Greenville Women Giving awards $541K in grants to seven local nonprofits

May 7, 2020

At a time when nonprofits are struggling economically, a Greenville group is even more grateful to be able to provide some aid.

Greenville Women Giving (GWG), an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greenville, awarded seven charities with a total of $541,844 in grants.

Founded in 2006, GWG  disperses grants to nonprofits chosen through an application process.

This year’s allotment comes at a time when the community is facing unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, GWG Co-Chair Emelia Stephenson said.

“It has been a privilege for us to be able to continue with our grant making, as we see such a change due to the coronavirus,” Stephenson said.

William Brown, founder and executive director of Legacy Early College, is grateful that his schools are a recipient.

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Legacy is a Title 1 charter school with an ultimate goal of getting students into and through college. Its high school students are bused to Greenville Tech and North Greenville Tech where they take courses for college credit.

“That means we’ve got a cost for tuition, we’ve got a cost for some transportation to get them to the colleges, and then a huge cost is the costs of the college textbooks,” Brown said. “We can’t ask the families to pay that.

“So, we asked Greenville Women Giving to help us with that and they did so very graciously.”

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Nonprofits submitted applications for funding between Oct. 14 and Nov. 29, 2019. To qualify, the applications must meet a need that directly supports at least one of GWG’s five core areas: the arts, the environment, education, health, and human services.

The GWG remained unaffected by the coronavirus in that its funds were “in hand” before Greenville began recognizing its effects in March, Stephenson said.

Though all applications were in by late fall, Stephenson said she believes members of GWG voted on projects with the pandemic in mind. One example, she said, is the awarding of funds to the Julie Valentine Center.

“We all are hearing that because of the current situation, both with economic and people remaining in home more, that anticipation is there will be more sexual abuse and sexual assaults,” she said.

She believes members were also looking at long-term needs post Covid-19. An example, she said, is that they chose to fund the initiative to keep the leopard breeding program going in The Greenville Zoo.

“When we come out of this and turn our attention back to the needs of the world as a whole, we will see that there’s a huge place for conservation efforts," she said.

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Soteria Community Development Corporation, the Greenville Center for the Creative Arts, and the Greenville Zoo Foundation are first-time GWG grantees.

The 2020 grantees are:
Greenville Center for the Creative Arts: $84,183 to enhance visitor experience by installing signage, ADA compliant entrances, gallery lighting, and security lighting.
Greenville Zoo Foundation: $75,000 to remodel and expand the leopard housing area, meeting requirements for continued participation in the international Amur leopard breeding program.
Harvest Hope Food Bank: $55,485 to install a new, safe loading dock system which will increase the efficiency of food intake and delivery to 450,000 people per year.
Julie Valentine Center: $99,225 to upgrade the sexual assault forensic exam room and increase access to trauma-informed counseling services for sexual assault victims.
Legacy Early College High School: $98,566 over 2 years to fund increasing program costs and support program expansion to over 300 underserved students.
Soteria at Work: $49,385 to hire a manager and renovate the woodshop, increasing job-training for previously incarcerated men and reducing recidivism.
United Ministries: $80,000 over 2 years to qualify for matching funds and purchase 2 homes to provide interim housing for families transitioning out of homelessness.

Source: Greenville Online