The family of Joe K. Blanton, the former president of Publix, has provided a gift of $5 million to Florida Baptist Children’s Homes to transform the lives of children for generations. The site of the organization’s international headquarters in Lakeland will be renamed the Joe K. Blanton Campus in honor of Blanton and his late wife, Alberta. The gift will be placed in the Joe K. Blanton Family Endowment Fund where its income will provide vital services to children who are disadvantaged or have been neglected, abandoned or abused.
Blanton, who served as the president of Publix from 1974-84, was also a board member for Florida Baptist Children’s Homes from 1971-77. The man who Publix founder George Jenkins called a “genius” and his “right-hand man” was known by his peers as a dynamic and tireless employee of the beloved grocery chain and also as a man of great charity who had a deep reverence for children.
In making the gift, the family is creating a lasting legacy. In 2015 more than 155,000 services were provided to children in Florida and around the world through Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Orphan’s Heart and The Porch Light.