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Foundation gives $9,000 to organizations

A Suffolk-based foundation recently made nine $1,000 grants to organizations throughout the region, including several based in Suffolk.

This is the first year the Louis and Mary Haddad Foundation asked for grant applications for the $1,000 awards, said Mary Haddad, president and co-founder of the organization.

“We wanted to give everybody an opportunity to get a thousand dollars and introduce themselves to us,” Haddad said.

Although the foundation originally asked meant to give five awards, they had nine applications and decided to award $1,000 to teach applicant.

“All nine met all of our requirements, and we couldn’t think of any of them that didn’t deserve the grant, so we decided to give it to everybody,” Haddad said. “I’m glad it’s such a diverse group. We feel as if we’re meeting needs from many angles with this particular grant.”

The groups included Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Healthy Suffolk and Walk In It Inc.

Haddad said the foundation likes to fund groups that support children. Although the free clinic doesn’t directly serve those under 18, it is still supporting them when it helps their parents, grandparents and other caregivers, Haddad noted.

“If they aren’t healthy, they can’t help the kids that are in school,” she said.

Haddad said Healthy Suffolk “does a lot of community-type activities that teach people how to eat properly.”

Walk In It Inc. will use its grant for program materials for the Ladies of Distinction group, Haddad said.

“They’re helping with teaching young ladies how to present themselves and have common courtesy,” she said.

The other groups from the region include College Orientation Workshop Inc., Life Enrichment Center of Norfolk, Peninsula READS, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop and Vanguard Landing Inc.

Haddad said the foundation hopes to be able to continue to do small grants in addition to its scholarships and other giving.

“It was nice to learn about new organizations and hear about organizations I had barely any information about,” she said.

Louis Haddad, the chief executive officer of Armada Hoffler Properties, and Mary Haddad knew when they got married in 1984 that they wanted to start the foundation, Mary Haddad said. They gave away $500 in the first year of the foundation in 1999, and it has grown from there.