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News & Event

Philanthropy Through Nutrition

Student packing bags for the local pantryImagine you’re in the fourth grade and you’re unable to concentrate on the discussion.  When you’re called on to answer a question, you strain to remember what topic was being discussed.  The room falls silent, as you slump in your chair feeling like a failure.

Studies show that one in six children experience school like this each day due to the lack of nourishing meals at home, thus negatively impacting their academic performance.  As you might suspect, hunger is a problem that most often affects low-income families.

Area data shows a great need to improve the Foundation’s grant resources so that we can better meet essential basic human needs and improve family stability.  The PACF’s service region’s overall poverty level far exceeds the national rate (in 2017, the federal poverty level was $24,300 for a family of four).  In the seven counties for which the PACF is the only community foundation funder – Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood – poverty rates are staggering, with nearly 20% of the population, one in five citizens, living below the federal poverty rate.

With this challenge in mind, the PACF is working with a network of partners to identify and address this critical problem.  As a result, since 2013, the PACF has helped more than 5,000 area children obtain a meal or snack on the weekends; awarded more than $176,000 in grants to local food banks, church groups, and schools to provide meals, and established a regional “Hunger Fund” within the PACF that will provide grants to support important food insecurity and hunger relief programs.

To learn more about the region's hunger initiatives, contact us at 304-428-4438.  To make a donation to support your region's Hunger Fund, click here.

Photo caption:   Volunteers for Regeneration in Ritchie County work on stuffing bags for their Packs of Plenty initiative.

Grants in Action: Madison Elementary School

The music program at Madison Elementary School in Wood County received a big boost through a recent $10,400 grant from the PACF, enabling the school to purchase ukuleles, an Orff set (xylophones, glockenspiels, and a metallophone), and a portable sound system for music performances. 

The new instruments provide students with opportunities to explore melody, harmony, rhythm, form, tempo, dynamics, and tone. In addition to being integrated into the music curriculum, instruction using these instruments has been connected to other school programming. For example, in March, the school held its first Leadership Day program, to which they invited parents and community members. Students prepared special performances for the program using their ukuleles and Orff instruments. 

The school's music teacher started an extra ukulele class prior to the start of the school day, which was very well attended, and the school's third grade teacher joined her class during their music class (her planning period) to learn the ukulele. The program has been so successful that plans are underway to replicate it at another Wood County elementary school next year.

**This grant was made possible by a variety of PACF funds and we thank each of our Fund Founders for their support!


Foundation Announces Spring Grants

PACF Spring 2019 GranteesThe Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) is once again making an investment in our region by providing $243,171 in grant support to area nonprofits.  A reception was held at the Foundation’s office on Wednesday, May 15 to highlight the grant recipients and the good work they are doing in the community.

"We had a really strong, and also diverse, pool of grant applicants this cycle,” said Marian Clowes, PACF Associate Director for Community Leadership. “When I look at the grants we have awarded, the word that keeps coming to my mind is service. Our grantees are all deeply dedicated to serving our community and especially to serving those in need.”

Through the Foundation’s bi-annual Community Action Grants Program, area nonprofits seek grant assistance to address organizational needs and programs.  To be considered for a Community Action Grant, an applicant must be a private, nonprofit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a public institution.  Either the applicant or program to be funded must be located in the Foundation’s eleven-county geographic service area (Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio).  Submitted applications are considered for support from charitable funds managed by the Foundation that are designed to support a wide variety of projects and causes throughout the region.

The spring 2019 Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates grant recipients, including those organizations receiving support from the Ritchie County and Doddridge County Community Foundation affiliates, are:


  • Adolescent Health Initiative, Region V - $8,000 to support leadership development programs for area teens.
  • Alzheimer’s Association - $6,500 to expand services in Wood and surrounding counties through recruitment and training of volunteer educators.
  • Artsbridge - $4,000 to support the expansion of the ArtCart program, an in-school art program for Wood County 4th graders.
  • Blennerhasset Historical Foundation - $1,500 to install guttering on the front of the 1802 Putnam Houser House.
  • Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office - $2,300 to install Calming Corners at Pleasant Hill and Arnoldsburg Elementary Schools to provide a safe and calming space for trauma-affected students.
  • Catholic Charities West Virginia - $15,000 to support the operations of the Mobile Wellness Works Food Pantry at sites in Calhoun, Doddridge, Ritchie, Roane, and Wirt counties.
  • Children of Promise in Action - $2,000 to support costs of using the facility and equipment at the Harrisville Gym for youth sports programming.
  • City of Ravenswood - $2,600 to purchase and install accessible stairs in the city swimming pool.
  • City of Vienna - $7,700 to purchase equipment related to the construction of an outdoor adult fitness area at Jackson Park.
  • Coplin Health Systems - $5,000 to create a “farmacy” program where physicians distribute vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables that patients can purchase at on-site farmers markets.
  • Doddridge County Starting Points Center - $7,500 to support Doddridge County Prevention Partners and prevention outreach activities.
  • Dora B. Woodyard Memorial Library - $3,600 to expand the makerspace station by creating a separate area for school-aged children.
  • Elizabeth Baptist Meals to Go - $2,000 to support the purchase of food provide to Wirt County students during school breaks.
  • EVE Incorporated - $5,000 to install flooring on the lower, accessible level of the facility, which was previously removed due to foundation repairs.
  • Fourth Circuit Public Defender Corporation - $5,000 to provide safe, effective, affordable transportation for clients with substance use disorders to and from treatment facilities.
  • Gilmer County Family Resource Network - $3,000 to develop a safe walkway and bridge to adjoin the Gilmer County Elementary School and Geneses Health Care, promoting opportunities for intergenerational activities.
  • Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $11,200 to launch a pilot “Aging in Place” minor home repair program to serve low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department - $7,500 to purchase personal protective gear for firefighters.
  • Health Access, Inc. – $5,000 to purchase dental supplies to support the addition of on-site dental services, benefitting Doddridge County residents.
  • Heartwood in the Hills - $1,000 to purchase a human flexible skeleton for use in class instruction.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Adult Drug Court - $12,750 to purchase dentures for those who are successfully completing drug court programs.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet Company - $1,000 to support rental costs for performances of the Nutcracker Ballet.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home - $9,750 to replace 25 bedroom chests of drawers in the organization’s men’s and women’s facilities.
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department - $15,000 to support the oral health program, which provides services to children and adults.
  • Mountaineer Creative Arts Council - $1,750 to support the spring production of the play “Shrek, Jr.” at the Doddridge County High School auditorium.
  • Parkersburg Area Coalition for the Homeless, House to Home - $1,821 to purchase four security cameras for the organization’s facility.
  • Project Yoga MOV - $2,500 to provide instruction and yoga mats for veterans, enabling them to benefit from yoga classes.
  • Ritchie County High School - $1,150 to support teacher professional development.
  • Ritchie County Integrated Family Services - $3,200 for paving repairs at the organization’s facility.
  • Roane County Committee on Aging - $6,500 to replace a heating/cooling roof unit.
  • The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley - $7,500 to install new carpeting and paint offices, enabling the organization to move and reduce rental costs.
  • The Education Alliance - $3,500 to support the Americorps on the Frontline program, which provides mentors to help at-risk students in Pleasants, Ritchie, and Wood Counties improve attendance, behavior, and course performance.
  • Voices of the Streets, Essentially Yours - $1,500 to purchase hygiene items and cleaning products to provide to those transitioning from homelessness to a permanent residence.
  • Washington County Career Center - $15,000 to purchase equipment needed to complete the second phase of an Outdoor Training Facility used to prepare students for employment as operators, mechanics, and welders.
  • Waverly Volunteer Fire Department - $5,350 to replace an outdated portable tank and personal protective equipment used for emergency response.
  • West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition - $1,500 to purchase a new commercial stove.
  • West Virginia University Extension Service, Wirt County - $4,000 to provide STEM enrichment activities for school-aged youth served by extension.
  • West Virginia University Extension Service, Family Nutrition Program - $6,000 to support the Kids Koupon project, which enables school children to purchase produce at pop-up farmers markets at schools in Ritchie and Wood counties.
  • Williamstown Elementary School - $7,500 to support the construction of a track, soccer field, basketball court, outdoor learning center, and playground at the new elementary school.
  • Williamstown High School - $10,000 to develop a robotics program for students.
  • Wood County Parks and Recreation Commission, Mountwood Park - $15,000 to replace roofs on cabins in the White Oak Village Section of the park, which houses a treatment and recovery center for individuals with substance use disorders.
  • WVU Foundation on Behalf of Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program – $5,000 to support the mentor program, which provides services to students from the Mid-Ohio Valley who have visual impairments.

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