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ENGAGE!

Nelson County Community Fund Update Winter / Spring #2
Welcome to Issue #2 of ENGAGE! In this issue, we share one of Nelson County Community Fund’s success stories: the Central Virginia Farm Workers Initiative; give you a peek at our grant making process; and pass on some good news stories.
 
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The Cover Story
Farmers & Farm Workers Fight COVID Together!
Pick up a firm, tart apple or a plump, juicy peach at the local farm market and you might consider the hard work that went into producing that bounty. This last year, Nelson County growers and the seasonal farm workers they depend on worked extra hard to protect the migrant and local communities from contracting COVID-19.
 
Thanks to a unique collaboration between local growers and a newly created workers’ health advocacy nonprofit, 97 percent of the seasonal and migrant workforce was vaccinated against COVID-19, avoiding any outbreaks of the virus among workers in 2021. 
 
“Our biggest challenge was trying to keep COVID out of our workforce. We were very fortunate that we did not have any cases in our immigrant workforce,” said Jim Saunders of Saunders Brothers, Inc., Nursery and Fruit Orchards. 
Enter the Central Virginia Farm Workers Initiative (CVFWI), created by local migrant worker welfare advocate, Vanessa Hale. Supported in part by a grant from the Nelson County Community Fund, Inc. (NCCF), the CVFWI worked with growers to form the Nelson County 2021 COVID Mitigation Collaboration project. 
 
“The NCCF grant was the first one CVFWI got, and it allowed us to jump in and achieve the goal of having every farm worker in Nelson County—who are essential workers—protected from COVID-19,” said Hale. 
 
Saunders said all his farm workers are now fully vaccinated, and plans are to give vaccine boosters to migrant workers who went back to Mexico at the end of the last season and will return to Nelson County this spring.
Photo: Stephanie Gross 
Read the full story on CVFWI’s important work here! 
 
Good News
Celebrating Our Community
NCCF Award Grants In February, Nelson County Community Fund’s all-volunteer, nonprofit awarded $33,000 to three nonprofit organizations that support Nelson County residents. 
 
The funds will help a wide range of organizations that help provide COVID vaccines and health screening to H-2A Visa farm workers and teach them digital literacy skills, rehabilitate men suffering from alcohol and drug addiction, and provide home-based educational services to pregnant women and mothers with young children. 

Organizations Funded  “The needs of at-risk county residents continue to be important, and in many cases have increased greatly during the pandemic,” said Ken Heise, NCCF president. “NCCF's generous donors are making sure funds are there to help as many in our community as possible.”
Photo: Ready Kids
Site Visits: Help Determine Grant Awards
NCCF Board Members Suzanne Klett, Judy Kramer and Linda Hughes conduct a Site Visit at The Bridge Ministry.
Since our inception in 2000, NCCF has invested in Nelson County by giving $1.9 million to 70 agencies and programs, such as medical facilities and community centers, food banks, housing assistance groups, and student/teacher educational projects. 
 
We take our fiduciary responsibility to our donors very seriously. So, Nelson County Community Fund’s 12 board members adhere to a multi-step process to make a final determination as to who will be awarded a grant. 
 
Twice a year, NCCF issues a call for grant applications from nonprofits that serve Nelson County residents. The NCCF board reviews all applications to determine if the grant application meets with NCCF’s mission and organizational objectives, among other requirements. Consideration is given to the potential impact of the project and to particularly imaginative and collaborative approaches to solving community needs. Categories of support include human services, education, environment, health, community needs and development.
 
After application review, board members team up to conduct a site visit. It’s this investigative fact-finding method that helps NCCF determine the advisability of investing in a particular program or organization. Board members look at the prospective grantee organization in its entirety, interview board members or staff, assess their facility, and evaluate its finances. 
 
A site visit can be one of the most important tools NCCF board members use in determining ultimate funding decisions. 
 
Learn more here.
Fundraising Successes in 2021
COVID-19 has changed everything for everyone. People have lost their lives, livelihoods, and sense of security. Yet, the Nelson County Community Fund remains on the frontlines. Thanks to you, we’ve steadily moved forward with our mission to give grants to nonprofit organizations facing the mounting needs of Nelson County residents. We’ve tried to address this in innovative ways to minimize health risks yet maximize results.
 
  • First Ever Online Auction Fundraiser -- In the spirit of staying healthy, instead of our trademark fall fundraiser the Opportunity Ball, NCCF rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to pull off our first ever Online Auction Fundraiser. Bidders—including many longtime NCCF supporters—reported that the auction was great fun! It was also very successful raising $15,000 that was used for grants to commendable nonprofits in our last winter grant-making cycle. 
     
  • GivingTuesday -- The International Day of Generosity took place November 30, 2021. Nelson County Community Fund joined in on the global generosity movement. We raised awareness and funds on our website and social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.
     
  • Fall Appeal Letter -- As 2021 was ending and a new year was on the horizon, many local nonprofit organizations still required help meeting the needs of Nelson County’s most vulnerable. We reached out to you so we might continue to deliver assistance! And you delivered! Because of your generosity in 2021, NCCF awarded a record of $191,000 to 17 nonprofits that directly support our residents:
    • Providing medical care and medicines to residents in need
    • Aiding children who are victims of domestic violence
    • Providing partial college scholarships to high school seniors 
    • Assisting families by paying the propane bill before winter sets in
    • Restoring a community facility in an underserved area
    • Fostering independence for those with brain injuries 
Board Changes
It’s no coincidence that successful nonprofits and energetic boards go hand in hand. And change is inevitable. Last year, NCCF bid farewell to two longstanding and highly valuable board members: Art Thorn and Vicki Sabin. Soon after, bringing new ideas and energy, we welcomed Cheryl Klueh, a longtime Nelson County resident. Meet all NCCF’s Board of Directors. 

Art Thorn meets with Fleetwood
Community Center member.
Vicki Sabin talks up NCCF at the
Nelson Heritage Center.
We Want to Hear from You
Have you donated to Nelson County Community Fund? Or, has your organization received a grant from NCCF? Or, perhaps you've volunteered in some capacity with us? If so, we'd love to hear from all of you!Your review will be used in our ongoing promotions efforts to help raise awareness of all that we do for Nelson County. Thanks for sharing a line or two here. 
 
Save The Dates
The Bottom Line
How You Can Help
With your help, we can continue to deliver assistance right here at home.
Nelson County Community Fund, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that makes grants available to diverse non-profits serving health, educational and humanitarian needs in Nelson County. Grants are made possible through generous donations, and partnering with area businesses to sponsor fundraising events.
 
With your help, we can continue to deliver assistance right here at home. If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation to help us reach even more Nelson County residents.
  • Or, write a check made payable to NCCF. Mail to:
    Nelson County Community Fund, Inc.
    P. O. Box 253
    Nellysford, VA, 22958
  • List Nelson County Community Fund, Inc. as your charity on Amazon Smile.
     
  • Donate a car you’d like to offload. Go here to start the donation process https://careasy.org/nonprofit/nelson-county-community-fund; or call our partner at CARS to make it happen -- (855) 500-7433.
     
  • Leave a legacy of hope to our community. Ask your tax advisor about making a charitable bequest to the Nelson County Community Fund, Inc. 
Contributions to NCCF, Inc. are tax-deductible. 
 
Donate Here!
Your donations DO make a difference! See the proof on our newest Success Story!
Watch Here!
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