The The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows to benefit the people of Texas. The Foundation's mission is to assist the people and institutions of Texas improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations. Algur Meadows built General American Oil Company of Texas into one of the nation's most successful independent oil and gas production companies. Believing that his own life was greatly enriched by giving, Meadows generously shared his wealth with many charitable causes benefiting the people of the state that had been so kind to him. Wishing to share the joy of giving with their extended family, both living and yet unborn, Algur and Virginia Meadows established the Meadows Foundation so that their philanthropy would continue in perpetuity, under the guidance and direction of family members and trusted advisors. Since its inception, the Foundation's assets have grown to a current value in excess of $770 million, and it has dispersed over $550 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to over 2,000 Texas institutions and agencies. Foundation grants support work in the fields of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services. The foundation also has a particular philanthropic interest in three areas: public education (particularly in the areas of early child development, enhanced reading skills, and teacher preparation), mental health, and the environment. It also seeks to develop a philanthropic spirit among high school and middle school students and has awarded in excess of $1.5 million to over 200 schools in North Texas whose students planned and carried out community service programs. The Foundation looks for programs and services that employ imaginative, innovative ways to solve community problems through projects leading to organizational self-sufficiency and in capital plans that enable agencies to flourish. It seeks to support projects that can alleviate pain, enhance social skills, and promote better human relations. Among its philanthropic initiatives, the Foundation has established the 22-acre Wilson Historic District near downtown Dallas and has its offices there. Here, some 25 non-profit agencies are provided rent-free office space, as well as management and technical assistance, in elegantly restored turn-of-the-century homes and buildings and new structures. Considered a benchmark for historic preservation and a model project in which to house non-profit agencies, the Wilson Block has earned a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Meadows Foundation is among the most recognized private philanthropies in the country. It has received numerous awards for both its philanthropy and its management and has been named an Outstanding Foundation of the year by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. In 2004 Linda P. Evans, a great-niece of the founders, served as president and chief executive officer, and Robert A. Meadows was chairman of the board of trustees.