Thanks to another huge gift from the Masters, the Community Foundation of the CSRA again this year has awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to 40 area nonprofit agencies helping people and bettering the community.
The $475,000 in grants – selected among 122 total applications with the help of 20 volunteer screening panels – were announced at a festive event Friday at Enterprise Mill in Augusta. A large crowd of area benefactors and beneficiaries gathered together to celebrate the awards, and each of the 40 organizations were asked to say a word about their operations and what a difference the grants will make.
The grants are made out of the Community Foundation’s “Unrestricted Grants Program,” which is funded primarily through gifts from the Masters. The grants come in amounts of up to $15,000 each, and are doled out carefully to particular projects at trusted agencies that are expected to produce certain outcomes – and only after site visits by the volunteer screeners.
The grants focus on eight areas of need or opportunity: Arts/Cultural; Civic Affairs; Community Development; Education; Environmental Services; Human Services; Health; and Children/Family Services.
Since 1996, the Community Foundation has awarded unrestricted and “donor-advised” grants of more than $44 million.
The list of nonprofits getting the money reads like a who’s-who of social service, education and humanitarian organizations in Richmond, Columbia, Burke, McDuffie, Aiken and Edgefield counties. It runs the gamut from Boys and Girls Clubs of the CSRA and Child Enrichment Inc. to Augusta Warrior Project, Greater Augusta Arts Council, Ronald McDonald House, the Augusta Judicial Circuit Drug Court and foundations at Augusta State University, Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta Technical College.
But the list also includes many unheralded shoe-string operations that provide services to our deserving and needful brethren.
Here’s one we really like: “When Help Can’t Wait.”
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Martinez goes into overburdened – and under-visited – nursing homes to provide low-income residents with comfort and convenience items that aren’t provided by the homes, and which family members may not be around to offer – such as facial tissues, socks, lotions and snacks. The organization has been collecting toiletries, slippers and other items for Christmas gifts.
When Help Can’t Wait actually helps fill that void in nursing homes on less than a shoestring, as it has no paid staffers. The Community Foundation grant will help the organization ramp up a women’s boutique it calls “The Classy Closet,” where it sells donated designer clothes, purses, shoes and more to raise money out of its offices at 3822 Commercial Court, Suite D in Martinez.
We love what the Community Foundation is doing for this area. And it’s just one more big reason to love what the Masters tournament does for the region.
It really is the gift that keeps on giving.