News & Event
Old Man Rivers Mission is transforming community support into community action through a spirit of volunteerism. Founded in 1991, Old Man Rivers Mission has touched the lives of hundreds of individuals in Wood County.
The main program of the Mission is a weekend feeding program where they deliver hot nutritious meals to the Parkersburg/Vienna community using a mobile kitchen technique each Saturday and Sunday. In fall 2016, the Mission purchased a new delivery truck with a grant from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation allowing the Mission to delivery more than 200 meals in one trip.
Each Saturday and Sunday, the Mission prepares 400 meals to deliver to the community. In 2018, 41,700 meals were delivered to the elderly, disabled, and homeless. Nearly 80% of Old Man Rivers Mission’s feeding program clients are elderly. For many, the meal that is delivered to them is the only meal they will have for that day. Their clientele is comprised of those with very limited or no income so affording food is a tremendous hardship.
Another program of the Mission is their pantry which provides families with food and personal hygiene items. On average, more than 620 families are served each month (based on July-December 2018 figures).
To solidify their commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley region, Old Man Rivers Mission’s Board of Directors recently established an endowment fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation that will help provide operating support for the organization.
“The Foundation has a respected reputation in our community and this new endowment fund’s annual distribution will help supplement a portion of our annual operating expenses and help us continue to serve the residents of Wood County,” said Jeanette Pursley, President of Old Man Rivers Mission.
As competition for funding increases, many nonprofit organizations face challenges with securing support for their ongoing programming. In addition, when organizations face a financial challenge, or are going through a growth period, general operating support can be of great assistance to ensure that resources are in place to maintain programs and services.
Recognizing this, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation offers operating support grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community Action Grants Program, a bi-annual competitive grant application process. A number of local organizations have received operating support through this important program of the Foundation, but the need continues to grow.
A $15,000 operating support grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg helped them to provide programs for 946 members in 2018. The Club's services are particularly critical on days of unexpected school closings, such as snow days.
"Thank goodness you're here today.," said one mother of a Club member at the recent closing of schools for the Day of Mourning in honor of President Bush. "I don't know what I would have done today if the Club wasn't open."
According to Ben Shuman, Executive Director, "Providing programs on the days schools are closed is unusual for a program like ours - more than half of Clubs across the country close their programs on those days." Operating support helps to ensure that the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg can remain open on those days, providing critical support to children and families.
To learn more about how you can partner with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to support your favorite area nonprofits with operating support needs, please call us at 304-428-4438.
Attention college students seeking meaningful paid work experience and leadership opportunities! Applications are now available for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates' (PACF) Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. This employment program operates for seven weeks beginning on May 31, 2019 and ending on July 19, 2019. The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program offers local students the chance to return to their home communities to work in a career-related field while learning about their hometowns. Students are able to develop connections and leadership skills that may later assist them in finding meaningful employment upon graduation.
To be eligible for participation, students must have successfully completed at least one year of post-secondary education (college, trade/technical school, etc.), be currently enrolled in a post-secondary education program, and have a permanent home address in the PACF’s service region of Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, or Washington County, Ohio. The student application is available on the Foundation’s website and must be submitted by February 8, 2019.
During their time in the Program, Civic Leaders are placed at a work site, in a position related to their career interests, where they work four days a week. On Mondays of each week of the Program, the Civic Leaders participate in leadership activities and programs with other Civic Leaders designed to increase their knowledge of the region and prepare them to engage fully in service to their communities.
Wood County resident Megan Hardway participated in the Foundation’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program 2014 - 2016. Through the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program, she was introduced and placed at the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley, where she was actively engaged in the day-to-day operations of the Chamber preparing releases, planning events, and serving as liaison for Chamber members. A 2016 graduate of West Virginia University, Hardway returned to the area to join the Chamber as a full-time staff member!
“The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program was a wonderful way to gain knowledge and experience in my field, as well as explore volunteer opportunities available close to home,” said Hardway.
The PACF is also seeking organizations that wish to serve as host employers for summer 2019. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and units of government may apply to serve as a host employer for the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program. The Civic Leader is provided to the host employer at no cost. In exchange, the host employer must be willing to provide supervision and a meaningful work assignment. Organizations throughout the PACF’s service region are encouraged to apply online to provide an employment opportunity for one of our region's college-aged students. The host application is also available on the Foundation’s website and must be submitted by March 15, 2019.
To learn more about the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program and to apply to participate as a student or host employer, visit: www.pacfwv.com/CLFP. Questions regarding this opportunity may be directed to the PACF’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Manager, Mindi Line, at Mindi.Line@pacfwv.com.
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