Charleston, WV- The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of grants totaling $868,820. Funding supports programs such as Facing Hunger Food Bank’s Lincoln County Child, Family, & Senior Food Resource Support project.

During one Facing Hunger Food Bank backpack delivery, a child pointed to the delivery truck saying “I get one of those backpacks.” He was very enthusiastic and said “I love the cereal!” The Food Bank’s CEO said “I love cereal too! Do you eat it for breakfast, or later? Do you drink your milk from the bowl, because that’s what I do?” He laughed, but then he said “We don’t have milk very often because our refrigerator doesn’t work, so if I want my cereal to be wet, I put water on it.” After this conversation, the backpacks have included single serve shelf stable milk. The organization’s goal remains to provide fresh food, dairy, and protein in as many forms as possible in order for all in need to have what they need.

TGKVF awarded eight responsive grants totaling $168,904 to Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, and Field-of-Interest programs, and awarded six grants totaling $193,970 in the Foundation’s proactive areas of Education, and Health. Funding was also awarded for two Special Initiative grants in the amount of $111,100. Continued generous support from an anonymous donor provided funding for one Dental and nine Emergency Aid grants totaling $394,846.

Inspiring Dreams Network-Supporting At-Risk Youth through Coaching and Community Connections: $17,500 (Education)

Inspiring Dreams Network (IDN) is partnering with four Putnam County youth serving organizations (4-H, Camp Allegheny, Girl Scouts, and DHHR Child Care Facilities) to build the capacity of their volunteers, leaders, and staff to better support the youth they serve. IDN will provide training in the areas of social-emotional learning, academic support, and career development, empowering participants to collaborate with Putnam County school systems to support the success of shared students. The four partnering organizations currently have 225 community volunteers, staff, and leaders who serve 4,000 youth through their combined programs. Funding will support project coordination, training expenses, and participant resources.

Cornerstone Family Interventions, Inc.-West Virginia Home Visiting Collaborative Partner Project:  $56,770 (Education)

In its third year of support from TGKVF, the West Virginia Home Visitation Collaborative Partners will provide the nationally recognized and evidenced-based home visiting program, Parents as Teachers (PAT), in Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties. PAT builds strong communities, thriving families, and children who are healthy, safe, and ready to learn by matching parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits from prenatal through kindergarten. The project will allow the sites to continue operating their programs despite state budget cuts by providing funds necessary for home visitor salaries.

Community Access, Inc.- Horses & Journeys™ Lessons from the Herd Wellness Programs©: $21,000 (Health)

In its sixth year of support from TGKVF, Horses & Journeys™ Lessons from the Herd Wellness Programs© assist adults and children in the community who are experiencing stress. Programs serve military service members, first responders, adults, and children who are dealing with trauma and grief, and they help participants identify and strengthen their own practices for wellness. The programs serve all of TGKVF’s service area and utilize equine-assisted therapy, wellness, and guided hiking activities. The programs promote healthy lifestyles and develop and strengthen natural and community-based supports.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders Association Inc., WV Chapter-Expanding Services and Improving Care for Families Touched by Dementia: $40,000 (Health)

In their second year of funding for this project, the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will increase the organization’s presence in Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties. This will happen by increasing equity in accurate diagnosis and effective care through collaboration of healthcare systems and physicians and expanding volunteer outreach, enabling additional education programs and increased access to care and support programs in under-served areas.

TEAM for West Virginia Children, Inc.-ACEs Coalition of West Virginia: $23,700 (Health)

In the second year of support, the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) Coalition of WV will improve the health and well-being of residents in the Foundation’s six-county area by reducing the impact of ACEs and preventing their occurrence. This work involves increasing awareness, providing training, advocating for policies and legislation, incorporating ACEs into home visitations, and conducting research on the impact of ACEs.

West Virginia Free, Inc.-Love Your Birth Control: $35,000 (Health)

In the third year of funding, the Know Your Options, Love Your Birth Control campaign will focus on increasing access to the full spectrum of contraceptive options. WV Free addresses the lack of access and education around these issues in a three-pronged approach: intensive community outreach and education; shared decision-making training on contraceptive counseling for health care providers and social and emotional wraparound-service professionals; and post training support to those trained.

Multi-Cultural Festival of West Virginia, Inc.-Multifest: $7,000 (Arts and Culture)

Multifest, developed thirty-one years ago, provides the largest diversity festival in West Virginia. Over the course of the three-day festival, diverse entertainment, food, clothing and art vendors will convene. Activities will include concerts, morning fitness, health screening, cultural dancing, and youth performances. Funding will support entertainment costs and activities.

Arts in Action-Arts in Action Student Classroom and Performance Supplies: $18,000 (Art and Culture)

Arts in Action provides arts education and performance opportunities for nearly 700 students annually from locations in Putnam and Kanawha Counties. Arts in Action provides needs-based financial aid and programming for people with developmental disabilities. Funding will support classroom and performance supplies for 200 students in Putnam County and 175 students through the Urban Stage program in Charleston’s West Side neighborhood.

Charleston Ballet, Inc.-Charleston Ballet 66th Season including a World Premiere of DRACULA: $20,000 (Arts and Culture)

Funding will support the Charleston Ballet’s 2021-22 season, assisting guest artist rehearsal and performance fees, travel, housing, new costumes, and sets for season performances. This season will present three mainstage performances including DRACULA in October, NUTCRACKER with the West Virginia Symphony in December, and a mixed-bill in March 2022. All performances exhibit educational and cultural diversity components, including BALLET FOR ALL and 21st Century After-School Learning Programs.

African American Arts and Heritage Academy-Summer Youth African American Art and Heritage Academy: $4,900 (Arts and Culture)

Funding for this project will support scholarships as well as faculty and guest artist honorariums for the weeklong online Zoom sessions focused on the study of and activities related to African American arts and cultural heritage. Students in Fayette and Kanawha counties will also have performance opportunities that will showcase their artistic abilities and provide cultural enlightenment.

BackpackBuddy.Org-Backpack Buddy.Org Summer Program: $27,500 (Basic Needs)

BackpackBuddy.Org empowers community partners in Boone, Kanawha, and Putnam counties to provide support to underprivileged students during the summer break from school. The support that is provided includes nutritional, personal care items, and educational items. These support items are mailed to participating students multiple times during the summer while the students are away from school.

Facing Hunger Food Bank-Lincoln County Child Family & Senior Food Resource Support: $45,000 (Basic Needs and Emergency Aid)

Funding for this project will address the hunger needs of those living in Lincoln County, which has a food insecurity rate of 17.9% overall and 27.9% for children. The program will provide hunger relief activities to three populations: unemployed and underemployed families; children participating in the backpack program; and senior citizens. All planned activities will be specific to purchasing and distribution of fresh, frozen, and shelf stable products to meet the needs of these most vulnerable groups.

Rea of Hope Fellowship Home, Inc.-Rea of Hope Utilities: $22,000 (Basic Needs)                                                                                              Funding will support the operation of Rea of Hope’s mission to help West Virginia women suffering from alcohol and/or drug addiction by teaching the life skills and self-sufficiency required to reach sustained recovery, while promoting safe and affordable housing.

YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women & Families-YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women & Families: $27,500 (Basic Needs) Funding will assist with operational support of the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter, a licensed 75-bed facility. This community-based program provides shelter with supportive services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to single women, women with children, men with custody of their children, Veterans, and intact families.

West Virginia Health Right, Inc.-Dental Care for Impoverished Adults: $126,000 (Dental Health)

West Virginia Health Right eliminates financial and transportation barriers to obtaining dental care. Through an on-site dental clinic in Charleston serving residents in Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties, and a Mobile Dental Unit that provides care in Boone and Clay counties, more than 4,500 patients in the Foundation’s service area will receive preventative, restorative, and education services.

Capital High School-Capital High School AED: $3,100 (Emergency Aid)

Funding will support the purchase of three portable automated external defibrillators (AED) units to be used for athletic teams which do not have immediate access to an AED at their practice or event facilities.

Pollen8, Inc.-Appalachian Behavioral HealthCare: $29,750 (Emergency Aid)

Through its Reintegr8 program, Pollen8 provides treatment, social support, and employment skills for women committed to recovering from Substance Use Disorder. Pollen8 has recently opened a 30-bed, licensed behavioral health facility to further facilitate this work. Funding from the Foundation will support purchases of food, clothing vouchers for the women in treatment, hygiene and cleaning supplies, and a roof repair for the facility.

Manna Meal, Inc.-So the Hungry Can Eat-Mobile Pantry: $30,000 (Emergency Aid)

When the primary grocery store for many food insecure residents on Charleston’s West Side closed due to a fire, Manna Meal quickly addressed the need for food in that community and established its first Mobile Food Pantry to ensure individuals have access to food. The mobile unit provides fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grains and meats, and shelf stable items to help improve the lives of vulnerable citizens. Pantry bags are prepared at Manna Meal and then transported to a distribution site on the West Side. Funding for this project will support 12 Kanawha County mobile pantry events.

Risen Lord Catholic Church-Risen Lord Food Pantry Backpack-Utilities Assistance: $25,000 (Emergency Aid)

Funding for this program will provide support to the food pantry, backpack program, and clients with emergency situations such as utility cutoff notices, medical bills, or who are in need of gasoline assistance. During the school year, the drive-through pantry serves 200 families monthly with food and hygiene products. This need will increase during summer months, as seen by the 1,200 students served weekly during 2020 school closures.

Covenant House, Inc.-Housing and Health Stabilization in the HIV + Community: $50,000 (Emergency Aid)

Funding will be used to prevent homelessness for persons with a positive HIV diagnosis, an imminent crisis in Kanawha County recognized by the Center for Disease Control as the greatest HIV outbreak in the nation. Funding will also support the purchase of new computers for case managers working with emergency assistance and housing services in Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, and Putnam counties.

YWCA Charleston-YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families-Emergency Aid Project: $38,000 (Emergency Aid)

YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Women and Families provides access to shelter and services to approximately 600 single women, women with children, men with custody of their children, veterans, and intact families in Boone, Clay, and Kanawha counties. Funds will be used to help remove housing barriers which have prevented individuals and families from securing suitable permanent housing, household necessities, as well as the replacement of equipment that interferes with providing services.

Recovery Point Charleston-New Roof for Recovery Point Charleston-Sheltering Hope to the Hopeless: $40,000 (Emergency Aid)

Recovery Point is a 100-bed residential recovery program for women suffering from substance use disorder, and has served women from every county across the state. Due to damage from winter storms, funding for this project will aid in the installation of a new roof on the facility on Charleston’s West Side.

Community Care of West Virginia-2021 Social Determinants of Health Fund: $20,000 (Emergency Aid) 

Community Care of West Virginia will utilize funding to reduce patient health disparities by offsetting the negative impacts of social determinants of health. Funding will be used to assist Community Care patients with utility and medication expenses, as well as other non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. Patients from all of the Foundation’s service area are eligible, but the majority are from Clay, Fayette, and Kanawha Counties.

Kanawha County Commission-Juvenile Drug Court Needs: $30,000 (Emergency Aid)

Kanawha County’s Juvenile Drug Court is a court-led and community-supported program of early intervention to address the specific needs of its substance-abusing youth participants. The objectives of Juvenile Drug Court are to improve the youth’s general functioning by reducing internal and external problems and to increase family self-sufficiency and ability to cope with life’s difficulties. The program seeks to divert non-violent juvenile offenders from the traditional juvenile court process to intensive, individualized treatment with the goal of reducing future involvement for these youth.

West Virginia University Research Corporation-Medical Schools Dismantling Discrimination, Racism and Stigma through Structural Competency: $36,100 (Special Initiatives)

The Dismantling Discrimination, Racism and Stigma (DDRS) Structural Competency Training implements the first structural competency training in West Virginia for first year medical students. Designed by Assistant Professor of Public Health at WVU School of Public Health Lauri Andres, and administered by Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the DDRS training covers 100 minutes of Socratic, lecture-based material, plus a four-day community-based, service-learning experience working with the residents of a historically marginalized community, Grace Bible Church and HOPE Community Development Corporation on the West Side of Charleston.

West Virginia Health Right, Inc.-WV Health Right-West Side Clinic: $75,000 (Special Initiatives)

West Virginia Health Right (WVHR) will implement a satellite medical clinic to address and improve structural healthcare inequities among low-income and minority residents in the Charleston area. The West Side of Charleston has a large African-American community that will benefit from targeted outreach and healthcare services. This project is designed to dismantle racial and other barriers that exist in the medical treatment of minority populations by incorporating culturally appropriate care that is built upon trust and a foundational understanding that patients are the best directors of their care.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is grateful to our community of generous donors who make these and other grants possible. The programs and work approved for the second quarter of 2021 distributions are supported by the following funds: Anonymous Dental Fund; Anonymous WV Emergency Aid; Honor J. Davis, II; Mary Lewis Dickinson; Zelma Drennen Memorial; James F. Duncan Charitable; Brent B. Galyean Memorial; J.W. and Gabrielle P. Hubbard, Jr.; Bernard H. Jacobson Cultural; Blanche E. Jacobson; Alice Ann Koontz; Lowenstein #1; Nathan and Sarah Maslow; Alford and Lucy W. McClung; McJunkin-Jones Family; Mary S. Moses Memorial; Pelzel Family; Nancy Gay Randolph; and L. Newton and Katherine S. Thomas General.