A Legacy of Generosity in Fairfield County

May 31, 2022

Future generations of Fairfield County residents will never meet the late Janice Park. But their lives will likely be better because of her generosity and activism.

After growing up in Bristol, earning her master’s degree in social work from Smith College, and starting her career in Manhattan, Jan moved to Fairfield County in 1954.

For the next half century, she became an advocate for children and families in Bridgeport and became deeply entrenched in giving back to the community she called home.

“Helping a handful of people wasn’t good enough for Jan Park,” said David Vita of Westport’s Unitarian Church. “Her plans were much bigger. She was the ultimate organizer, believing that alone we can’t do anything, but together, we can.”

It’s that spirit that sparked Jan’s work in helping launch Connecticut’s first infant daycare center and the Connecticut Coalition Against Gun Violence.

It also inspired her work with the Community Foundation. Jan’s service as a board member with the former Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation prompted the foundation to award her its Arthur and Gladys Lunin Humanitarian Award in 2006 — and she remained active with the organization following its 2008 merger with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

When Jan died in 2013, she made the ultimate gift to the community — a bequest to the Janice Park Social Justice Fund at the Community Foundation.

This fund has granted nearly $2 million to support a range of social justice causes, including voting and civic education, developing youth and grassroots leaders and food justice. We are honored to steward this gift, which serves as a fitting tribute to Jan’s generous spirit.

To learn how you can leave your own charitable legacy, contact Karen Brown: KBrown@fccfoundation.org.