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Each summer, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) offers college-aged students the opportunity to work in career-related internships through the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. Civic Leaders work four days a week at area businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies, gaining meaningful work experience related to their career interests. In addition, they spend one day a week with the PACF, engaging in activities that help them to learn about the community and the importance of civic engagement. Students can participate in the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program for up to three summers.
In the second year of the program, Civic Leaders visit nonprofits in the region to understand better the ways in which these organizations are working to meet the needs of the communities that they serve. During these visits, the second year CivicLeaders ask about unmet needs, and they have the opportunity to award $5,000 in grant funds to address needs that they identify over the course of the summer.
This year's Civic Leaders visited more than a dozen organizations, and after research and assessment, they awarded grants to support Community Resources for its Thrive food pantry program and EVE, Incorporated, a Washington County, OH based organization that provides services, including housing, to victims of domestic violence.
The $2,966 grant to EVE will enable the organization to purchase 2 new beds, along with new sheets and mattress covers for all of the beds in their facility. Organizations like EVE run on tight budgets and often run short of funds to replace items such as this, which are critical to making their facility comfortable and welcoming for the individuals that they serve.
Thrive is receiving a $2,034 grant to support its "Hope Grows" greenhouse project, an effort to grow fresh produce to include in their food pantry. Thrive is designed as a choice-style market, where individuals and families can choose the specific food that they receive, reducing food waste and helping to eliminate stigma. "Hope Grows" will enable Thrive to provide more healthy choices in the market. The new greenhouse project also has space for other nonprofits and food pantries to grow additional produce.
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