The Smith Purdon Fund was created as a result of a bequest to West Parish Church of one-half million dollars from Susanne Smith Purdon in 1975. The Smith Family had been active members of West Parish for generations and were involved in the beginnings of West Parish Church in 1826. Susanne Smith Purdon carried on her family’s tradition of interest and support of West Parish Church during her lifetime. The fund has provided West Parish Church with a unique opportunity to respond to requests from numerous organizations in the Merrimack Valley, providing grants to programs directly impacting children, youth and family life. Over the years, seed money from the Smith Purdon Fund has benefited a variety of startup programs.
The mission of the Smith Purdon Fund is to provide funding to innovative programs that support family life with a goal of positively impacting the lives of children and youth. The fund also supports programs that seek to meet the needs of low income families, immigrants and mentally or physically limited residents of the greater Merrimack Valley.
In the past, the fund has focused on new and creative programs, especially those with broad impacts within the community. This will continue to be a primary focus but existing programs with new approaches and ideas will be considered.
The Smith Purdon Fund grant awards range between $1,000 to $4,000.