Williamsburg Community Foundation Awards $88,933 in Grants to Nonprofits

Sept. 28, 2023 Williamsburg, Va.Williamsburg Community Foundation presented grants totaling $88,933 to 23 organizations (listed below) at its Fall Grant Awards Luncheon this week. TowneBank generously sponsored the luncheon, which gathered over 120 community members including both donors and leaders from the nonprofit, business, and government sectors.

The Foundation’s competitive grants are made possible by local donors who over the years have given to the Foundation’s Community Endowment and Field-of-Interest Funds, which have grown over time to provide grants to area nonprofits twice a year. Several grants awarded today were made possible by partnerships with individual WCF donors.

“Our staff and Distribution Committee review 80 applications each year and do an incredible job of wisely allocating our resources.  Over 24 years, we have received over 5,000 gifts to support the Foundation’s endowment funds which provide the resources for our competitive grant program,” said Nancy Sullivan, President and CEO of Williamsburg Community Foundation. “Next year, the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary will provide an opportunity for donors to contribute additional funds to support future needs in the community.”

Community Endowment and Field-of-Interest Funds

            Arts & Culture

I am Me Initiative Foundation ($2,500) – To provide youth ages 5-17 the opportunity to gain experience in performance development, leadership skills and community engagement. Youth empowerment ambassadors will participate in various performances, programs and events while representing the I Am Me Initiative Foundation throughout the community.

Children & Young Adults

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula ($5,000) – Located at James River Elementary, Boys & Girls Club will provide Power Hour and Project Learn to create opportunities for high-yield learning activities and encourage youth Club members to become self-directed learners.

Colonial Court Appointed Special Advocates Program, Inc. ($1,000) – Colonial CASA recruits and screens safe, caring, and diverse volunteers to serve as advocates for victims of child abuse and neglect as well as mentors for youth ages 10-18.  This grant will help CASA with their volunteer recruitment efforts and support staff training.

The Youth Aeronautics Educational Foundation ($2,000) – In partnership with the Williamsburg Regional Library, the Drone Project will expose youth to flying drones, building drones, and fixing them. This program takes place at the Abram Fink Community Center.

Environment & Conservation

Historic Rivers Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists ($3,050) – This grant supports a large, partially interactive, three-panel interpretive sign for the Greensprings Interpretive Trail trailhead. The goal for the interpretive sign is to tell the stories of the ever-changing Greensprings Trail environs.

James River Association ($4,100) in partnership with the Margaret Beck Pritchard Fund This grant, River Connections: Exploring the James River through Food Webs and Watershed Education, will provide hands-on active learning experiences to every Williamsburg James City County 4th grade student.

Virginia Capital Trail Foundation ($3,500) Made possible by Linda T. Baker and an anonymous donor – This grant will support the expansion of free environmental and educational programs, including our youth and family programming, and increase equitable opportunities for underserved communities.

Health & Community Wellness

Bacon Street Youth and Family Services ($2,500) –  This grant will support a Counselor in Residence pursuing a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor, which will  increase Bacon Street’s capacity to ensure the health of our community for decades to come as we train the behavioral health professionals of the future.

Edmarc, Inc. ($4,000) in partnership with the Holbach-Hill Memorial Fund – Edmarc has a long history of providing in-home care for children battling life-threatening illnesses, and they have recently expanded to serve Williamsburg. This grant will cover costs associated with nurses going to a patient’s home.

Free Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment ($3,600) – FREE collects, sanitizes, cleans, inspects, and gifts durable medical equipment to low-income adults, who would otherwise go without and be at-risk for premature home displacement. This grant will help FREE to reduce client waitlists by providing equipment which is not available through community donations.

Lackey Clinic ($7,683) made possible by Anonymous Donor – Lackey Clinic will use their grant funding to provide transportation to patients who cannot otherwise get to their appointments, and also to improve medication management by offering materials in the client’s language.

Economic Mobility

BikeWalk Williamsburg ($1,000) made possible by Linda T. Baker – The Co-Op is expanding to a bigger location at James York Plaza.  Funds will enable the Co-Op to move and install critical equipment, purchase additional mechanics’ equipment/tools, and outfit the showroom properly to increase sales.

Community of Faith Mission, Inc. ($5,000) – Emergency Shelter Program provides shelter from the harsh and often freezing elements during the coldest months of the year.  Guests are given clean linens, a mat and pillow along with 3 healthy meals.  Referrals and resources to local community partners and agencies to move past homelessness are offered.

HEAT Foundation ($2,500) – This program supports single parents through workshops on topics to include creating a budget plan, resume writing and Interview preparation, self-awareness coaching, goal setting and resource education.

Operation Love, Inc. ($5,000) – Operation Love provides a weekly homecooked meal to the homeless, those living in motels, and other low-income residents. The grant will support the purchase of nutritious food for the underserved populations, printing of health and wellness material to be included in nutrition bags and help support administrative infrastructure.

Senior Services

Grove Christian Outreach Center ($5,000) Peggy J. Swain Memorial Fund in partnership with an anonymous donor – The Safe Housing for Seniors project will utilize volunteers to provide small home repairs to Grove area seniors, allowing them to remain safe and healthy in their own homes.

Tidewater Arts Outreach ($5,000) made possible by Jill & Alex Guzman – This program provides arts outreach for older and isolated adults, including interactive music programs and performing arts presentations, participatory spoken word/poetry and songwriting workshops, and hands-on visual arts projects. Outreach programs are facilitated by an experienced artist with volunteer and staff support and are conducted at various senior living facilities.

Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels ($5,000) – To prepare and deliver hot nutritious meals and shelf-stable food to residents in our community who are unable to prepare meals for themselves, while offering social interaction and nutrition education.

Benjamin R. Altshuler Transportation Fund

3e Restoration, Inc. ($5,000) – This grant will allow 3e to meet the unique transportation needs of very low-income neighbors experiencing homeless by offering bus and Uber/Lyft passes to and from training programs, employment, medical and mental health, and/or other necessary appointments. The grant will also cover DMV relicensing costs, gas cards, small auto repairs, and inspections for clients’ personal vehicles.

Avalon Center ($5,000) – Avalon serves a large geographic area including 11 rural and suburban jurisdictions; there are limited public transportation stops in this service area and no stop near the confidential Avalon shelter campus. Many clients do not own a car, nor have means of transportation. Avalon offers free transportation twice daily, five days per week. This service supports survivors traveling to jobs, interviews, school, court appearances, and appointments.

Faith Recovery ($1,500) – Faith Recovery is an accredited, clinically-based addiction treatment program that operates two Recovery Residences, where they provide a safe sober living environment. The grant will help transport the residents to AA/NA meetings, Celebrate Recovery, local church services, legal and medical appointments.

Peninsula Agency on Aging, Inc. ($5,000) – RIDES program allows seniors to maintain independent and productive lives within the community by providing access to their healthcare providers.

Williamsburg Area Faith in Action, Inc. ($5,000) – WFIA is a non-profit organization providing volunteer-based support to seniors living at home in the Williamsburg, James City County and the Bruton District of York County areas. This grant will support scheduling software and volunteer training for medical transportation for seniors.

How to Apply for a Grant

The Foundation typically awards competitive grants twice a year. All application materials and guidelines can be found at WilliamsburgCommunityFoundation.org; click “Receive” then “Apply for a Grant.” If the organization has never received a grant from WCF, they should contact the Foundation office for guidance before beginning a new application. Contact Ginny Gasink, Program Officer, at 757-259-1660 or email vgasink@williamsburgcommunityfoundation.org.