The goals of the Claude Pepper Foundation are based upon the principles by which Claude and Mildred Pepper lived their lives. They were the unrelenting enemy of poverty, injustice, oppression and every other source of unhappiness and degradation to which humans beings are subject. Senator Claude Pepper believed it was a proper and necessary function of government to provide the economic and social conditions that made it possible for the individual to realize his or her full potential. He believed the individual also had a duty to contribute to the advancement of social justice through personal practices and community activity. Since its founding, the Pepper Foundation has not only fulfilled that purpose but has developed extensive programs to further the objectives of Senator Pepper.
Consistent with his dedicated efforts to meet the needs and maximize the potential of all people, especially the elderly, the Pepper Foundation uses its financial and other resources to develop the Claude Pepper Center at Florida State University into one of the country’s major education, research and public outreach service centers. The Claude Pepper Library, which houses Senator Pepper’s extensive collection of historical documents, empirical data and memorabilia, and the exhibits of the Claude Pepper Museum are valuable adjuncts of the Center. The Pepper Foundation was also instrumental in the creation of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy.
After completion of the Pepper Center construction and funding of the Center endowment, the Pepper Foundation funded a Scholar-in-Residence-position currently occupied by Larry Polivka focusing his efforts on issues relating to long-term care and retirement security. As our population ages, more seniors will be candidates for some type of long-term care. Nursing home care is typically the most expensive by far and the most institutional in nature. The research supported by the Pepper Foundation is dedicated to understanding what alternatives exist to nursing home care and at what cost. Coupled with better lifestyle outcomes for seniors, their quality of life is enhanced.
The Claude Pepper Foundation also awards grants on a limited basis to specific endeavors that are consistent with the stated purposes and goals of the Claude Pepper Foundation.