Mrs. Merrydelle Gambrill May had a dream of establishing a Christian based senior living community to serve the area’s aging population regardless of an individual’s income. Through her efforts and financial commitment and the support of the United Methodist Church, Gambrill Gardens, a senior living community, was established. The first building was completed in 1978. Over the years Gambrill Gardens grew into a senior living complex offering 300 apartments; centralized food services; and a wide variety of life enriching activities for the senior citizens in residence.
In 2016 Gambrill Gardens was sold with the proceeds used to establish and fund the East Missouri Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to continuing and expanding the dreams of Mrs. May to provide support for senior citizens in the greater St. Louis area.
While the original mission of Gambrill Gardens was focused on housing and the quality of life of the residents, East Missouri Foundation is committed to broadening the mission. The intent of the Foundation is to provide funding for charitable organizations recognized as exempt under Section 501(c)(3), with a focus on those charities that engage in activities related to the provision of housing, health care, food and transportation for seniors, persons with disabilities, low income persons, single parents, children or the homeless.
Although the United Methodist Church was instrumental in the development of Gambrill Gardens there are no religious affiliations or requirements for qualified organizations applying for grants. The only requirement is that the applicant organization be focused on services in the areas listed above.