Jason Tolliver Cunningham
Our Motivation, Our Friend
JCCF (The Jason Cunningham Charitable Foundation) was created by the friends and family of Jason in an effort to ensure his spirit is never forgotten, nor the joy his smiles, laughs and seemingly endless friendship and support brought to the world.
Jason Cunningham was the kind of guy everyone wanted to be friends with. He was charming, kind, and always made people feel welcomed into his life. From cracking a joke to defending someone being bullied, Jason was always helping others and making sure everyone was “good.”
Born in Atlanta in 1981, Jason was one of three children in his loving family. Jason's hearing loss was identified while he was in elementary school. He was likely born with the loss; however, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening wasn’t widely adopted in the United States until the mid- to late-1990s. His hearing worsened over time until he obtained hearing aids. His older version aids weren’t as technologically advanced as those available today, and if Jason didn’t wear them in social settings, he struggled to hear.
As Jason grew older, his hearing issues contributed increasingly to his communication challenges, leading him to suffer from depression. He was overcome by his struggles, and the world lost him in 2015 at the young age of 34.
Jason's Ongoing Legacy
Coincidentally, the first JCCF grant recipient was awarded to the family of one of Jason’s close high school friends, whose daughter Taylor received funding to assist with tuition assistance costs for her attendance at the Atlanta Speech School. Taylor’s mother Sherri had the chance to speak to Jason many times about the journey in front of her daughter, and Jason made Sherri feel like she was not alone in the fight to ensure Taylor lived life to its fullest. Sherri now donates her time to the foundation, helping identify families in need through her contacts in the Atlanta hearing-health community and facilitating the grant approval process.