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Obici Foundation awards over $1.6M in COVID-19 funding, grants

By Diane Nelms

SUFFOLK

Obici Healthcare Foundation announces over $1.2M in funding to support local nonprofits, public-school districts and cities and counties in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation also awarded $400,000 to support their current strategic programs.

By March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic already had far-reaching consequences. On June 11, Obici Healthcare Foundation announced a new COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations, public-school districts and city and county governments. These grants were created in response to the difficulties many Western Tidewater schools, businesses and charitable organization were facing due to circumstances caused by the pandemic. The grants address areas of living most affected such as access to healthcare, economic impact, education, essential supplies and services, lack of broadband, social isolation, and economic distress on small businesses.

“Obici Healthcare Foundation has made grant resources available to address pressing needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis,” stated Scott Carr, chairman of the Obici Healthcare Foundation. “Our communities have responded to this crisis with great resilience, it is important for the Foundation to support them through this difficult and unprecedented time.”

Eligible organizations applied for resources to assist them in navigating and surviving the many consequences they faced created by the pandemic. Some examples of their request include; technology to better navigate the school year, cleaning and safety supplies, training for teachers to better understand the mental health challenges of students and small business and utility relief funds for cities and counties.

“Obici Healthcare Foundation’s mission supports funding in the social determinants of health and does not traditionally support disaster relief funds; however, we all recognize we are living in non-traditional circumstances and need to adapt to meet the community needs during this public health pandemic,” said Annette Beuchler, president and CEO.

The following organizations have been awarded grant funding:

Nonprofits

Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation, $98,400 to purchase and install a permanent pressure control system for eight ICU rooms;

ForKids Inc., $62,020 for emergency shelter hotel vouchers and for a Case Manager in Western Suffolk;

The Genieve Shelter, $53,660 for PPE, professional cleaning services, food, motel vouchers;

Western Tidewater Health District, $91,273.84 for updated equipment to provide “pop up” testing events ;

Isle of Wight Christian Outreach Program, $37,832 to meet increased demand for food, diapers, supplies and pantry staples;

Nursing CAP Inc., $17,200 to continue their tutoring program for math and sciences for and to hire a temporary Administrative Assistant;

Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center, $13,468 to continue to bridge the food gap for under-resourced and food insecure communities in Suffolk and Western Tidewater.

Schools

Gates County Public Schools, $53,530 for healthy hygiene products, teach handwashing and proper way to sneeze and cough, proper cleaning/disinfectant supplies;

Isle of Wight County Schools, $39,000 for curriculum, ZOOM subscription, Special Education PPE;

Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation, $40,070 for resources, on-line tutoring, Workforce Development, and facility sanitation protocols;

Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater, $7,000 to support childcare programs with face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and thermometers;

Southampton County Public Schools, $50,000 to support and establish equipment, sanitation, safety equipment for sanitation protocols;

Suffolk Public Schools, $50,000 for virtual social-emotional learning curriculum;

Surry County Public Schools, $83,353 to establish a virtual-to-online platform and assist with in-school sanitation needs;

The Children’s Center, $49,851 for cleaning and sanitation, PPE, data, and equipment needed for virtual work environments.

Cities and Counties

City of Suffolk Department of Social Services, $100,000 to assist citizens with the payment of household utilities such as gas and electric bills whose household income has been adversely impacted;

City of Suffolk Economic Development Authority, $200,000 to be used to help businesses that have experienced losses in operating hours, revenue and/or reductions in staffing;

Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc., $135,000 for businesses to recover from losses experienced and help them to move forward and recover;

Gates County, NC, $20,000 for funding to assist with rent or mortgage payments as well as utility payments;

Surry County, $45,000 for local small businesses grants and to reimburse local businesses for expenditures to operating expenses, purchase of supplies and safety equipment.

The COVID-19 Response Fund grants represent phases II and III of the Foundations reactions to the pandemic. In phase I the Foundation shifted its Community Engagement Grant program to provide immediate funding for feeding programs and supplies as well as technology. The Foundation also provided current grantees, who were previously awarded operational grants, approval to be flexible in their spending to meet the needs brought-on by the pandemic.

After many conversations with community leaders, the Foundation is encouraged that the response fund will address and lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Due to the continuing crisis and the obvious needs of the community, the Board of Directors will consider another round of proposals for COVID-19 support to be awarded in October 2020.

While the Foundation seeks to support organizations during this crisis, it also intends to continue its strategic direction. Two strategic partners were awarded grants, the Genieve Shelter, $50,000, for Direct Services for Victims of Violence and the University of Virginia, $350,000, for “Assignment: Impact!” Creating a Foundation for Success in Western Tidewater.

The Genieve Shelter will continue to provide core services to individuals and families who experience domestic and sexual violence in the rural localities of Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Franklin, Surry and Southampton with a part-time case manager and a part-time counselor. In addition to individual and group counseling, clients will receive crisis intervention, safety planning, and intensive case management.

The University of Virginia will continue to bring STREAMIN3, an early childhood education program, into Isle of Wight County, Southampton County, Franklin, Suffolk, Surry, the Children’s Learning Center (Head Start) and private programs at Cross-Pointe and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. This strategic grant funding will build leaders and teachers who will provide young children the high-quality educational experiences they need to thrive in schools and set their trajectory for short- and long-term success and build on the initiative’s foundation.

To learn more about the COVID-19 Response Funds available in October, visit www.obicihcf.org/How to Apply and click on the COVID-19 Response Fund in the website banner. Please note there are eligibility requirements and program and budget justifications needed to apply.

About the Obici Healthcare Foundation: The Obici Healthcare Foundation is a private foundation established in 2006 from the sale of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital to Sentara Healthcare. Since its inception the Foundation has awarded over $57 million in grant funding.

Diane Nelms is the communications manager for the Obici Healthcare Foundation. To contact her, call 757-539-8810 or email dnelms@obicihcf.org.