Families First CEO), Julie Salisbury (Families First Chair-Elect)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 8:30am

CONTENT: Press Release

ATLANTA, May 20, 2015 /3BL Media/ – In support of National Foster Care Awareness Month, the James M. Cox Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to Families First. The grant supports the organization’s “Family Matters” campaign to fund the purchase and renovation of a new Resource Center on Atlanta’s Westside.

“Families First provides vital community support by connecting, strengthening and sustaining families,” said Marybeth Leamer, Cox Enterprises’ executive vice president of human resources and administration and Families First board member. “This grant will help the organization expand its core services through the new Resource Center. It will be conveniently located near a MARTA train station to provide accessibility to new and existing clients.”

Families First is Georgia’s largest, nonprofit, family-service agency and impacts more than 37,000 children and adults each year. The organization creates thriving, self-sufficient families and communities across the state that share a collective commitment and responsibility to children’s success. The organization provides services such as family and individual counseling, parenting classes, supportive housing for homeless families and young mothers and adoption services.

“This year marks Families First’s 125th Anniversary of impacting lives around metro Atlanta,” said Families First Chief Executive Officer Kim Anderson. “Our current ‘Family Matters’ capital campaign is allowing us to relocate to Atlanta’s Westside. Families First will partner and engage with the area, which has been desirous to make sustainable change that supports the revitalization of family and community. This campaign, coupled with the generous grant from the James M. Cox Foundation, will allow us to serve even more members of our community through services such as adoption, foster care, counseling and transitional housing. Without the James M. Cox Foundation and our other amazing partnerships, our move and further impact wouldn’t be possible.”

Cox Enterprises is a longtime supporter of Families First and the organization’s annual Dining for a Difference event.

About the James M. Cox Foundation 

The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises' founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio's first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States. 

The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including: conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.

About Families First

Families First was founded in 1890 by two determined women who saw the need of helping orphaned girls in the state of Georgia. Due to the amounts of poverty across the US at that time, orphans were at an all-time high, as families traveled to find work; leaving their children behind. Today, that orphanage has turned into a family-service agency that impacts more than 37,000 women, children and families annually across metro-Atlanta area.

Media Contacts:

James M. Cox Foundation: Elizabeth Olmstead,

Families First: Becky Jarrell,