In 2002, Baxter and Natalie Hahn received a seed money contribution to use in any way that they chose. Thankful for their contribution, they felt that this money would be best used if given back to the community that shaped them into the thoughtful philanthropists they are today. With many of the Pee Dee residents hopping on planes to foreign countries, Natalie and Baxter saw that there are many people in their own backyard that could benefit from this hard work. Just on the short drive to the Florence Regional Airport, one could see this need. They found that those in the Pee Dee were being neglected for other groups that were fortunate enough to have their stories told through the media. This observation was their motivating factor in creating the Rainbow Fund. Looking at their recent list of projects, you will find that they are deeply invested in releasing the full potential of their beloved Pee Dee region.
Their motto, “a hand up, not a handout” is very telling of their selection process. They focus directly on those most deserving. By not giving handouts, the Rainbow Fund helps to improve the worthy individual or organization’s outlook on the future. While requiring a report with the breakdown of how the funds will be used, Baxter and Natalie are able to stay strong to their founding principles.
They are in effect, acting as advisors of their own help. They feel that their money can feed the problem if not used correctly. The Rainbow Fund has grown not only into an effective foundation, it has also grown to be an advisor of those in need. Baxter and Natalie are proud of the direction that theRainbow Fund is taking and are always willing to help their community that made them who they are today.
Update from October, 2015:
Now that both Hahns are finished with their undergraduate degrees at Wake Forest University and Wofford College, they are able to spend more time in the Pee Dee. They hold frequent meetings and assess new projects and areas of improvement. Recently, they authored a case study on the Pee Dee region and compared the economic climate of the Pee Dee region in 2010-2011 (when they both left for school) to 2014-2015 (when they returned). With a fresh perspective on the area, Baxter and Natalie believe that they are better able to meet the needs of those deserving it most.