SHELBURNE, Vt. (Aug. 8, 2017)—

The Orton Family Foundation has entered into a strategic partnership with J. Marion Sims Foundation that will focus on creating stronger, healthier and more economically vibrant communities in South Carolina, Orton Executive Director David Leckey announced.

The partnership will bring Orton’s resident-driven community development model, Community Heart & Soul®, to towns in J. Marion Sims’ service area in the northeastern part of the state.

“The Orton Family Foundation and J. Marion Sims Foundation share a dedication to renewing the vibrancy of small towns. We are looking forward to a partnership that makes a lasting, positive impact in South Carolina towns through Community Heart & Soul,” Leckey said.

Community Heart & Soul is a resident-driven model that helps build trust while taking into account the unique character of a town and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there—a town’s “Heart & Soul®.” These collective insights into what truly matters most guide a community in making the best decisions about its future.

“Our partnership with the Orton Family Foundation is part of Sims’ ongoing commitment to lift up and empower community voices to support a healthy community. We intend to deepen dialogue within our communities, to strengthen and support the kind of collaboration that builds capacity in our towns and cities,” said J. Marion Sims President and Chief Executive Officer Susan DeVenny.

Together the foundations will select towns to receive grant funding from J. Marion Sims for Community Heart & Soul projects. Selected towns will be supported by Orton-led coaches, training and technical assistance to guide community engagement activities throughout the two-year projects.

About the Orton Family Foundation:

The Orton Family Foundation is focused on building stronger, healthier and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. Founded in Vermont in 1995, the foundation devoted more than a decade to working with small towns to create a community development model that helps build trust and empowers residents to shape the future of their communities. Community Heart & Soul® projects are underway across the country creating positive change that is resident-driven and recognizes the value in the unique character of each place and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there.

About J. Marion Sims Foundation:

The J. Marion Sims Foundation is entering its third decade of service to the community, with a focus on transforming the health and wellness of Lancaster, Fort Lawn, and Great Falls, South Carolina.

For information about the foundation, please visit www.jmsims.org or contact the

foundation at (803) 286-8772.