Cecilia Young Willard Helping Fund


Dr. Cecilia Willard was born in 1908 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. In her infancy, the Willard family moved to Hickory, North Carolina. She earned degrees from Flora McDonald and Lenoir-Rhyne colleges in North Carolina and earned her MS and PhD degrees in Microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing her education, Dr. Willard dedicated her life to teaching others. She became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 1939 to 1944, and then taught at the Bryn Mawr College Summer School of Nursing in the mid 1940s, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1947-1950, and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas from 1951 to 1960.

A member of numerous medical and science organizations, Dr. Willard published many papers in medical and science journals from 1940 to 1960. Dr. Willard lived in retirement in San Antonio and Boerne, Texas until her death on September 26, 1987.

Cecilia was wonderfully generous and believed in helping those in need. When establishing the Trust, she reportedly did not want to use the words “foundation” and “charitable” nor did she want her name associated with the charitable trust. She preferred the words “help,” “helper,” and “helping.” Finally, she was persuaded to include her own name as part of the name of the trust. Therefore, the trust was named the “Cecilia Young Willard Helping Fund” with her request that the emphasis always be placed on the word “helping”.

Application Deadline

Deadline* Decisions
May 31 March

*Only requests submitted by the deadline will be considered.  Requests submitted after the deadline are considered in the following year.

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Entities Eligible to Apply

Trust Document states:

"Distributions shall be made only to organizations which at the time of distribution are described in Sections 170(c), 2055(a) and 2522(a) of Internal Revenue Code and are entitled to exemption from federal income tax..."


The Cecilia Young Willard Helping Fund makes distributions on an annual basis. These grants are directed to 501(c)(3) organizations which fall within the principal charitable purposes of the foundation as outlined in the document. The document reads as follows:

"This trust is created and shall be operated exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes..."

"...consideration be given annually to charitable, cultural, educational, scientific and religious organizations to which Founder has made contributions during her lifetime, with a preference for organizations located in the States of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, in each of which Founder has resided..."

To be considered for a grant, an organization must submit an online grant application and a copy of the organization's current IRS Determination Letter, along with any other documents deemed relevant to the request.

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Click here for application form.



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