News & Events

News & Event

Solvay and its Employees Step Up to Support Citizens in Need

Solvay, the Belgian chemicals company with a specialty polymers manufacturing plant employing 350 people locally, is known for its innovative solutions and emphasis on cultivating sustainability.  Its local leaders recently offered to match gifts made by Solvay employees to support their area community foundations’ COVID-19 relief fundraising in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, said that community foundations have a history of working collaboratively to create innovative and sustainable solutions for some of the most pressing concerns in their communities.  She said, “We welcome partnerships from civic-minded companies like Solvay Specialty Polymers.  While their facilities are located across the river from Parkersburg, the company’s interests and those of its employees span both sides of the river.  Thanks to the support of Solvay and Solvay employees, the PACF received an additional $7,050 for our ‘Hunger Fund.’  Since Solvay awarded its matching check to us on May 5th, the same day that we were also participating in Philanthropy West Virginia’s (PWV) “Take Five to Give Five” challenge, the Company’s gift also generates an additional $1,760 from PWV.” 

Wally Kandel, Senior Vice-President and Marietta Site Manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers said, “We applaud our employees’ generosity in responding to the needs of their fellow citizens.  We are proud to partner with our local community foundations in Marietta and Parkersburg to help to provide relief to our communities.”     

Sjostedt Ritchie added that the gifts that PACF has received are being swiftly distributed from PACF’s Hunger Fund and Safety Net Funds, to help meet essential individual and community needs.

“We are very grateful to our area’s citizens. Because of their generous help, we’ve been able to grant more than $108,000 to date to address hunger relief and support emergency needs related to COVID-19,” Sjostedt Ritchie said.

To contribute to the PACF’s regional Hunger Fund, mail a check (payable to PACF, with “Hunger Fund,” on the memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102 or make an online gift at

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Awards Another $38,150 in COVID-19 Emergency Funding

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) has awarded $38,150 in the third round of its COVID-19 pandemic response grants, bringing the total awarded to date to $115,026.  With these most recent grants, the Foundation is providing funding for the purchase of much-needed supplies and support for seven area organizations.

“As the pandemic continues and unemployment increases, we continue to work to help area agencies that are providing critical direct relief services to those impacted by COVID-19,” said Marian Clowes, PACF’s Associate Director for Community Leadership. “Support for our Hunger and Safety Net Funds has enabled the PACF to respond quickly to provide assistance to these agencies, who are on the front line every day helping members of our communities.”

Agencies that received funding during the PACF’s third round of grants include:

  • Normantown Historical Community Center - $1,000 to help stock food pantry.
  •  Community Resources, Inc. - $2,000 to support food pantries in Doddridge and Roane counties.
  • Wirt County Ministerial Alliance - $2,000 to help stock the Hope Shop Food Pantry.
  • Community Resources - $16,300 to support the collaborative Individual Emergency Aid Program to provide rent and mortgage assistance to individuals impacted by COVID-19.
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Services - $1,000 to support start-up costs for the collaborative Individual Emergency Aid Program to provide rent and mortgage assistance to individuals impacted by COVID-19.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home - $10,000 to support increased operating costs and address revenue loss to ensure that residents can remain safe and in recovery.
  • Parkersburg YMCA - $4,250 to support operating costs for provision of essential services, including child- care (from the Ray L. and Mabel S. Vannoy Youth Recreation Fund)
  • Ritchie County Family Resource Network - $600 to purchase supplies to make masks for distribution to nonprofit agencies in Ritchie County.
  • The Gathering - $1,000 to purchase food for home delivery food boxes

The PACF is actively contacting regional nonprofits to assess COVID-19 impact on their clients and communities and identifying ways to respond to the needs.  Agencies seeking assistance should contact the PACF at 304-428-4438 or by email to

Donations to support the PACF’s Hunger Fund and Safety Net Fund are tax-deductible.  To learn more about these funds and the work that the Foundation is doing to address COVID-19 in our region, visit

Give Local MOV Raises More Than $460,000

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced that more than $460,000 was raised through its exciting 24-hour online giving campaign held on Tuesday, May 5.

Nonprofits participating in Give Local MOV 2020 included 54 area groups with missions supporting animals; arts and culture; community improvement; education; environment; health; human services; and youth development.  Organizations invited to participate were those with a charitable fund associated with PACF’s family of funds.

Organizations raising the most funds included:  FaithLink, Parkersburg YMCA, and Parkersburg Art Center.  Organizations with the most online donors included:  Parkersburg Art Center, FaithLink, and the Children’s Home Society of WV – Parkersburg.

A key benefit of giving to the participating nonprofits on May 5 was the availability of 1:1 matching funds and incentive prizes.  Several regional sponsors, led by Superior Toyota and Williamstown Bank, supplied matching funds that made the day even more exciting.  In addition, several individuals/businesses offered private challenges to specific organizations and hourly prize incentives encouraged giving.

“We had an extraordinary 24-hours yesterday in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Julie Posey, PACF’s Development and Communications Officer.  “On behalf of the 54 participating organizations this year, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation wishes to express its profound gratitude to everyone who supported this year’s outstanding Give Local MOV campaign.  We are truly humbled and inspired by the outstanding generosity of so many people.  To have a record-breaking event during a pandemic is just awesome.”

While final numbers are still being confirmed, the FaithLink organization is the apparent winner of the Top Online Fundraiser award for the event with nearly $44,000 raised, and the Parkersburg Art Center, the apparent winner of the Top Number of Online Donors award, with 128 donors.  The PACF will be adding an additional $1,000 to each of their award checks in recognition of their achievements. The PACF invites the public to check out the final Give Local MOV leaderboards at

The Foundation also extends a special note of appreciation to everyone who supported its late-breaking “add-on” campaign to aid its regional COVID-19 response funds, the Hunger and Safety Net Funds.  Philanthropy WV, a state-wide philanthropic organization presented a special challenge campaign to the PACF in recent days as part of a state-wide $250,000 challenge campaign called “Take Five to Give Five” that benefitted 18 different emergency relief funds operated by community foundations and United Way organizations in West Virginia.  By using its Give Local MOV platform yesterday, the PACF raised $46,255 for it to distribute to relieve local hunger and emergency needs. 

“What a wonderful day for everyone,” said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director.  “Thank you to all of this year’s supporters. And, congratulations to all of the organizational recipients.  The Mid-Ohio Valley is a great place in which to live, work, and raise our families.  We take care of each other here.”


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