Pearl Anderson’s Fund from 1955 still supports the community today
WHEN CFT BEGAN 59 YEARS AGO IN 1953, it was known as the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund. The first major gift to the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund was in 1955 from Pearl C. Anderson. She was an African- American grocer and widow of a local physician. Her gift was a future interest to the trust in a prime piece of land in downtown Dallas valued at $325,000.
Mrs. Anderson grew up in rural Louisiana during the days of racial segregation and was prohibited from going to school until the age of 12, when a school for black children was finally built a few miles from her home. Every day, she would walk by a plaque that credited a foundation—the Rosenwald Fund—with establishing her school.
Pearl Anderson vowed that one day, she would pay back the debt she owed to those who made it possible for her to get an education. And she brought that dream to the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund. All she asked was that the money from the eventual sale of the land was used to help “the poor, young people and other struggling people, without regard to their race or religion.”
Today, we are still using the Pearl C. Anderson Fund to honor her promise to give back. One of the latest grants made from her fund was to Educational First Steps. The grant goes toward improving the quality and availability of early childhood education for economically disadvantaged children in Dallas. Her legend still lives on—57 years later—through her fund at CFT.