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Williamsburg Health Foundation Presents Its Annual Awards

Each October the Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) presents its annual awards to highlight someone or some organization that helps to make Greater Williamsburg a healthier community. WHF has presented awards in the Fall each year since 1999. “On the one hand this year is no different than years past. On the other hand, this year is completely different,” said Glenda Turner, WHF Board Member and Chair of the Annual Awards Committee.

This year’s annual awards are no different than years past because there are honorees that promote the health of the community and there is a video about those honorees. For 2021, the annual awards are presented to James City County’s Emergency Management Department; The City of Williamsburg’s Office of Emergency Management Team; and York County’s Office of Emergency Management. “We honor their innovation and collaboration in response to the pandemic,” said Turner. Each department has received a letter of commendation, an etched-glass award, and $5,000.”

“The Williamsburg Health Foundation believes unequivocally that the emergency management efforts of the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County saved lives and prevented illness and immense suffering by lowering the number of cases of COVID-19 through their vaccination efforts,” said President and CEO, Carol L. Sale, RN, MSN.

This year’s awards completely depart from award presentations in the past because this year’s WHF’s annual awards will not happen at a breakfast at a local venue. Instead, the event will happen solely on YouTube.

In another departure from its traditions, WHF this year produced more than one video for the event. WHF created five other “shorts,” short videos under two minutes, about lasting innovations from the pandemic that apply to education, local government, healthcare, recreation, and food service for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

In all the videos, WHF focused on “lasting innovations” that will continue “beyond the pandemic.” “We want to highlight not only what happened, but to look forward and highlight what will continue to happen, what changes will stick around,” said Sale.

“It’s completely different for us to have our Annual Awards be 100% virtual and to premiere on YouTube,” said Turner. “

To view the individual videos and the entire awards program described above, visit youtube.com/user/WburgCommunityHealth.

Williamsburg Health Foundation Announces New Application Requirement for 2022 Grants

On September 9, 2021, the Williamsburg Health Foundation informed current grantees of a new requirement for grant applications starting in 2022.  With exceptions for new or discretionary grants as well as government agencies, grantees must obtain the Platinum Seal of Transparency at GuideStar by Candid, a national database of all IRS-registered 501(c)3 organizations.

WHF President and CEO, Carol L. Sale says, “WHF strives to have fair, consistent, and high standards for grantees.  At the same time, we do not want to impose overly burdensome standards or standards which must be met solely for WHF. We believe that Platinum Seal is a relevant standard for all.” The standard also comes with multiple benefits for organizations that meet it.

According to GuideStar research, “Nonprofits that earned a GuideStar Seal averaged 53% more in contributions the following year than organizations with no Seal. The research also found organizations that elect to be more transparent had stronger performance across a range of governance, financial, and operational dimensions.”

GuideStar’s data is the backbone of the donation portion of websites like AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good. GuideStar has found that non-profit profiles with Gold or Platinum Seals also get twice the views as other profiles.  “GuideStar enhances fund development opportunities,” said Sale. “It will also simplify the application process for our grants.”

With this Seal, applicants will no longer need to attach as many documents (such as the Form 990 or an IRS Letter of Determination) to complete a WHF Letter of Intent (LOI) or grant application.  Once information is at GuideStar, Program Officers will find organizational information there.

WHF has obtained Platinum status at GuideStar. We found that completing the application was not overly burdensome, and the process made us ask ourselves some important questions,” said Sale.

WHF provides flexible capacity-building opportunities to health and human service agencies that serve the Greater Williamsburg community.  Catchafire.org allows organizations to speak with consultants and accomplish projects on their own timeframe. As the experts are volunteers, the meter is never running.   WHF partners with NetworkPeninsula to provide tuition reimbursement for  staff or board members at the Nonprofit Management Institute.   “We want organizations to focus on their growth as their leaders direct,” said Sale. “At the same time, we need to be sure we have consistent standards for all.” For questions or additional information, write info@williamsburghealthfoundation.org

New Grants for a New Plan: 22 Grants worth 3.5M

On Monday, June 7, 2021, the Board of Trustees of the Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) met and approved 22 grants worth nearly 3.5 million dollars.  “This is the first year of implementation of a new strategic plan. We are excited to see not only the plan in action but also funded programs returning to their pre-COVID, in-person work again,” said Carol L. Sale, WHF President and CEO.

            Under the strategic goal to “Target behavioral and social risk factors that influence the health of individuals throughout the life span,” WHF invested more than 1.5M dollars.  WHF’s largest program continues to be SHIP, the School Health Initiative Program. Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools partner with WHF, teachers, students, parents, and other community partners to build life-long, healthy habits in schools. Activities led by SHIP in the schools encourage healthy eating and active living.  Examples include after-school “challenge” clubs like running, cooking, and soccer; “try days” in cafeterias to sample local farm produce; teaching nutrition education; and movement in the classroom.  An investment since 2005, SHIP has become a model for school programs through the Commonwealth.

            “While we greatly value our partnership with the schools to reach the majority of students in WJCC Schools during their time in school, we know that home is the most critical place for child development and early childhood is the most critical moment in that development,” said Sale.  For that reason, WHF also focuses on “Two Generation Services” which promotes family well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with children and the adults in their lives. Grants in this area include unrestricted support for Child Development Resources and program-specific funding of the Child Health Initiatives in the City of Williamsburg and James City County.

            At the other end of the lifespan, the Foundation supports healthy aging. Grants to local agencies will support medical transportation for older adults and Williamsburg’s Aging and Disability Resource Center.

            The largest portion of grants for the this first wave of foundation grants goes to the strategic goal “Strengthen the healthcare safety-net for uninsured and underinsured individuals.” This goal encompasses the following three areas: advanced primary care, behavioral health services, and medication access. “We made grants in each of these areas,” said Sale. “Problems like accessing prescription medication continue to challenge individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.”

            The third of the three strategic goals is, “Advance organizations, systems, and public policy crucial to community health and well-being.” While there is one grant in this category for the Greater Williamsburg HEARTSafe Alliance, Sale says, “Our work in this area is ongoing and most often involves more holistic approaches than individual grants.”

Grants for June 2021

Bacon Street Youth and Family Services The Bridges Project $18,000.00
Center for Child and Family Services, Inc. Multicultural Counseling and Outreach Program $70,000.00
Child Development Resources Basic Operating Support $200,000.00
City of Williamsburg Child Health Initiative $265,000.00
Colonial Behavioral Health Chronic Care Collaborative $170,000.00
Colonial Behavioral Health Greater Williamsburg Child Assessment Center $271,000.00
Colonial Behavioral Health Intensive Outpatient Program $50,000.00
Colonial Behavioral Health Greater Williamsburg Network of Care (NOC) $30,000.00
Community Housing Partners Mobile Food Pantry $5,000.00
F.R.E.E. Foundation For Rehabilitation
Equipment & Endowment
F.R.E.E. of Williamsburg $26,000.00
Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic Chronic Care Collaborative $300,000.00
Greater Williamsburg Heartsafe Alliance Greater Williamsburg HEARTSafe Alliance $10,000.00
Honoring Choices Virginia Educating Advocates for Advance Care Planning $15,000.00
James City County Child Health Initiative $265,000.00
Lackey Clinic Chronic Care Collaborative $520,000.00
Literacy for Life at the Rita Welsh Adult Learning Center HEAL Program in Williamsburg $40,000.00
Olde Towne Medical & Dental Center Chronic Care Collaborative  $355,000.00
Peninsula Agency on Aging Greater Williamsburg Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) $80,000.00
Rx Partnership Basic Operating Support $60,000.00
Virginia Health Care Foundation Greater Williamsburg Medication Access Program $47,000.00
Williamsburg Area Faith in Action Medical Transportation $25,000.00
Williamsburg-James City County
Public School Division
SHIP – School Health Initiative Program $670,000.00
Total $3,492,000.00

            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 awarded approximately 94 million in grants to date. 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. 

Covid-19 Related Vaccine Acceptance Resources

For Organizations Reaching Out to Individuals

Ad Council

From the group that brought you “Put Litter in its Place”; Smokey the Bear; and those other things you just can’t get out of your head, you can now get potent vaccine promotion “assets.”

Page down to “Assets” and you can search by type of media and by specific audiences. These assets are free to you to use in your own vaccine promotion efforts.  They are multi-lingual and diverse.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Vaccine Resources

Highly detailed information from the Federal Government.

Virginia Department of Health

On this page, you can find a large variety of downloadable print files on different topics around the vaccine.  These materials primarily include detailed, one-page sheets of information on individual topics.

 

For Employers Reaching Out to Employees

US Chamber of Commerce has curated a large selection of materials from a variety of sources.

Want to learn about tailoring your message to different audiences? And why tailor your message? Here is a one-hour YouTube video from Association of Schools and Programs for Public Health.

$1 million grant funding to prevent rental evictions of Greater Williamsburg residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Together with the City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County, the Williamsburg Health Foundation has announced grant funding to the localities which totals $1 million to prevent rental evictions of Greater Williamsburg residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“There is a profound, multifaceted connection between one’s housing and one’s health,” said Carol L. Sale, President and CEO of WHF. “So profound that Trustees of the Williamsburg Health Foundation made the challenging decision to increase the foundation’s annual spending limit this year which required reaching into the foundation’s corpus to fund this program. This is a unique and important million-dollar investment for us and for the entire community.”

The million-dollar investment in a healthier Greater Williamsburg is divided among the three localities. Each received a sum relative to the size of its population and number of low-income households: $270,000 to the City of Williamsburg; $430,000 to James City County; and $300,000 to York. The grant dollars will provide emergency rental payments for qualifying low- to moderate-income households. The City’s Human Services Department and the Housing divisions of James City and York counties worked together to create a common application for the COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program; the application window opens Feb. 1. 

When considering its options in funding around COVID-19, the foundation spoke with local experts about the long-term fallout from the pandemic. Experts told the foundation that temporary moratoria on evictions do not resolve the rental crisis, and once lifted, households would begin to fall off what is being called “the eviction cliff” and be unable to recover from financial hardship caused by COVID-19. 

“This money is designed to help people who paid their rent pre-pandemic, who were stable pre-pandemic,” said Jack Tuttle, Board Chair at WHF, “to help keep a bad situation from becoming a desperate situation jeopardizing the long-term health and well-being of a family.”

“WJCC Public schools already have one of the highest rates of homeless students in the state. Imagine if those numbers sharply increase because of fallout from COVID” said Sale. “Our community will only be truly healthy when we have safe, affordable housing for all who live and work here. Too many families currently choose between rent and food —or rent and opportunities for their children.”

“We’re grateful the localities are contributing their staff time and talent to distributing these funds, which means that all of the foundation’s dollars go directly to rent relief,” said Sale. “The foundation has a long tradition of program partnership with localities in our service area.”

“When a city resident comes to our office to apply for emergency rental assistance, we can also connect them with other services they might not even know they can access,” said Wendy Evans, director of human services for the City of Williamsburg. 

“Every month since the pandemic began, those of us in housing get ready for the moratorium to end and the flood of evictions that will come with it. Having these funds from the Williamsburg Health Foundation provides a safety net to catch those at risk of eviction when the moratoria are no long in place. Now, we know we will have some additional resources to help renters,” said Keith Denny, Housing Manager of James City County.

“With these grants, everyone has to pitch in,” said Denny. “These funds will be paid directly to landlords. But, the landlords need to make some concessions as well. They need to agree to work with tenants to enter into a repayment plan for past due rent.”

“These grant funds from the Williamsburg Health Foundation are so important right now when many people are trying to keep a roof over their heads,” said Abbitt Woodall, York’s Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Manager. “These are not faceless, nameless people – these are our neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Helping them ultimately aids the entire community and region. Similarly, these funds will sustain landlords who rely on rent and mortgage payments to continue providing housing.”

“WHF cannot provide rent relief long term. We do not intend to do so. But, at this critical moment in the pandemic, we are certain that keeping individuals and families from falling into a cycle of homelessness and poverty is the best thing this foundation can do for both the immediate and long-term health of our community and the people who live here,” said Sale. 

If you need rent relief, please contact a representative in your locality: 
Williamsburg: 757-220-6161
James City County: 757-259-5340
York County: 757-890-3885