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Julie Posey
Julie Posey
Julie Posey's Article

COVID-19: How the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation is Helping

As permanent public charitable grantmakers, community foundations are built to go the distance at a time like the present.  Locally, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) is mobilizing to support nonprofits and communities in the region during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our key role right now is to identify local needs and gaps in funding, and to assemble and apply funds where they are most critically needed to relieve distress in our area,”  said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director.  “In addition to working in concert with other funders and nonprofits, we’ve reached out directly to our local donor partners to ask for their help.  We’ve received great support already but will be continuously working to assure that sufficient funds are ready to help throughout the duration of this crisis given its significant impact in our region.”

Working in partnership with area funders and donors, 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.  One such need quickly arose recently with seniors being advised to stay home.  The PACF, in partnership with the Sisters Health Foundation, swiftly awarded a $5,600 grant to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association to assist them with supplies needed to provide nurtitious meals to seniors in the area who are isolated in their homes.

“We are fortunate in our community to have strong partnerships between local foundations and our donors,” said Marian Clowes, PACF’s Associate Director for Community Leadership.  “We share community needs as we hear of them with other partners and are often able to jointly respond.  The grant to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association is one of what we anticipate will be many shared efforts to respond to community needs related to COVID-19.”

Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to share their needs related to how the COVID-19 virus is impacting the lives of their clients or the sustainability of their services for their clients by emailing the PACF at marian.clowes@pacfwv.com.

Individuals who would like to help the Foundation respond to both the short-term and long-term needs of our community are encouraged to make a donation to support the Foundation’s Safety Net Fund (supports basic and emergency needs) and/or Hunger Fund (addresses food insecurity for local people).  Donations may be made online at www.pacfwv.com/Donate or by mailing a check payable to “PACF” to PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102-1762.  The PACF will be proactively distributing these funds in our community to meet priority needs as they arise.

“While COVID-19 has temporarily changed how we at the PACF accomplish business on a daily basis, it has only reinforced our commitment to serve the citizens of our Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Sjostedt.  “As the situation evolves, we are continuously evaluating where our efforts and resources can do the most good.  We are very thankful for the wonderful partnership with our many donor partners whose support makes everything that we are able to do possible. We’re here to help for the long-term.”

Grants in Action: Salvation Army of Parkersburg

Through support from a $15,000 PACF grant, the kitchen at the Salvation Army of Parkersbrug now features three new energy efficient commercial appliances - a stove, a dishwasher, and a garbage disposal. Since January, the Salvation Army has served 6,000+ meals prepared with the new kitchen equipment.

"Purchasing the new stove with the griddle has greatly increased the menu options for breakfast," said Shirley Smith with the Salvation Army. "Prior to the new stove, our cook would have never attempted french toast or pancakes for a large group. Now, these are popular items for breakfast."

Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired Establishes Endowment Fund

Jim McCauley, President of Parents & Friends of the Hearing Impaired, Inc., with Julie Posey, Development and Communications Officer for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, signing paperwork to create an endowment fund with the Foundation in the name of the Parents & Friends of the Hearing ImpairedThe Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired, Inc. is working to ensure that area citizens have access to hearing aids.

The organization was formed in Marietta, Ohio in 1974 as a tax-exempt charitable organization by a group of parents, teachers, and friends of young deaf or hearing-impaired children.  The initial purpose of the Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired was to assist these children who were grouped together to form Ohio’s first pre-school hearing impaired educational unit.   The Parents and Friends provided monetary and volunteer support to this ground-breaking pre-school educational unit by helping to obtain equipment, educational supplies, or other necessary supplies needed for the students’ success.

Over the years, the Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired organization’s mission evolved to meet the needs of all the Mid-Ohio Valley area’s deaf and hard of hearing citizens, primarily focusing on providing hearing aids to low-income persons.   During 2019, the group, in partnership with its area sponsoring providers, funded and provided 79 hearing aids for 50 individuals who would otherwise not have been able to afford these aids.

To solidify their commitment to the Mid-Ohio Valley region, Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired’s Board of Directors recently established an endowment fund with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) that will help provide operating support for the organization. 

“This new fund will serve as a permanent source of funding to support our organization’s mission,” said Jim McCauley, President of Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired.  “Our organization is run by a group of totally unpaid volunteers.  We rely heavily on monetary donations to provide these hearing aids”

In December 2019, the PACF awarded a $5,000 grant to Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired to support its work. 

“We are committed to continuing our work here in the region,” said McCauley.  “We plan to raise money through the PACF’s upcoming Give Local MOV campaign on May 5 to build our endowment fund.”

Individuals who would like to learn more about Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired are encouraged to call Jim McCauley at 740-423-8436.  Individuals wishing to donate to support the new Parents and Friends of the Hearing Impaired Fund can make their donation by sending a check (payable to PACF with the fund name in the memo line) to:  PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg, WV 26102 or give online here.

 

Photo caption:  Jim McCauley, President of Parents & Friends of the Hearing Impaired, Inc., with Julie Posey, Development and Communications Officer for the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, signing paperwork to create an endowment fund with the Foundation in the name of the Parents & Friends of the Hearing Impaired.

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