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Return-A-Gift Fund

Year Founded


Harry Moore, Frank Hutcheson, and Jack Dalton

Purpose of Fund
The primary purpose of the Fund shall be to provide financial support to charitable community projects and local charities as suggested and approved by the Board of Directors (the "Board") and provided that such programs and contributions are consistent with the exempt purposes and status of the Foundation.

History of Fund
Return-A-Gift is the name of a permanent fund administered by the Putnam County Community Foundation. The Founders and administrators of Return-A-Gift work with police and sheriff organizations, high school counselors, students, Kappa Delta Phi, and Putnam County Family and Children's Services to provide clothing, food, and presents to children in Putnam County.

Jack Dalton, one of the Return-A-Gift founders, emphasizes that all money collected goes to help children. The founders pay their own administrative expenses. Dalton encourages everyone to contribute to the Return A Gift program through the Putnam County Community Foundation. "It is a great feeling helping out in this way."

The story of Return-A-Gift's origins is one of Putnam County generosity, gratitude, and a "can-do-it" attitude. In 1990, restaurant owner, Julie Burns, stated her desire to help people in Putnam County at Christmas time. Many people liked the idea and began promoting it. The idea spread rapidly through the community and resulted in contributions for food, toys, and clothing, and the first Return-A-Gift Christmas party was scheduled at the restaurant.

The first year, only a few dozen persons came. However, by 1993, the Christmas party had outgrown the restaurant and was relocated across the road to the Putnam County 4-H Fairgrounds. In 1994, 500 guests were seated and fed by more than 100 volunteers, and the small group of founders could see that the project was getting too big.

With the idea of creating the means for the Return-A-Gift spirit to continue indefinitely, Harry Moore, Jack Dalton, and Frank Hutcheson approached the Putnam County Community Foundation to establish an endowment that would provide Christmas assistance to the needy long after the original founders were no longer here. With the advice of an attorney, the late C. Reid Priest, the Return-A-Gift Fund was established and has continued to bless Putnam County ever since.


Grant / Payout History

1996      $ 807.86

1997      $ 500.00

1998      $ 508.00

1999      $ 1,300.00

2000      $ 1,500.00

2001      $ 1,600.00

2002      $ 1,903.00

2004      $ 350.00

2005      $ 1,800.00

2006      $ 2,200.00

2007      $ 2,826.82

2008      $ 2,477.00

2009      $ 1,553.00

2010      $ 1,998.00

2011      $ 1,964.25

2012      $ 1,460.25

2014      $ 1,617.43

2015      $ 3,698.00

2017      $ 4,303.00


Total      $34,366.61

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