Why Board Chair Jerry Partlow Donates to Grafton

January 25, 2021

In 2020, as Grafton faced unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many generous donors stepped up to offer financial support. One of our largest donations came from Jerry B. Partlow, a Winchester native and CEO of The Partlow Insurance Agency. Jerry has been a member of Grafton’s Board for over 10 years and is currently serving as Chair. We recently spoke with him about why he decided to give.

What is your history with Grafton?

My first connection was nearly 40 years ago, when the insurance agency I was working at assigned me to Grafton’s account. I became familiar with the organization and ended up joining the Board of Directors about 10 years ago. It was a real learning experience. I had worked with nonprofits as an insurer, but Grafton was a complicated environment—from the clients it serves to the relationships it has with other organizations in the community—so I spent my first two years on the Board listening and figuring out how the organization operates.

Why was donating to Grafton important to you?

Grafton has been reaching out to donors to help cover operational costs. As Board Chair, I thought I had a responsibility to lead that effort. I will be calling on other Board members and folks in the community to do the same.

My position is also quite unique. I’ve been working with Grafton for decades, and it’s one of my longest standing relationships; but Grafton’s mission has also touched me personally. I recently learned that one of my grandchildren had received an Autism diagnosis. It’s been an eye-opener, trying to navigate the system to get him the services he needs. I was already donating to Grafton, and the diagnosis didn’t change the amount or the sincerity of my giving, but it did make me a step closer to the process.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about donating to Grafton?

Grafton is a wonderful organization to support. As far as behavioral health, it is one of the top providers in the country. The progress it has made in treating and managing Autism is outstanding. Autism touches more families every year, and giving to Grafton is a great way to help fight and manage it. Even if you can’t make a large donation, every contribution makes a difference.

Your donation will also support Grafton’s amazing employees. They really are the backbone of everything the organization does—especially the clinicians and direct care providers, who touch lives for the better every day.