Realizing there was a need to help homless citizens, John and Betty Barfield formed Share products from 1991-1994. Share products developed 10 consumer products including trash bags, instant oatmeal and microwave popcorn that were sold and distributed by 7 retail chains in 13 states. The Share Products profits helped to finance thousands of dollars in donations to the Salvation Army operations in major cities.
SPAULDING FOR CHILDREN
Spaulding for children is a Michigan-based organization founded in 1963 to locate and offer training for foster families caring for special needs children. John Barfield served on the board of Spaulding for Children for 17 years and raised $1 million for the charity in a period of 15 months as its first endowment committee chairman. Spaulding for Children's endowment grew to $4 million before Mr. Barfield left is position as chairman.
UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND
John Barfield served as Chairman of the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) of Washtenaw County Michigan from 1985-1995. Under his leadership, UNCF of Washtenaw County raised $1.1 million in scholarships for African American students to attend college during 1987-1994. Mr. Barfield was instrumental in securing a $500,000 gift from the Feigenson Foundation which helped the county organization raise a record $700,000 in 1995-1996. Mr. Barfield hopes that the success of Starting From Scratch will help jim support a new National UNCF scholarship initiative.
AID TO AFRICAN & CARRIBEAN NATIONS
Betty and John Barfield have made it their personal missions to help improve the quality of life for the citizens of Haiti, Malawi, and other Carribean and African nations. In partnership with the Cross International Charity, the Barfields and Bartech Inc. have supported global humanitarian causes ranging from eradicating polio, building wells for clean drinking water and improving education in developing nations. In 2013, Cross International and the Barfields partnered to build 12 new homes for Haitian citizens who had been living in temporary housing since the nations 2010 devastating earthquake.
PARKRIDGE COMMUNITY CENTER
Since 2008, John Barfield has played an active role in the perservation of Ypsilanti's historic Parkridge Community Center. Mr. Barfield donated and raised funds to help keep the center a central institution in the city's predominately black community for more than 70 years after the city ended funding. Mr. Barfield helped to arrange a 2013 agreement between Washtenaw Community College and the City of Ypsilanti. The Community College would provide a full time administrator for the Parkridge Center who directs after school courses and tutoring programs. The college also provides computer equipment, technical support and coordination of meeting space for community group meetings.