Home Eighteen local nonprofits awarded $2.3 million from Community Foundation

Eighteen local nonprofits awarded $2.3 million from Community Foundation

Valley Mission Image
Valley Mission in Staunton was among the grant recipients. Photo: Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge

The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge is awarding 18 local nonprofit organizations with grant funding to do the good work they do.

The one-time only grants range from $50,000 to $150,000 and total $2.3 million in funding. The Community Foundation’s intention is for the grants to make a meaningful and positive impact on the community.

The grants are made possible by two donor-advised funds administered by the Foundation.

“These two funds were created through the generosity and foresight of the Clifton Forge Waynesboro (CFW) Telephone Company,” Carl Rosberg, retired President of NTELOS (formerly CFW), said. “As we exit the pandemic, we are pleased to distribute what remains in the funds to make a meaningful immediate and lasting difference in our community. We are grateful for the support of the Community Foundation in helping us fulfill the philanthropic intent of these funds.”

Recipients were chosen by several former NTELOS and Lumos Networks executives. The work of the 18 organizations ranges from providing health and human services, addressing food insecurity and homelessness, offering education and youth development, and enriching our community through arts and culture.

“Community foundations naturally bring together people who care with causes that matter,” Community Foundation CEO Dan Layman said. “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with community leaders to facilitate grants of this magnitude and long-term impact.”

The recipients are:

  • ARROW Project: To facilitate sustainable growth of mental health services.
  • Augusta Health Foundation: To support increased options for remote healthcare access.
  • Augusta Regional Clinic: To introduce and sustain affordable oral surgery.
  • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank: To increase its capacity to address food insecurity.
  • Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation: To establish a medical laboratory technology program.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County: To create a new teen center.
  • LIFEworks Project: To develop the River City Bread Basket.
  • Mary Baldwin University: To fund new scholarships for local residents.
  • ShenanArts: To build new cultural programs for all ages.
  • Sin Barreras: To grow their services for local immigrant families.
  • Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA: To support affordable, quality childcare.
  • Valley Alliance for Education: To fund creative ideas to educate local youth.
  • Valley Mission: To better serve the needs of those who experience homelessness.
  • The Wayne Theatre: To develop a new outdoor performance venue.
  • Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry: To sustain their cold weather shelter for the homeless.
  • Waynesboro Family YMCA: To improve health and wellness facilities for all ages.
  • Waynesboro Players: To enhance opportunities for youth development via the arts.
  • Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra: To expand musical offerings and sustain youth education.
ARROW Project Image
ARROW Project was among the grant recipients. Photo: Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge

Some of the grants will be distributed in their entirety in 2023 and others in the next several years.

“With this generous grant the LIFEworks Project will be able to open a client-choice, completely free, supplemental grocery outlet to meet the needs of ALICE (asset[1]limited, income-constrained, employed) households,” Adrienne Young, co-founder of LIFEWorks, an organization that provides practical support to everyday people, said. “This endeavor will be a game-changer for those struggling to make ends meet, and we are grateful and humbled to be a part of better outcomes for families.”

Augusta Regional Dental Clinic will provide new critical services for patients with its grant funding.

“There is literally no affordable oral surgery care available for low-income residents in our area,” Sophie Parsons, Executive Director of the Augusta Regional Dental Clinic, said. “Patients who need wisdom teeth extractions, who suffer from dental injuries or other complex dental pathologies must travel to neighboring counties or even to Richmond. This is now about to change, and we cannot wait to welcome patients in our new oral surgery program.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County will realize its long-term goal of creating a teen center.

“According to recent data from the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, there were nearly 400 delinquency cases in our small region,” Debra Freeman-Belle, CEO and Executive Director of the local Boys & Girls Club chapter, said. “This initial teen center funding from the Community Foundation will help us create a safe and supervised space for local teens to spend their free time, which National Collaboration for Youth studies show can help reduce juvenile crime rates by up to 30 percent.”

She said the “teen space will promote positive behavior, reduce negative outcomes and provide a supportive community for SAW teens.”

The CFW Foundation was established in 1990 and later known as the NTELOS Foundation. Assets were transferred to the Community Foundation in 2015 to create the NTELOS Wireless and Lumos Networks donor-advised funds.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.