Attention nonprofits!

Northern Piedmont Community Foundation launches second year of Community Assistance Grants

After two fruitful rounds of Community Assistance Grants in 2017, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation (NPCF) is preparing to launch a single grant cycle in 2018. Thanks to PATH Foundation creating these grants, $250,000 will be awarded to nonprofits with emergent community needs to support a broad range of causes.

Nonprofits interested in applying should submit a letter of intent to NPCF by Jan. 23, 2018. Those approved to apply need to submit applications by Feb. 14. Organizations must have been in operation for at least three years and deliver services within Rappahannock, Fauquier or northern Culpeper counties.

Community Assistance Grants are geared toward helping organizations pursue their missions, and funding can be used for program services and in some cases, general operating support — wherever they will have the largest community impact. To date, they have directly affected the lives of countless individuals.

For example, Hospice of the Piedmont (HOP), which provides Rappahannock, Culpeper, Fauquier and a host of surrounding counties with much-needed support for individuals and families grieving the loss of a loved one, received a Community Action Grant in the fall to support their Center for Grief and Healing as well as the Center for Children. HOP Associate Director of Advancement Ron Sykes explained that these two centers have become the lifeblood for thousands of people who need strategies to guide their understanding of death, dying, and grieving. About half of HOP’s services — all provided at no charge — extend beyond traditional hospice care, as evidenced by the team sent to a school in Buckingham County earlier this year. After a tractor trailer hit and killed two young children heading to board a school bus, a team of therapists worked with students, parents, faculty and administrators to guide them on a path forward. “Everyone handles grief differently,” Sykes said. “Some people simply freeze after the loss of a loved one. That’s who we serve, and we couldn’t do it with this community support.”

In addition, the Culpeper Literacy Council is doing more than its fair share to boost adult literacy skills, thanks to the Community Action Grant received earlier this year. Executive Director Laura Wood explained that grant funding enabled them to recruit and train eight additional tutors, who in collaboration with other staff, work with Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students. The number of registered students has increased in each category, and staff members are thrilled with their progress. “One of our ESOL students achieved her American citizenship with the help of two tutors, and an ABE learner achieved his GED credential after working for the last two years,” Wood said.

And finally, after more than 25 years of providing emergency financial assistance to families and individuals undergoing hardship due to circumstances beyond their control, People Helping People of Fauquier County was able to increase their maximum assistance from $300 to $500, thanks to Community Action Grant funding. “This has made a tremendous difference,” said PHP President Elfie Schmid, who noted that in many cases it has allowed them to pay a bill in its entirety, eliminating the need to send the client elsewhere to seek additional aid.

Nonprofits seeking to apply should visit www.npcf.org. Registration is necessary to begin the application process.

Established in 2000, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation is a public charity that builds philanthropic capital to enhance and preserve the quality of life in Rappahannock, Culpeper, Fauquier and Madison counties and to strengthen the region’s nonprofit organizations.

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