Jim Marks and his family moved to Beaufort almost 17 years ago by way of Chicago where he was headmaster of a local school. Jim, and his wife Sally, made their home on Dataw Island and quickly became involved in the greater community – Sally with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry and Jim with Beaufort Academy.
“I grew up in a family who was very community-minded, so volunteering just feels right,” Jim shared. It makes sense that he would settle in a place like Dataw. Jim said, “My neighbors seem to gravitate towards giving time and resources to their community. So, supporting local nonprofits was a natural next step.” In doing so, he continued his lifelong commitment to serving his community that began with his career in education.
Jim continued to share his time, talents, and resources with many organizations. Three years ago, he added Coastal Community Foundation to that list. Jim now serves on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Community Stewardship Committee, Beaufort Listening Network, and just completed his first cycle on The Beaufort Fund grants review committee. This year, The Beaufort Fund awarded over $650,000 to local nonprofits, which Jim feels is “a huge testimony showing what you give today will help people forever.”
“I’ve gone from being totally clueless about how Coastal Community Foundation and The Beaufort Fund work to being totally committed. On site visits, I see people doing remarkable work on a shoestring of a budget,” Jim shared. “Through the grants process, we help them to carry out their mission and truly make a difference in people’s lives.”
Jim considers his community service a very important part of his life. “All of us have been recipients of gifts or assistance,” says Jim. “To now be able to give back and truly benefit future generations is a wonderful opportunity to be relished.”