Jane Powell talks with TGKVF’s Senior Program Officer Stephanie Hyre and Health Program Officer Megan Simpson about the Foundation’s upcoming Leadership Institute.
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Charleston, WV-The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of grant funding totaling $532,700.
Funding from the Foundation supports people in the community like Terry. For more than a year, Terry has been working on his health by participating in West Virginia Health Right’s direct medical care offerings. Recently, he discovered he qualified for a program that would provide him with free monthly supplemental food designed to help seniors like him meet healthy, nutritious dietary goals.
There was just one problem: Terry had no way to get the large, often heavy box home each month. “I’d pretty much decided to give up,” he said. Fortunately, his nutrition instructor at Health Right had the idea to call Faith in Action, a local organization that works to serve seniors in Kanawha County. They agreed to pick up Terry each month and get him home safely with his supplemental food.
Even though giving Terry a ride home seems an incredibly simple act of kindness, Terry feels deeply grateful for the help volunteers with Faith and Action have provided. “Faith in Action has saved me money on bus fare. They have saved me money on groceries. They have saved me wear and tear on this old body. They have helped me eat healthy. And they’re just kind, good people on top of it,” he said.
TGKVF awarded three responsive grants totaling $82,600 to Arts & Culture and Field-of-Interest programs, and awarded eight grants totaling $309,000 in the Foundation’s proactive areas of Education, Health, and Community Economic Development (CED). The West Side Initiative was supported with funding of $33,500. Continual generous support from an anonymous donor provided funding for one Emergency Aid grant and four COVID-19 response grants totaling $107,600.
Advantage Valley Inc.-FASTER WV Loan Fund (Fostering Advantages for Startups & Entrepreneurials Resurgence in West Virginia): $37,000 (CED)
The FASTER WV initiative will facilitate the startup or expansion of new businesses in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties. The initiative will support small business development with entrepreneurial training, intensive business coaching, and access to capital. Funding will support a dedicated loan fund for the program.
BridgeValley Community and Technical College-The GRID at BridgeValley Community & Technical College: $60,000 (CED)
The GRID (Generate, Renew, Innovate, and Design) offers programs that support small business development and creative expression while also offering access to machinery and technology. Members can access workshops, wi-fi, dedicated office space, and retail space. Funding from TGKVF will provide instruction for community workshops, supplies, and coordination.
WV Community Development Hub-Cultivate WV: $40,000 (CED)
Cultivate WV will provide the communities of Smithers and Montgomery in Fayette and Kanawha Counties with a community coach, monthly workshops, and trainings focused on topics such as community engagement, communications, leadership development, entrepreneurship, business development, and grant writing. This project will support communities with funding for small and large-scale project implementation.
Bob Burdette Center, Inc.-2020 Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School and Summer Enrichment Program: $20,000 (Education)
The Bob Burdette Center (BBC) will host a six week Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School during the summer of 2020 for 50 students who have completed kindergarten through 7th grade in Kanawha County. In addition, the BBC will provide traditional summer programming for an additional 40 students entering kindergarten through 5th grade in Kanawha County. The American Baptist Home Mission Society will serve as the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Sponsor.
West Virginia University Foundation, Inc.-Competition of VEX Educational Robotics to Advance Girls Education (COVERAGE): $50,000 (Education)
Funding will support West Virginia University Institute of Technology and teachers to organize Girls Robotics Clubs in Kanawha, Fayette, and Lincoln counties. A regional robotics competition is scheduled for Spring 2020 and eight more schools in Kanawha, Clay, Fayette, and Lincoln counties will be initiated. In addition, NASA Independent Verification and Validation (V&V) Facility Educator Resource Center will serve as a collaborator on this project.
WV Professional Dance Company- “Exploration Earth: Your World Through STEAM” Educational Dance Tour: $30,000 (Education)
This project will provide 22 educational performances and workshops in Clay, Lincoln, and Kanawha County schools, as well as two public performances. The tour connects dance and movement to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) disciplines, as well as global and Appalachian cultures and histories, exposing creative forms of expression, communication, and exploration of STEAM concepts that will support the development of West Virginia students.
City of Montgomery-Kayak/Canoe Chute and River Access Development by Fishing Pier: $37,000 (Health)
Funding for this project will support the City of Montgomery in the development of a kayak and canoe chute on the Adams Street riverfront. As part of the City’s plan to build infrastructure and increase recreation and tourism opportunities, this chute will create a safe river access point for the public.
Community Access, Inc.-Horses & Journeys Lessons from the Herd Wellness Program: $35,000 (Health)
Horses & Journeys Lessons from the Herd Wellness Program will continue to assist military service members, first responders, adults who are transitioning from substance use disorder treatment, and children who are experiencing stress identify and strengthen their own practices for wellness. This project, which serves all of TGKVF’s service area, combines equine-assisted learning with guided hiking activities. The project promotes healthy lifestyles and develops and strengthens natural and community based supports.
FestivALL-FestivALL 2020: $24,000 (Arts & Culture)
This project is comprised of programs and events that fulfill FestivALL’s mission to create, produce, and present vibrant arts experiences and entertainment opportunities and serves as a catalyst for others in the community to do the same. Funding support will be put toward artist booking fees for Dance FestivALL, Carriage Trail events, public art projects such as BrickScape, major theater performances like AirPlay or American Shakespeare Center, and more.
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-All in for Wild, Wonderful West Virginia Artists: $10,000 (Arts & Culture)
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO) will connect visual, performing, and culinary artists from West Virginia with thousands of potential customers and clients by inviting them to exhibit and perform during MATRIC Symphony Sunday, a free day-long celebration of the arts on June 7, 2020. Funding will support renting and setting up the stage, display tables, chairs, and paying professional WVSO musicians to perform.
Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley-Neighbors Engaging Neighbors: Beyond the Fence: $48,600 (Field of Interest)
The recruitment and retention of volunteers is the single most critical success factor of the work of Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley. Volunteers help to fulfill the mission of service to the senior citizens of Kanawha County. This project is designed around building recruitment opportunities, conducting engagement activities, implementing sustainable volunteer management systems that will strengthen and scale our current processes to grow the volunteer capacity, and positioning the organization for future growth.
Covenant House-HVAC Immediate Upgrades: $35,000 (Emergency Aid)
Emergency Aid funding will support immediate and significant equipment repairs and replacements at Covenant House that will impact the organization’s ability to operate at capacity. Funding will be used to upgrade HVAC systems at two Covenant House properties.
Appalachian Service Project, Inc. – Kanawha County Home Repair Program: $33,500 (West Side 2.0)
The Kanawha County Home Repair Program builds on partnerships developed in the Kanawha Valley and intentionally contributes to neighborhood revitalization on the West Side of Charleston. Activities include coordinating with hundreds of diverse volunteers to provide a meaningful volunteer experience while ensuring quality construction and the completion of critical home repairs for at least 8 families on the West Side. The program will strategically collaborate with other community organizations to provide a renewed sense of safety, pride, and hope among the West Side neighborhoods.
Kanawha Valley Senior Services – Feeding Seniors During Pandemic: $5,100.
Kanawha Valley Senior Services has 25 new requests from seniors at risk to COVID-19 and the stay at home order, many of who cannot have their caregivers come in their homes due to risk of infection. This program provides new seniors and those seniors now at home with two boxes of shelf-stable food. Each box contains five meals and will last through the month of April. This addition will soon deplete current funding. Kanawha Valley Senior Services staff includes cooks, dietary aides, and meal delivery drivers who are essential to the process and will deliver meals to the potentially food insecure seniors.
West Virginia Health Right, Inc. – Medication Assistance for Impoverished Medically At-Risk Adults: $10,000.
The Medication Assistance project is a direct result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing lifesaving medications to the 29,000 established patients served by WV Health Right, the clinic is now serving furloughed workers who are unable to obtain needed medicine. All six Foundation service counties will be served. Funding will be used to purchase medications to ensure that chronically ill patients continue to have their maintenance medications during this crisis.
Zion Child Development Center, Inc. – COVID-19 Emergency Funding to Support Children in the Community: $7,500.
Zion Child Development Center is remaining open for business during the COVID-19 crisis. Zion serves as a childcare facility not only for the normal clientele who are considered essential workers but has expanded to serve the children of those who work with Thomas Health System and other children who are not being covered during this crisis. Funding will aid in establishing a call-in system to provide hot food for these children. This will prevent any child from going hungry by giving them good, homecooked, nutritious meals.
West Virginia Local Health Inc.- Protecting the Public’s Health: The Local Public Health Response to COVID-19 in Boone, Clay, Fayette, Lincoln and Putnam Counties: $50,000.
West Virginia is facing a pandemic and local health departments are on the front lines, prepared with the expertise and knowledge to respond and support their counties. However, as this pandemic is rapidly advancing and impacting Boone, Clay, Fayette, Lincoln, and Putnam counties in different ways and at different rates, such conditions strain even the most well-resourced agencies. This project will leverage funding to strengthen capacity, infrastructure, and public health response to ‘flatten the curve’ and save lives in each of the five counties. Activities include key public health functions of testing, disease investigation, isolation and quarantine, community education, and project evaluation.
The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is grateful to our community of generous donors who make these and other grants possible. The program and work approved for first quarter 2020 distributions are supported by the following funds: Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Chilton, III; Senator William E. Chilton, Sr.; Ellsworth R. and Caroline H. Clark; William O. Clarkson; Cox-Morton; Mary Lewis Dickinson; Lloyd Jr. and Margaret B. Erhard; General City National Bank; Rebecca Dickinson Goldsmith Memorial; Bessie E. Henson Memorial; Bernard H. Jacobson Cultural; Raleigh and Rita Jimison #2; F. B. Lamb; Lowenstein #1; Lillian Ostrin; Mabel W. Walker; Glenn (Fritz) and Lois Wingett Memorial; and General BB&T.