Sunday, April 14, 2024

Coronavirus: Nearly $70K in grants are going to these local organizations

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)

The Williamsburg Community Foundation on Tuesday released a list of 14 local organization receiving its fall grants totaling $69,915.

The grants are provided through the Community Endowments and Field-of-Interest Funds, with additional support from the Community Emergency Response Fund, “which was established to support basic needs such as food and shelter, resulting from the pandemic,” according to a news release from the foundation.

WCF grants typically support specific projects, new programs, or capital expenses. Due to COVID-19, organizations were given the opportunity to apply for operating funds this year to support losses in fundraising income and/or additional expenses related to the pandemic.

Each grant reflects one of the foundation’s priority areas: Arts & Culture, Children & Young Adults, Environment & Conservation, Health & Community Wellness, and Senior Services:

Community Endowment and Field-of-Interest Funds

  • Health & Community Wellness

Williamsburg House of Mercy ($5,000) – This grant will help House of Mercy to purchase a cold storage unit. House of Mercy is reconfiguring their indoor space to accommodate a medical clinic, cold storage, and larger housing office. They are also adding an outdoor, sheltered space for the homeless, Community Kitchen, and other services.

3E Restoration ($4,000) – This emergency shelter program provides two well-equipped hotel rooms, set up as efficiency apartments, that are available 24/7 for 365 days a year. This shelter helps people like Linda, a homeless woman, who needed a place to go after being discharged from the hospital. She was able to recuperate at the emergency shelter while working with 3e staff and volunteers to do what she needed to do to regain stability in her life.

Lackey Clinic ($5,000) – Grant will be used for building modifications and protective equipment for the safety of staff and patients, as well as help provide more equipment for telemedicine. For example, patients who need to monitor their blood pressure will receive a device to check their pressure from home, rather than having to come into the clinic.

Peninsula Pastoral Counseling Center ($3,052) – Due to Covid19, Peninsula Pastoral Counseling Center has transitioned more than 85% of their clients to telehealth, which has proven to be as effective as in-person counseling. This program requires unbudgeted expenses for training, equipment, and monthly fees to insure secure HIPPA compliance. According to Becky Glass of PPCC, mental Health is an emerging potential crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. She cited a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation which said that more than half of Americans reported experiencing mental health distress including “health fears, job losses, relationship strains, and lonely days spent in isolation.”

Avalon Center ($5,000) – Avalon offers emergency shelter and comprehensive support services so survivors of domestic and sexual violence can break the cycle of abuse. This grant is to help operating support due to Covid19. Avalon has seen a 50% increase in domestic violence calls compared to last year. This is consistent with national trends in domestic violence, which is up 70% during the pandemic.

Postpartum Support Virginia ($5,000) – This grant will help create a peer mentor program for mothers affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in the Williamsburg area as well as to provide PMAD training to nurses at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Hospital. The grant was awarded from Community Endowment as well as the Williamsburg Fund for Women & Girls.

Literacy for Life ($5,000) – The funding for this project will focus on tutor and learner outreach and recruitment for participation in the remote instruction developed by Literacy for Life in response to Covid-19.

Children & Young Adults

CASA ($5,000) – Colonial CASA trains volunteers to advocate in local courts for abused and neglected children to minimize trauma, ensure safety and recommend services for the family and the child. This grant is for operating support, as CASA continues to serve a growing number of children during the pandemic. CASA opened 8 new cases within the first 14 days of the Covid-19 isolation.

Senior Services

Williamsburg Area Faith in Action ($2,613) – As many seniors choose to continue to stay safe in their own homes, WFIA offers fee-free, increased contactless support services including food and supply delivery, online grocery ordering and in-home telehealth.

Arts & Culture

Virginia Symphony Orchestra ($5,000) – Support for this grant will enable the VSO to provide high quality performances, music education and community outreach, furthering its mission to entertain, educate and inspire Williamsburg residents and visitors.

Environment & Conservation

James River Association ($4,115) – In partnership with James City County Parks & Recreation, this grant will engage up to 400 volunteers to develop a deeper understanding of the effects of pollution on waterways, risks of storm water and the benefits of native species to ecosystems through hands-on stenciling on storm drains. The James River is a drinking water source for 2.7 million and storm water continues to be a major source of pollution.

Benjamin R. Altshuler Fund for Transportation

Peninsula Agency on Aging ($5,000) – Senior Services

The PAA RIDES program provides safe, reliable transportation to seniors with reduced abilities to transport themselves.

Avalon Center ($5,000) – Health & Community Wellness

Avalon’s shelter campus is not easily accessible by public transportation. This grant will help ensure survivors of domestic and sexual violence can get help with visits to medical or legal appointments, school and employment.

The Arc of Greater Williamsburg ($5,000) – Health & Community Wellness

The Arc provides door-to-door transportation, in handicapped accessible vehicles, to adults with disabilities. Nearly 90% of their clients require some sort of transportation to get to the Arc’s educational programs, as well as to their vocational training or employment through the Arc’s Wheels4Work program.

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)

Williamsburg Faith in Action ($5,000) – Senior Services

Faith in Action provides door-to-door transportation to seniors 60 and older residing in the Greater Williamsburg Area. This service is offered free of charge to qualifying individuals.

An Occasion for the Arts Fund

Lafayette High School ($1,135) – Arts & Culture

A new printing press will enable Lafayette to expand their student’s knowledge and experience with more printmaking techniques. This will help replace equipment that is 25-35 years old and no longer functional. A new press will help students’ development with etching, collagraphing, monoprints and monotypes. The new press will be used by students in painting and printmaking classes, portfolio, AP studio art, art foundation, and photography classes (up to 250 students/year).

How to apply for a grant

The foundation typically awards competitive grants twice a year. The next opportunity to apply for funding is for spring 2021, with a deadline of December 16, 2020. All application materials and guidelines can be found here; 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. Community Emergency Response Fund Grants for COVID relief are also available; please contact WCF directly to see if your organization qualifies. Contact Nancy Sullivan, executive director, at 757-259-1660 or email:


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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