Thompson Foundation

$927,165

AWARDED SINCE 2004

200+

ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTED

40%

TARGET FOR GRANTS WITH STEM CONNECTION

our history

The Thompson Foundation was established in 2003 on Thompson Engineering’s 50th anniversary in honor of our late founder, Mr. Vester J. Thompson Jr. The Foundation operates as a non-profit 501(c)(3) and is administered through the Community Foundation of South Alabama.

our mission

The Thompson Foundation supports efforts to improve the quality of life in the communities served by our employees. We invest in organizations, programs, and activities that strengthen our social framework, education, and sense of community.

our focus

Education/ STEM 
Environmental & Cultural Resources Preservation
Health & Social Welfare
Civic & Community Development
Arts & Recreation

The Thompson Foundation supports five main categories of non-profit organizations. These organizations are most often groups that our employees support. We believe that helping employees engage in charitable causes with personal meaning brings the greatest impact to our communities. Employees are encouraged to submit grant requests for the organizations they give their time to through board service, fundraising events, and other volunteer hours. The Foundation also issues matching grants.

employee quotes

Danny Brooks

The Pike County School system began a STEM Academy in 2015 with a group of 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Recently, the students participated in their first ever BEST Robotics competition. I reached out to the foundation in order to help the students with expenses related to this competition including sponsorship and team shirts. In preparation for the event, several Thompson employees visited the school to mentor the students and support their efforts. I enjoyed working with these students and attending the competition with them.

 

Danny Brooks
CEI Inspector
Troy, AL

Sharon Braden

Girls Inc. has served the Chattanooga community through a wide variety of programs with a single goal: to help girls ages 6-18 grow the confidence and the skills to be STRONG, SMART and BOLD throughout their lives. The education programs prepare girls from an early age to be college-bound, goal-oriented and informed about the education and careers they can pursue. Being a mentor for this organization has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, both personally and professionally.

 

Sharon Braden
Area Manager, TN

Cindy Roton

The mission of the Drug Education Council is to insure that the issues surrounding substance abuse remain a priority, and that vital assistance is always available for families and individuals in crisis. I have served on the Drug Education Council Board of Directors for the past 27 years, including two terms as chairman. During that time, the support of the Thompson Foundation has helped this agency to grow and adapt to meet the ever-changing challenges of preventing drug abuse in our communities.

 

Cindy Roton
Senior Scientist
Mobile, AL

 

Thad Hopper

The Jackson, MS metro area has a great need for affordable housing and Habitat for Humanity helps to fill this gap by providing houses built largely by volunteers. The cost of these relatively modest homes, which the receiving family helps to construct and finance, has risen to approximately $85,000, even with the involvement of volunteers. Over the years, I have worked through my church on the construction of several Habitat houses and with Habitat fundraising events. The Foundation has been a cornerstone of a 5K fundraiser that I have chaired. Since 2012, thanks to sponsors like the Thompson Foundation, we have worked with several other community churches to build seven Habitat homes. I am proud to be part of a company that gives back to the community in such a fundamental way.

Thad Hopper
Professional Engineer
Jackson, MS

 

Laura Key

I have volunteered for the Child Advocacy Center for more than 10 years as a Victim Advocate. In this role, I help children and non-offending family members through the trial process. This is just one of many things the Child Advocacy Center does to provide a caring environment to help the healing process. Thompson Foundation donations go to the center to keep these vital programs going so one day these children can grow up to be healthy, happy adults.

 

Laura Key
Administrative Assistant
Mobile, AL

 

Larry Stanley

My supervisor encouraged me to become involved in some type of community service and as the grandfather of two autistic children, it was obvious that the Chattanooga Autism Center was where I needed to volunteer. I work with the planning committee for the various annual events that the CAC puts on. They conduct a large conference in the spring that parents, teachers and autism service organizations attend. Teachers are able to obtain their required continuing education certificates at the conference. The Thompson Foundation supports me and my efforts with dollars so the CAC can do more.

 

Larry Stanley
CEI Inspector
Chattanooga, TN

 

The Pike County School system began a STEM Academy in 2015 with a group of 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Recently, the students participated in their first ever BEST Robotics competition. I reached out to the foundation in order to help the students with expenses related to this competition including sponsorship and team shirts. In preparation for the event, several Thompson employees visited the school to mentor the students and support their efforts. I enjoyed working with these students and attending the competition with them.

 

Danny Brooks
CEI Inspector
Troy, AL

Girls Inc. has served the Chattanooga community through a wide variety of programs with a single goal: to help girls ages 6-18 grow the confidence and the skills to be STRONG, SMART and BOLD throughout their lives. The education programs prepare girls from an early age to be college-bound, goal-oriented and informed about the education and careers they can pursue. Being a mentor for this organization has been one of the best decisions I've made, both personally and professionally.

 

Sharon Braden Law
Area Manager, TN

The mission of the Drug Education Council is to insure that the issues surrounding substance abuse remain a priority, and that vital assistance is always available for families and individuals in crisis. I have served on the Drug Education Council Board of Directors for the past 27 years, including two terms as chairman. During that time, the support of the Thompson Foundation has helped this agency to grow and adapt to meet the ever-changing challenges of preventing drug abuse in our communities.

 

Cindy Roton
Senior Scientist
Mobile, AL

The Jackson, MS metro area has a great need for affordable housing and Habitat for Humanity helps to fill this gap by providing houses built largely by volunteers. The cost of these relatively modest homes, which the receiving family helps to construct and finance, has risen to approximately $85,000, even with the involvement of volunteers. Over the years, I have worked through my church on the construction of several Habitat houses and with Habitat fundraising events. The Foundation has been a cornerstone of a 5K fundraiser that I have chaired. Since 2012, thanks to sponsors like the Thompson Foundation, we have worked with several other community churches to build seven Habitat homes. I am proud to be part of a company that gives back to the community in such a fundamental way.

Thad Hopper
Professional Engineer
Jackson, MS

I have volunteered for the Child Advocacy Center for more than 10 years as a Victim Advocate. In this role, I help children and non-offending family members through the trial process. This is just one of many things the Child Advocacy Center does to provide a caring environment to help the healing process. Thompson Foundation donations go to the center to keep these vital programs going so one day these children can grow up to be healthy, happy adults.

 

Laura Key
Administrative Assistant
Mobile, AL

My supervisor encouraged me to become involved in some type of community service and as the grandfather of two autistic children, it was obvious that the Chattanooga Autism Center was where I needed to volunteer. I work with the planning committee for the various annual events that the CAC puts on. They conduct a large conference in the spring that parents, teachers and autism service organizations attend. Teachers are able to obtain their required continuing education certificates at the conference. The Thompson Foundation supports me and my efforts with dollars so the CAC can do more.

 

Larry Stanley
CEI Inspector
Chattanooga, TN

STEM initiative

We believe it is our responsibility to inspire interest in engineering and STEM-related careers. With the adoption of a STEM initiative, the Foundation aims to engage students in STEM education in the classroom and through field trips, through scholarships, and by prioritizing STEM-focused grant requests.

ACCEL-STEM-Studio

STEM scholarships

Thompson Engineering foundation scholarship, auburn university

Each year, Auburn University awards the Thompson Engineering Foundation Scholarship, presently valued at up to $16,000 annually, to a student meeting the eligibility requirements.

STEM studio

Through a $20,000 donation, the Thompson Foundation helped kick-start a STEM Studio at ACCEL Day and Evening Academy in Mobile, AL. The STEM Studio is outfitted with specialized equipment and learning tools such as a robotic arm, 3-D printer, and 12 computer stations. It is available for use by all students at the school. Thompson employees are also spending time in the classroom assisting students with STEM curriculum and hosting excursions for in-the-field learning.

how we raise money

The Thompson Foundation is funded by corporate contributions, gifts from employees, and employee-managed fundraisers.

funky monkey 5K & fun run

The Funky Monkey 5K & Fun Run is held every March in Mobile, AL. This family-friendly event focuses on fitness, philanthropy, and fun! All participants enjoy Mobile’s Biggest Banana Split at the finish line, and each year we award a non-profit organization the Charity Challenge prize of $1,000. Tax-deductible event sponsorships range from $250 to $1,500 and all come with fun perks. Email us to learn more!

thompson fishing rodeo

The Thompson Fishing Rodeo celebrates our Gulf Coast community with a weekend of fishing, food, and fun for clients, employees, family, and friends. The 18th Annual Thompson Fishing Rodeo is scheduled for June 5-6, 2020. Sponsors and volunteers make this event a success year after year. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click here.