On Monday, December 7, 2020, the Board of Trustees of the Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) approved the second and final round of grants in 2020 for the foundation. “The grants we are announcing reflect both the ongoing and the evolving needs of our community. Our partners are working hard to address these needs during incredibly challenging times,” said Carol L. Sale, WHF President and CEO.
Grants include four behavioral-health services grants. The Center for Child and Family Services will receive a new grant for $103,000 to provide trauma-informed assessments along with individual and group counseling for adults who are perpetrators of intimate-partner violence and are struggling with substance abuse. “Often substance-use disorders and domestic violence are treated separately,” said Sale, “Our partners at the Center understand the critical connection between the two.” Other behavioral services grants include grants for family therapy, maternal mental health, and a school-based mental health program. “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing toxic stress and mental health challenges for so many,” said Sale. “We believe all our partners working in this area, including those who received grants earlier this year, can make a meaningful difference.”
Toxic stress and the lifelong impacts of trauma are themes in new grants. Along with other communities in Virginia and throughout the US, Greater Williamsburg has created a Trauma-Informed Care Network (TICN). Over 75 individuals from nonprofits, localities, and businesses have come together around the mission of “supporting a trauma-aware, resilient and compassionate community.”
“This is a fantastic example of multiple sectors and organizations working with a common goal,” said Sale. A new grant for $30,000 managed through the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula will support a project coordinator to oversee the strategic planning process and the ongoing administration of the organization.
Another category of programs which fit in a “healthy eating and active living” area of funding involve people gathering in groups. “We know these programs will not be able to go on right away as planned, but we want to give our grantees the best possible chance to get back into normal operations as soon as possible,” said Lou F. Rossiter, Trustee and Board Chair.
Earlier this year, when COVID-19 restrictions began, the Foundation unrestricted over 2.6 million dollars granted in 2019 which meant its grantees could use the money to best meet the needs of their agencies during the pandemic. “Through that action of unrestricting grant funding, the Williamsburg Health Foundation may have saved agencies from laying off staff or, even, from closing. We’re proud of that accomplishment. We don’t want the pandemic to mean the loss of nonprofit agencies or programs critical to the long-term health of this community,” said Rossiter
The Williamsburg Health Foundation was founded in 1996 with proceeds from the partnership between Sentara Healthcare and the former Williamsburg Community Hospital. The foundation has a vision of “individuals making healthy choices with health opportunity for all.” For information on grants from the Williamsburg Health Foundation, including how to apply for a grant, visit www.williamsburghealthfoundation.org/grants-center. Additional grants made in December are attached here.
“As I say with every grant round, and it is more true now than ever, we need everyone to participate in making ours a healthy community. We need to do everything we can to remain close as a community even at a distance and to support one another. Call your neighbor, send a card or an email, make a donation to a nonprofit organization, volunteer if you can,” said Sale.