Harvest Foundation marks 20 years of progress, hope in Martinsville-Henry County

Harvest Foundation marks 20 years of progress, hope in Martinsville-Henry County

August 31, 2022

Martinsville, Va. — Marking 20 years of serving Martinsville-Henry County, The Harvest Foundation officially celebrates its anniversary by releasing a special annual report and encouraging community members to bring hope to their neighborhoods.

Bill Kirby, chairman of The Harvest Foundation Board of Directors, remarked on Harvest’s growth over the past two decades during the Aug. 16 celebration at the foundation office in Martinsville.

“I’m beyond proud of the work we’ve accomplished, and I hope everyone … can feel the shift in our community,” he said. “With our partners, we’ve started a journey of restoring a sense of hope in our community. We don’t stop until everyone wakes up and believes that tomorrow will be better than today.”

Project Hope, a newly announced grant opportunity, is a celebration of the community and a call to action for Martinsville-Henry County residents to bring hope back to their communities. A request for proposals (RFP) was released on Aug. 16 to invite submissions that will build hope and foster connections among neighbors in MHC communities.

The 20th Anniversary Community Projects Committee, a small committee of hope builders in Martinsville-Henry County, will vet proposals and help applicants match with a fiscal sponsor. Proposals, funded up to $10,000, are due on Sept. 16.

Committee Member DeShanta Hairston said, “Considering how trying times have been over the last few years, I feel like our community could really use a spark of hope. This project is intended to inspire that through grassroots efforts, hopefully through the collaboration of different organizations and volunteers. … Not only am I a business owner, but I was born and raised in Martinsville. This project is near and dear to my heart, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Hairston also owns Books and Crannies, an independent bookstore located in Uptown Martinsville at 50 Church St. E, Suite 4.

The foundation’s 20th Anniversary Report highlights progress made since the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission approved its creation on Aug. 16, 2002. Harvest’s story truly began with the opening of Memorial Hospital on June 7, 1970. The report features a historical timeline that shares more about the foundation’s early years and how it grew into the organization it is today.

In addition to the historical timeline, the report (bit.ly/2021AR-THF) includes grants approved in 2021, Pick Up the Pace! grants awarded in 2021, and Harvest Youth Board grants awarded in 2021.

In 2021, Harvest awarded four general responsive grants, three Pick Up the Pace! grants, and three Harvest Youth Board grants. Grants awarded in 2021 totaled $26,842,235. Other grants include board-designated funding and program-related investments. The foundation paid $7.58 million in grant payments. The foundation’s investment totals were at $276 million by the end of 2021.

The Harvest Foundation’s general responsive grants cycle is open year-round with consideration from the Board of Directors once a quarter. The PUP Small Grants Program is an open process with decisions made in 30 days, which funds projects up to $25,000. The newly announced Project Hope program is about supporting small, grassroots projects with immediate impact.

Organizations with projects that benefit youth in Martinsville-Henry County may consider applying for a grant through the Harvest Youth Board. Grant awards typically are capped at $5,000 and are available for application throughout the year.

To find out more information or to request a copy of the annual report, call (276) 632-3329 ext. 118 or email lhodges@theharvestfoundation.org


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