Local Foundation Hands Out COVID-19 Relief Grants

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Williamsburg Community Foundation has handed out its eighth round of grants to nonprofits who aid in helping others impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Community Foundation (WCF) has announced that it has handed out its eighth round of COVID-19 relief grants to local nonprofit organizations.

On Thurs., Oct. 28, WCF announced the recipients of its eighth round of grants through the foundation’s Community Emergency Response Fund, which was launched in 2020 to provide financial support for difficulties covering costs of basic needs including food and shelter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the program began, WCF has raised more than $250,000 with $227,000 distributed along with another $16,342 from three other WCF funds including: the Genevieve K. Meder Fund, the Benjamin R. Altshuler Memorial Fund, and a fund provided by an anonymous family.

The eighth round of grant funding added up to a total of $33,600 to local nonprofits. The organizations who receiving funding were:

  • Avalon Center received $3,600 to put towards providing emergency shelter and support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Support services provided by the center include counseling, help finding a job and permanent housing, as well as legacy advocacy. Avalon relayed to WCF that clients are having to stay longer at the center during the pandemic due to lack of affordable housing and childcare.
  • Community of Faith Mission received a $5,000 grant, which will be used to provide additional safety measures for its staff, volunteers and guests at its winter homeless shelter. This year, the shelter will be open for a full eighteen weeks. Measures added will include a medical screening tent, which will be staffed by medical personnel.
  • FISH received a $5,000 grant to provide food and clothing for its clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The all-volunteer organization provides for those in need, seeing an increase in clients during the pandemic.
  • Grove Christian Outreach Center received a $5,000 grant to provide food and financial assistance to low-income individuals and families within the Grove area of James City County. Financial assistance provided through the center can be put towards covering utility bills, rent/mortgage, vehicle repairs, medical expenses (including prescription costs).
  • Williamsburg Faith in Action received a $5,000 grant to put towards delivery of food from area food pantries to its clients who are considered homebound, without transportation and/or are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Williamsburg Faith in Action notes that requests for food pantry delivery has increased 250 percent since before the pandemic began.
  • Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels received a $5,000 grant to put towards providing nutritious meals to vulnerable adults and families. Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels Director Cathie Upton stated that the organization anticipates delivering a total of 100,000 meals by the end of 2021; the highest that the organization has in 48 years of service to the community.
  • Williamsburg House of Mercy received a $5,000 grant to put towards supporting its Bridge to Home Program. This program provides emergency shelter nights for those in need. “With the pandemic’s effects still being felt among the poor, we anticipate a sustained increase this ear,” said Nicole Lancour of House of Mercy. The organization notes that emergency shelter is the first step in order to stabilize their clients while House of Mercy works with them to find permanent solutions.

The Williamsburg Community Foundation awards grants generally twice a year. The deadline for the next round of grants (scheduled to be awarded out in March 2022) is Dec. 16, 2021.

For more information or apply for a grant, visit the website for Williamsburg Community Foundation. If you are wishing to apply for a grant, Click “Receive” on the site’s menu and then “Apply for a Grant.”

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