Foundation distributes $43K in grants

Published 10:14 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

Focusing this year on “supporting primary human needs and services,” the Suffolk Foundation handed out $43,800 in grants this week to 11 different nonprofit agencies.

This is the second year that the philanthropic organization has distributed money as a result of a scheduled grant-application process. And while this year’s totals were slightly higher than last year’s, the economy still played a key limiting role in the work that could be done.

The Foundation received 19 grant applications requesting more than $141,000, according to Executive Director Billy Hill, who also noted that the organization fully funded three projects and gave all the money that had been requested to five nonprofit agencies. None, however, received more than $7,000.

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The funds that were distributed during a special breakfast ceremony on Monday represent just a portion of the nearly $300,000 in emergency grants, donor-advised funds and scheduled competitive grants that the Suffolk Foundation has distributed to nonprofit entities during the past three years or so, Hill said.

The largest grant this year went to ForKids Inc., which operates the Suffolk House and other family homeless shelters in Hampton Roads. The money will help with the cost of salaries and benefits for children’s services staff members, following a loss of state funding.

The Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which benefitted from the largest of the Foundation’s grants last year, received $6,000 in this round, which will be used to help with the purchase of a Piccolo Express Chemistry Analyzer to help doctors make onsite diagnoses.

Suffolk’s Salvation Army Corps received $5,000 to provide basic services of food, shelter and energy for people in Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Surry, Smithfield and Franklin.

The three programs that will be fully funded by the Suffolk Foundation’s grants are:

The Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia Area-wide Model Program, which received $3,000 that will be used to provide 250 trips to medical appointments for Suffolk residents 60 and older or for other Suffolk adults with disabilities;

The Access College Foundation, whose $2,500 grant will pay for SAT prep workshops for 150 Suffolk public high school students;

And The Children’s Center, which will use its $1,800 grant to buy 40 new car seats to help transport children in the Early Head Start and Early Intervention programs to the Children’s Center and to the Pruden Center.

Those requests that were fully funded were:

A low-income childcare program at the Suffolk Family YMCA, where $5,000 will pay for 35 children to attend the after-school program during the school year and will allow 10 to attend a week of summer camp at the Y;

A child-abuse program at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, where $5,000 will provide critical medical, mental health and forensic services to children who are suspected of being abused or neglected;

And the Suffolk Literacy Council, where $2,000 will help hire a part-time tutor coordinator and make current and relevant supplementary reading materials available to tutors and their students.

Also receiving grants were:

The Tidewater Youth Services Foundation, whose $3,500 will help provide gang intervention services for youth referred by the Suffolk Court Service Unit;

And Edmarc Hospice for Children, which will use its $3,000 grant to help provide home health care, pain management, counseling for siblings, bereavement support and other vital care to families coping with children who face a life-limiting illness.

“During these difficult economic times, charitable giving is needed more than ever,” according to Hill. “Giving to the Suffolk Foundation is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways individuals can meet their charitable giving objectives and address Suffolk’s community needs.”

For more information about the organization, contact Hill at 923-9090 or visit