Nine (9) grant recipients with projects across Martinsville-Henry County will complete projects over the next year
Martinsville, Va. — The Harvest Foundation’s Project Hope grants program awarded nine recipients a total of $91,287 during today’s grantee celebration at The TAD Space in Uptown Martinsville.
Kate Keller, president of The Harvest Foundation, welcomed around 50 grant recipients and guests at today’s event. Hope is the north star of the foundation’s mission to serve Martinsville-Henry County and its vision for the future. Keller said hope drives us to take action and use our talents to grow our community.
“Hope is at the core of what we do at Harvest — it drives us to serve our community, and it motivated today’s grant recipients to put their hope into action,” Keller said. “We are excited to see the hope that builds in our community from this year’s Project Hope grantees, and we anticipate today’s announcements will inspire others to share their hopes and dreams with us.”
This year’s theme for awarded grants and initiatives was “Community Pride and Engagement,” encompassing beautification, intergenerational involvement, and spotlighting the diverse communities in MHC.
A 13-member committee comprising local “hope builders” reviews grant applications and allocates funding for the program. Members of the 2023 Project Hope Committee include Beverly Lyle, DeShanta Hairston, Autumn Morris, Maite Arroyo-Torres, Callie Hietala, DelShana LeGrant, Robbie Knight, Beth Marshall, Teresa Fontaine, Chloe Mayhew, Kendall Davis, Cameron Brummitt, and Wayne Moore.
Autumn Morris, a financial adviser at Edward Jones, served on the Project Hope Committee for the past two years. Morris said, “On behalf of the other Project Hope committee members, we thank the applicants and recipients for making the effort to work toward solutions and initiatives to build our community. We thank The Harvest Foundation for providing not only financial support but also the invitation to the community to act in ways that bring about hope. I am thankful to be in a room filled with people who are cheering for Martinsville-Henry County, and excited to see how these grant recipients will inspire hope for all of us.
As a 2022 Project Hope grant recipient, Brenell Thomas, president of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the “Rooting for the Same Hope” mural, located in the Broad Street parking lot in Uptown Martinsville. She encouraged everyone to stay hopeful and to make a difference in their community.
“Let’s all embrace the idea that hope exists in MHC and that we have control over the narrative that we share,” Thomas said. “If it doesn’t offer hope, then it serves no purpose. We have challenges, but we also have people like you (Project Hope grantees) who meet those challenges head-on to create opportunities for others.”
On behalf of The Harvest Foundation Board of Directors, Rev. Charles Whitfield encouraged Project Hope grant recipients to keep dreaming and grow their hope for Martinsville and Henry County.
Project Hope is an annual grants program designed to fund small projects that involve volunteers to build hope in MHC communities. The Harvest Foundation releases an RFP (request for proposals) annually for applicants to submit grant applications. The application period will open in the summer of 2024.
Call (276) 632-3329 or visit www.theharvestfoundation.org/project-hope for updates and to learn more.
List of Project Hope 2023 Grantees:
The City of Martinsville received $5,000 for “Arts & Cultural Community Projects.”
The Arts & Cultural Committee of the City of Martinsville will work with volunteers (estimated 15) to focus on crosswalk design and painting projects.
Bee City USA – Martinsville, VA received $4,000 for its project “Bee City Martinsville’s Bee Flight/Earth Day Festival.”To honor and celebrate Martinsville Bee City Month (April), Earth Day (4/22), and the beginning of Virginia Historic Garden Week (4/20), the Martinsville Bee City Committee is partnering with other business and nonprofit organizations along Starling Avenue to host a “Bee Flight Festival” from Friday, April 19 to Saturday, April 20, 2024.
Henry County Food Pantry received $9,750 for its project “Treatment Team Integration.”
The project will expand services to include a separate hygiene and clothes closet for referrals and provide part-time job opportunities for CRP participants as they work through recovery.
Hope Box Builders received $15,000 for its project “The Hope Box.”
“Pantry-like” boxes will be placed in strategic spots throughout the community that include non-perishable food items, hygiene products, job postings, and other information about resources in the community.
Just Call Granny received $4,450 for its project “Grandfamilies Common Table”
The project will sponsor events for grand families to connect and share resources, as well as promote the program and recruit new volunteers.
Spencer Penn School Org. received $15,000 for its project “Spencer Penn Community Garden.”
Spencer-Penn’s Community Garden would provide two large 8’x24′ garden beds for anyone in the community to work and harvest from. Included in the garden would be four ADA-compliant raised garden beds that could be used by a single individual for a growing season each year or shared among a group of people.
Uptown Partnership received $12,000 for its project “Revitalizing Uptown – A Blossoming Endeavor to Eradicate Blight & Cultivate Community Serenity.”
The project will rejuvenate the uptown planters, remove decaying trees, and incorporate new seating options in uptown. It will also include volunteer-led power washing and sprucing projects in uptown.
Carver Road Ruritan Club received $11,087 for its project “Carver Road Neighborhood Gateway Sign.”
The grant will fund three gateway signs into the Carver Community to welcome visitors and residents.
Hope Center Ministries will receive $15,000 for its project “Heightened Hope.”
Grant funding will revitalize the baseball/softball field on Compassion Church property in Axton (formerly Irisburg Elementary School). They will use the facility for youth and families to come together for safe and healthy activities, including tournaments, jamborees, potlucks, and outdoor services.