Meet Legacy Donors Kenny and Carol Smith!

donor story

for December 1, 2021

Q: Tell us about you, your background, and what you enjoy doing in your free time

  • Carol – I am a retired educator, having spent 36 years in education, mostly special education, and administration.
  • Kenny – I finished up my career as a builder but did some project and operations management.
    We are native Atlantans. We enjoy our five grandchildren who range in age from 6-9. We both love to travel, read and do activities on Lake Lanier where we live.

Q: Do you have any books, movies, or podcasts you have enjoyed lately that you would like to share with our community?

  • Carol – Of course I love For The Love, Jen’s weekly podcast. I am presently hooked on these podcasts: The Murdaugh Murders, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, and anything about the enneagram. I am a member of three book clubs, including the Jen Hatmaker Book Club. I am also in a book club with other educators presently reading The New Jim Crow.
  • Kenny – I am mechanical so I enjoyed The Engineer’s Wife. The Runaway Wife is another good one, but I’m hoping my wife doesn’t get any ideas. I liked The Paris Apartment because the setting was the same as our trip in August. This Tender Land really opened my eyes to the horrors faced by Native Americans. My family history includes a great-grandfather who invented the differential axle, whose hunting lodge was described in Ruthless Tide about the Johnstown Flood. We both love Hamilton, the movie.

Q: What is an accomplishment you’re most proud of?

  • Carol – I am most proud of my family, our marriage that is 41 years going strong, and our sons, David, age 39, and Benjamin, age 36 who are great dads and husbands. I am also proud of what I accomplished as an educator, hopefully not only making a positive impact on students but supporting classroom teachers who are the heartbeat of any school.
  • Kenny – The experiences I gained from my career culminated with building our own house. I did a lot of the work myself and it brings me a lot of pride and joy.

Q: Who has been a strong or positive influence in your life?

  • Carol – My grandmother lived with us for the first ten years of my life. She was a very strong and positive influence because of her generosity. She was quite frugal and even though she never had much, she was always giving to others. She lived quite literally by the saying of “to whom much is given, much is required.”
  • Kenny – My dad who sadly died when I was a new dad myself had a strong influence on me. His character was impeccable, and he was generous and kind to everyone. Both my parents instilled in me a love of travel and adventure. They were wise enough to invest in land on the lake many years ago and that is where we live today.

Q: When did you become a Legacy donor and what attracted you to the organization? 

  • Carol/Kenny – We learned about Legacy Collective when B.T. Harman reached out to us about hosting an event in Atlanta. We had recently made decisions about eliminating some gifts for a few religious organizations and we were looking for a way to support more meaningful causes. When we studied the mission for Legacy Collective and saw that it was co-founded by Jen Hatmaker and B.T. was Chairman of the Board, it was a no-brainer to get involved. Since COVID closed so much of life, we have not hosted or entertained here much at all. This was a great opportunity to re-enter the world and bring together people to learn and give toward a non-profit that we could support. We decided when we built our home 10 years ago that we would be generous about making it a home for sharing. It was such fun to host a party!!

Q: What causes are you most passionate about?

  • Carol – I am a CASA, court-appointed special advocate, serving children who are victims of neglect or abuse. Therefore foster kids and social workers are dear to me. Educators, particularly teachers, are deserving of so much more respect, support, and money than they receive.
  • Kenny – I like to be involved in causes where we directly see the results and the people who are supported. I have done some home repairs for folks in need and did church work with the homeless in the past.

Q: Of the Legacy grants we’ve given, are any of particular interest or importance to you?

  • Carol/Kenny – We are so new to Legacy that we don’t know much but we are particularly excited about organizations that support women and children recovering from trauma.

Q: Do you have any upcoming trips or plans now that the world is (hopefully) returning to some semblance of normalcy?

  • Carol/Kenny – As soon as we were fully vaccinated, we began traveling again. We went to The Exumas, France, and to several national parks out west. We are finally planning a trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England for next summer that has been rescheduled 4 times. And we just put Austin, Texas on our schedule for November 2022 so we can meet other Legacy investors.


Legacy Collective is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our tax identification number is 87-1730864. You can find us on Guidestar here

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