We are blessed with the gift made by Mr. Robert Thistle in honor of his mother Viola “Dolly” Nichols Thistle. We believe that it is a blessing that empowers us to be a blessing to the larger community.
When Mr. Thistle stated his intent to make a substantial donation to the church, he was assured that the church’s brick and mortar needs would not take priority, though he entrusted the use of the fund to the church’s discretion wholly. We wanted to let the blessing flow abundantly beyond the walls of our church as we recognized this donation was made by a person who gave light on the truth of human interconnectedness as Mr. Thistle affirmed, “How many people have helped me along throughout my life!” This is the entire congregation’s commitment to prioritizing community-serving programs and youth scholarships. With the earnings of its first year investment, the gift of the Dolly’s Fund has been shared with 8 non-profit organizations and 10 graduates of Lodi High School. This is only our first year, and our commitment to sharing the Dolly’s Fund remains strong. This is truly our way to live out our Christian faith and to honor who Dolly Thistle was. Mr. Thistle recalls his mother. “She didn’t want anyone she knew to leave uncared for. She was very gentle, but hers was a gentleness with a strong determination to help others and raise her children to have faith in God and in each other.” Mr. Thistle, even now at the age of 94, carries fond memories of going to Lodi United Methodist Church with his mother and four siblings. “I do know my mother had full faith in the Lord and I want to follow her step.”
Opportunities of Dolly’s Fund grants are open to every organization that serves the marginalized, respecting the dignity of the people, to enhance the quality of their lives. Scholarship opportunities are available to youth and anyone who seeks a postsecondary education or training.
Dolly’s Fund Grant Application Guidelines and Form (for organizations)
Dolly’s Fund Scholarship Application (for individuals)
Important Dates to Remember:
– Completed applications must be submitted by March 31 (Spring Disbursement) and October 15 (Fall Disbursement).
– Approval results will be communicated during the month of May or November.
Stories about Lodi UMC Dolly’s Fund on local news:
Lodi Enterprise on Feb 15, 2021.
Lodi Enterprise on June 19, 2021.