Greenville Women Giving has awarded $541,844 in grants to seven local nonprofit organizations in Greenville County that work in the areas of the arts, the environment, education, and health and human services.
The organization has awarded 123 grants totaling $6.5 million since it was founded in 2006.
The funds come “almost entirely” from the $1,200 contributions of each Greenville Women Giving member, the group’s co-chair Emelia Stephenson said.
“There is great need, and there will continue to be great need,” Stephenson said. “By giving these grants, we are showing that we have faith in the future of these organizations.”
This year, Greenville Women Giving reviewed 73 applications. After a thorough vetting process, the more than 500 members of Greenville Women Giving voted on 17 finalists.
The seven awards are:
- Greenville Center for Creative Arts — $84,183 to install signage, ADA-compliant entrances, gallery lighting and security lighting.
- Greenville Zoo Foundation — $75,000 to remodel the leopard housing area, meeting requirements for the Amur leopard breeding program.
- Harvest Hope Food Bank — $55,485 to install a new loading dock system to increase the efficiency of food intake and delivery.
- Julie Valentine Center — $99,225 to upgrade the sexual assault forensic exam room and increase access to trauma-informed counseling services.
- Legacy Early College High School — $98,566 over 2 years to fund increasing program costs and support program expansion to more than 300 underserved students.
- Soteria at Work — $49,385 to hire a manager and renovate the woodshop, increasing job-training capabilities for previously incarcerated men.
- United Ministries — $80,000 over 2 years to qualify for matching funds and purchase 2 homes to provide interim housing for families transitioning out of homelessness.
In response to the announcement, several grantees emphasized the importance of this funding given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lizzie Bebber, the executive director of United Ministries, said the organization was “honored to be entrusted” with the grant by Greenville Women Giving. As United Ministries celebrates its 50th anniversary, the new funds will help provide “long, lasting impact” that will help families for years to come. “We are deeply honored to be a recipient of this award, especially as our community is navigating the current crisis of COVID-19,” Bebber said.
“Greenville Women Giving’s grant for updated docking systems at our Upstate distribution center will not only help ensure the safety of our team, but help ensure thousands in Greenville County will have food on their plates and hope around their tables,” Wendy Broderick, Harvest Hope CEO, said in a statement.
Stephenson said that the goal of these grants is to provide the funds to be a “systems changer” for these nonprofit groups. “Greenvillians are known to be generous and community-minded,” she said. “Going forward, we will persevere.”