Williamsburg Community Foundation awards grants to local organizations

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The Williamsburg Community Foundation announces their spring 2021 recipients for the Emergency Response Grants. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Community Foundation (WCF) has announced the April 2021 recipients of its Community Emergency Response Grants, totaling $25,000. 

WCF’s Community Emergency Response Fund was established in 2020 to assist local organizations that provide individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and in need of basic needs, like food and shelter.

The grants are funded through donors and community members of the Williamsburg area. 

According to a May 4 press release, this is the seventh round of grants awarded through this program.

A total of $210,100 in grants have been distributed since its start.

The organizations that were chosen to receive the most recent grants are: The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, FISH Inc., RX Drug Access Partnership, The Salvation Army Williamsburg Corps, Williamsburg Faith in Action and Williamsburg House of Mercy

The Arc of Williamsburg

The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, 150-d Strawberry Plains Rd, is an organization that assists young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they age out of public school systems at the age of 22 years old. 

The organization will use its $5,000 grant to support their day program, “Arc of Abilities,” which is held virtually and in-person at the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center

This program provides ongoing education and life skills training to adults with intellectual disabilities. 

“The mental health impact of COVID-19 has been felt by many and The Arc is acutely aware that adults with disabilities and their caregivers have shouldered this pandemic courageously and with resolve,” said Executive Director Pam McGregor. “The day program provides these families with a resource that directly impacts the mental health of our clients and caregivers.”

FISH, INC.

FISH, Inc., located at 312 Waller Mill Road, is an all-volunteer organization that provides basic necessities to community members. Some of the items that FISH, Inc. provides includes food, clothing and hygiene products. 

The organization also helps residents of the Greater Williamsburg area that are entirely dependent upon the community for food, clothing and other forms of donations. FISH, Inc. provide food to be able to prepare at least six days of meals for each person in a client’s household, as well as clothing and small household items, such as pots and bed linens.

FISH, Inc. will use its $5,000 grant to continue to provide food and clothing to those in need. The organization recently changed their services from providing food monthly to weekly. Approximately 22 percent of their clients come more than once a month for assistance. 

From January to mid-March, FISH, Inc. fed 1,131 members of the community. 

The grant will also help pay for gift cards for Food Lion and laundromats for FISH, Inc. to distribute. Additionally, it will also provide for the purchase of items that FISH, Inc. typically does not receive through donations, including children’s socks and underwear. 

RX Drug Access Partnership

RX Drug Access Partnership is a statewide nonprofit that supplies brand and generic medications to low-income Virginians.

The organization will use its $2,500 grant to purchase generic medications for Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center, which will benefit around 300 uninsured individuals.

RELATED STORY: Old Towne Medical Center Medical and Dental administers COVID-19 vaccine to underserved populations

The Salvation Army of Williamsburg Virginia Corps

The Salvation Army of Williamsburg Virginia Corps, located at 216 Ironbound Rd, offers emergency assistance, food pantry and transitional housing to people in the community who are in need. 

The organization will use its $5,000 grant to support low-income individuals and families in their Transitional Shelter program, which currently provides safe housing in seven area apartments. 

Captain Julio Da Silva, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army, said that its Transitional Housing Program serves around seven to eight families that can stay for two years while the organization helps them find a place to live. Additionally, it will provide for deposits and first month’s rent for families moving into their own apartments. 

The grant will also help cover the cost of childcare so the parents can return to work

The grant will also help the Salvation Army of Williamsburg Virginia Corps purchase food, diapers and other household items for their clients.

Williamsburg Faith in Action

Williamsburg Faith in Action, 354 McLaws Cir Suite 1, offers services for seniors aged 60 and older who are identified as in need. Some of the services that the organization provides includes medical transportation, grocery pickup, and prescription pickups. 

The organization’s $2,500 grant will go towards expanding its food assistance program to include frozen meal deliveries. 

“With more and more seniors calling motels their homes, we ran into a new problem with food assistance that the pandemic pushed to the forefront,” said Vince Ferrara, Executive Director of Williamsburg Faith in Action. “Most of the food distributed from local pantries requires stove top preparation. After talking with these clients, we recognized that obtaining the food they needed wasn’t always possible for those who live in a motel and only have access to a microwave.”

Ferrara added that many of the seniors living in their own homes are also physically unable to cook for themselves.

The grant will ensure that these seniors have access to hot and easily prepared food. 

Williamsburg House of Mercy

Williamsburg House of Mercy, 10 Harrison Ave, provides support to homeless individuals and families.

The nonprofit will use its $5,000 grant to support its drive-thru food pantry, to pay for rent and utilities assistance programs, and support its Bridge to Home Shelter Program, which provides an emergency safety net shelter to those in need of housing assistance. 

The grant will also help provide the area’s homeless populations transportation for COVID-19 vaccines and other medical appointments. 

The foundation’s next round of grants will be awarded in the summer 2021. The deadline to apply is June 16, 2021. 

For more information about this and other programs through Williamsburg Community Foundation, visit its website by clicking here.

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