Community Foundation Now Accepting 2020 Grant Applications

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications from nonprofits for its Community Enrichment Grants Program. Applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation’s web portal. The first deadline of the year is Friday, January 31.

The Community Enrichment Grants Program is the Community Foundation’s largest and broadest funding opportunity. In 2019 the Community Foundation awarded $280,000 in discretionary grants to 35 local nonprofits. The grants are offered on a competitive basis for any kind of charitable project that benefits the Outer Banks, or any part thereof. Areas of interest include: arts & culture; animal welfare; children & youth; education; the environment; disaster relief & prevention; health; historic interpretation & preservation; and other human services.

Most Community Enrichment Grants will support the direct costs of a charitable project or program. In 2019, for example, the Community Foundation sponsored pet resuscitation masks for Dare County fire departments through the Coastal Humane Society, furnishings for the Monarch Beach Club’s day programs, renovations and new appliances for the Roanoke Island Food Pantry, and tower gardens for the Cape Hatteras Elementary School through OBX Go Far.

Some limited Community Enrichment Grants are also available to nonprofits for program staff wages. For example, a grant in 2019 is allowing the Community Care Clinic to retain a Spanish language translator and interpreter to provide medical care to low-income, uninsured, and under-insured patients.

Community Enrichment Grants also are awarded for capacity-building projects, with a goal of enhancing a nonprofit’s long-term effectiveness, financial stability, and/or program quality. For example, grants were awarded last year for software for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation and for computer equipment for Interfaith Community Outreach.

Additionally, the Community Foundation awards program scholarship grants, which are grants to enable a nonprofit to offer “scholarships” to individuals and families with financial need or other hardship. The scholarships offset the registration fees that the nonprofit would normally charge for any kind of enrichment program, such as an educational offering or after-school program. For example, a 2019 grant will provide scholarships to help Dare County children with financial need attend summer camp at the Roanoke Island Aquarium.

Community Enrichment Grants will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout 2020, and will be reviewed and awarded quarterly. Any applications received by Friday, January 31 will have a decision by March 12. Before starting an application for any grant, prospective applicants should first review the criteria online at, and then contact Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects.


There is still time to invest in the future of OBX in 2019, but don’t delay.

Outer Banks Community Foundation Reports Record Giving in 2019!

Thanks to your support, we awarded over $1.3 million this year in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students across our community—nearly double from last year. Thanks to our donors, we helped 85 students attend college this year in pursuit of the dream of a higher education. Thanks to you, we introduced young children across Dare County to trumpets and violins through a grant to the NC Symphony. Because of your generosity, we are sending under-served kids to camp at the NC Aquarium next summer, and we are funding specialized training for teachers in Currituck County to help them best support students with autism.

And our grants are tackling the hard stuff, too—our community’s most urgent needs and complex challenges. This year a $50,000 grant to Outer Banks Hotline is helping them expand their shelter for homeless teens and victims of violence and trafficking. A $36,375 grant to Dare CASA and the Saving Lives Task Force will help them reduce and prevent substance addiction and fatal overdose in our community.

Because of you, and generous people like you, we supported food assistance programs from Kitty Hawk to Manteo to Avon to Ocracoke. We helped cancer patients afford medical treatment, and helped local veterans pay bills during times of hardship. We even helped the Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation purchase an ophthalmoscope, which allowed them to care for an injured barred owl earlier this month. And that’s just a taste of the myriad of grants from 2019.

And of course, there was a storm called Dorian…

We include these stories, and advice about ensuring your year-end donation counts in 2019. You can read the entire newsletter here.

Plan Your Giving: What We Can Learn from Ebenezer Scrooge

By Lorelei Costa

Note: This article first appeared in the December 19, 2018 edition of the Outer Banks Sentinel.

My son and I are binge-watching A Christmas Carol this season—every version we can reasonably watch, from Patrick Stewart to the Muppets to the corny musical with Albert Finney. The story has great messages about opening your eyes to people in need, and about the sheer joy of giving back.

There is so much heart-breaking poverty in our world, not so very different from what the Christmas Ghosts showed Ebenezer Scrooge. Once you open your eyes, it can be downright overwhelming. With so much need around the world, and even here on the Outer Banks, where on earth do you start?

Look, giving away money is easy. Giving it away wisely can be hard—yet all the more joyful. Effectual, impactful philanthropy does not require deep pockets, just some thoughtfulness and planning.

With the new year approaching, this might be a great time for you, your family, or your company to start planning your 2019 philanthropy. It’s simply a matter of reviewing your past giving, creating a vision, selecting focus areas, and setting some guidelines.

Step 1: Review your past giving. Start by making a list of all your gifts from 2018. If you keep good records, this will be easy—and the actual numbers may surprise you. But if you can’t remember every gift, that’s okay. What’s most important is to answer these three questions:

What was the largest gift you gave in 2018?

What gift had the most impact, or made the biggest difference, in your estimation?

Lastly, of all your gifts from 2018, which brought YOU the most joy?

In the perfect world, you’ll name the same gift for all three questions—but oddly, for most of us, that’s not always the case.

Ideally, we each donate the majority of our resources to the causes that fulfill us the most, and make the biggest difference.

For example, maybe Scrooge’s biggest gift was to his childhood boarding school, but the gift that made him happiest was the Christmas goose for the Cratchits. Maybe next year he resolves to give away more geese.

Step 2: Create your vision. Think big, and imagine a little. What are your hopes and dreams for your community, today and tomorrow? How would you want to improve our world?

Speaking of world, ponder your scope. Do you want to address global issues, or start at home in your community, or both?

Think about impact: Do you want to help today by focusing on immediate needs, or would you rather tackle root causes and long-term solutions? For example, would you rather buy new crutches for Tiny Tim, or contribute to research for finding a cure for spina bifida?

Step 3: Select your areas of focus. Now that you have your vision, what are your specific charitable priority areas? If you’re not sure, think about the issues that inspire you (or enrage you) the most when you read the paper, or the organizations that have made a difference in your life.

Maybe you are passionate about disaster relief, or faith-based charities. Or maybe it’s the environment, health, education, animals, affordable housing, economic development, arts and culture, or civil rights. Be as specific as you want; specificity now will be helpful when you start to feel overwhelmed later. Try to narrow your focus to one, two, or three priority areas, the causes that touch your heart the most.

From here, consider summarizing your priorities into a short mission statement. This is optional: for most folks, a simple list of focus areas is enough. That said, if you’re doing this exercise on behalf of a company or foundation, you might find that a well-crafted mission statement will help you publicize your charitable goals.

Scrooge might have written something like this: I seek to ameliorate Ignorance and Want by supporting literacy efforts, helping children with spina bifida, advocating for reform of prisons and workhouses, and providing food for the hungry, with a special emphasis on Christmas geese.

Step 4. Set your guidelines. You have your charitable priorities now and, presumably, a budget for your giving. You may wish to establish some guidelines, and allocate percentages for different areas of focus.

For example, Scrooge may want to target 60% of his wealth toward his top causes (e.g., literacy, Christmas geese), while keeping 20% for general community causes (e.g., his alma mater and community foundation), and 20% for his flex fund. I do recommend keeping a small flex fund so you can support any unexpected, compelling requests as they arise.

If you have children, perhaps you allocate some amount for your kids to give away. If you have a business, perhaps you dedicate some amount for your company’s priorities, and some amount for your employees’ matching gifts. Set other guidelines (must-have’s, never-do’s) as desired.

Lastly, look again at your priorities, and compare them to last year’s giving. Whatever gifts brought you the most joy and made the biggest impact last year: make sure you dedicate the majority of your largesse to those places.

To purloin the sentiments of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred: Though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that giving has done me good, and will do me good.

May your holidays and new year also be filled with the joy of giving.


Helping Kids: The Karen Phillips Scholarship Fund

The Karen Phillips Scholarship began with a simple act of kindness. Karen asked her husband, Roy, to volunteer his time, and his one afternoon in a classroom became a lifelong commitment to education that will continue for generations to come.

“When we lived in Little Washington, Karen had gone out to work in (their son) Kevin’s third grade class. She came home one afternoon and said, ‘You’re going to school next Thursday,’” Roy recalled. “And I said, ‘OK, but why?’”

“Kevin has somebody in his class who cannot read kindergarten,” he was told. “So you can help the child to read, so the teacher doesn’t have to spend all her time trying to help him while the rest of the class sits around and twiddles their thumbs.”

Karen was a wife, mother of three, and a licensed professional nurse; she also was an enthusiastic community volunteer. She joined Beta Sigma Phi sorority in college and was active in Manteo High School Music Boosters, Roanoke Island Garden Club, Meals on Wheels, rotaries, women’s clubs, and more.

Inspired by Karen, and recognizing how great the need was, Roy found himself getting involved, too.

That simple act turned into a regular volunteer role—and a true avocation—for Roy that has had him devoting hundreds of hours to helping children with their studies, throughout much of his adult life.

“Sometimes I’ll get a kid who is just barely holding on,” recounted Roy. “And I can see it click…their eyes literally light up. ‘Oh, that’s not as hard as I thought it was,’ they’ll say.”

“You made my paycheck today,” Roy, who volunteers his time, will tell the child, “because I was able to make you understand what we are doing.”

Karen and Roy met nearly sixty years ago in high school, where they fell in love. Although they went to separate colleges, both pursued careers in medicine were married soon after Roy graduated with his Pharmacy degree. They began their careers and family in Washington, NC, moving to the Outer Banks in the 80s when Roy opened Island Pharmacy in Manteo.

Karen was 75 years old when she lost her battle with Parkinson’s disease in January 2019. In the wake of tragedy and grief, Roy created the Karen Phillips Scholarship as a living tribute to benefit the Outer Banks community. The scholarship ensures that generations of Outer Banks children will be supported in their dreams of pursuing their education beyond high school.

The scholarship is a lasting affirmation of those things Karen and Roy Phillips held dear: their love of learning, and their passion for helping children.

“It came about because we were both involved, in a round-about way, in education,” Roy explained. “We could see so many kids who needed some kind of scholarship.”

The Karen Phillips Scholarship will be awarded to a Dare County student who is planning on pursuing studies in a medical field. One of many academic awards the church gives out each year to deserving students, the scholarship will be handled through Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church in Manteo, where the couple worshipped. “I went in to Mt. Olivet and I asked, ‘Who do you deal with on scholarships?’ They said, ‘We deal with the Community Foundation, who are extremely easy to deal with,’” Roy said.

The scholarship will be managed as an endowment fund—also called a forever fund. It was important for Roy that the scholarship be endowed, that it would continue to be part of the Outer Banks for years as a tribute to his late wife.

As an endowed fund, the Community Foundation invests the money so the fund will continue to grow. The investment earnings provide scholarship awards each year, and the principal is maintained so that the fund will serve Outer Banks students for generations to come.

Roy wants future students to know that there will be a way for them to continue their education if that’s what they want.

“I set it up… so that when my grandchildren will have children, that money will still be given out in my wife’s name. She’s the one who first pushed me into helping kids,” he said.

June 2019 was a moment of pride for Roy, who saw the many of the first kids he helped, graduate from Manteo High School.

“This graduation… there were either seven or eight who were my original my kids. I felt very proud of the fact that my kids were graduating,” he said.

And now, in Karen’s name, each year there will be more kids who will be helped by the Phillips family legacy.

For more information on Outer Banks Community Foundation scholarship funds, please visit, email, or call 252-261-8839.

Story by Kip Tabb

Disaster Relief: Your Gifts at Work


“Everything we owned was covered in black mold. If it wasn’t for all the support and donations, I don’t know what we would have done…”

Sheyenne is a 25-year-old mother of three. A full-time resident of Hatteras Island, Sheyenne was living in Buxton with her fiancé; her five-year-old son, who is on the autism spectrum; her twelve-year-old brother, whom she recently adopted; and her youngest little boy, who is age two. Then the hurricane struck.

After two nights in a motel, Sheyenne and her fiancé waded through stormwater, with children on their backs, to get back home so they could assess damage and salvage what they could.

Sheyenne described her family’s devastation when they found their home torn apart in the storm. “When we returned, one entire wall gaped open, and everything was soaked. Our front porch had detached, and some support blocks under our mobile home had collapsed.”

“We stayed at our parents’ home that night. When we went back the next day, everything we owned was covered in black mold. If it wasn’t for all the support and donations, I don’t know what we would have done.”

Today, thanks to your giving, Sheyenne and her family are starting to recover. “We’re slowly getting back on our feet, but when we drive by the road to our old home, my five-year-old still gets upset because he doesn’t understand why we can’t go home.”

Your gifts have made a difference to Sheyenne and her family, and to hundreds of others across Dare County and Ocracoke.

The numbers grow each week as more donations are disbursed, but as of 4pm on December 11, 2019, we can report that more than $900,000 had been pledged and/or paid to Dorian disaster victims from the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund. As recovery efforts continue, more financial assistance is to come.

More than half a million dollars has been dedicated to housing for Ocracoke storm victims. This includes $200,000 for temporary housing trailers purchased by Hyde County for at least 35 families as their homes are repaired. Our funds will subsidize utility hook-ups, like septic, water, gas, and power. Another $300,000 has been pledged for materials and supplies for home repair and rebuilding projects in Ocracoke, benefiting at least 60 families, in partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

In addition, our partners with the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee and Interfaith Community Outreach continue to give monetary assistance to storm victims each week to help them pay bills. Almost $275,000 has been awarded to over 100 families for appliances, furniture, vehicle replacement, utilities, help with rent, wheelchair ramps, medications, medical equipment, and much more.

In Dare County, your donations have already helped 60 families rebuild and recover; additionally, another $95,000 has been pledged to help 25 more families on Hatteras Island for long-term home rebuilds and repairs. Additional funds will be used for long-term resiliency in our most vulnerable communities.

If you or your family suffered hardship or damage from Hurricane Dorian, and you’re a full-time resident of Ocracoke or Dare County, you can still request assistance from the Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund. Full-time Ocracoke residents are invited to contact the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee by emailing Full-time residents of Dare County can contact Interfaith Community Outreach through 252-480-0070, or Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men at 252-305-4925.

Thousands of generous donors from across the country contributed to the Disaster Relief Fund in the days and weeks following Dorian. The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to collect financial contributions to assist individuals and families in Dare County and Ocracoke who were devastated by Hurricane Dorian. All contributions to the Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund are tax-deductible, and every penny of every gift will directly assist local individuals and families; neither the Community Foundation, nor any of our nonprofit partners, are using disaster relief donations for fees, salaries, or administrative or operating expenses. Donations can be made securely online at

Families like Sheyenne’s are slowly rebuilding, and thanks to you, can look forward to the holiday season. “Our kids will be very fortunate, because people have given so much, just so we can have Christmas.”



Summer Internship Opportunity for Scholarship Recipients!

Announcing Our 2020 Milton Jewell Internship

Are you a college student who’s looking to build your résumé, get your foot in the door, and make some money this summer? Are you interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit management, honing your research skills, or developing good general office experience? Or maybe you are hoping to learn more about the nonprofit sector, and are passionate about helping your community?

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for our prestigious Milton Jewell Internship Program, and as one of our past scholarship recipients, YOU are invited to apply for this awesome opportunity.

This summer our Milton Jewell Intern will focus on improving our scholarship program through research, survey creation, and data evaluation. This is a great opportunity to develop some general work and office skills that will be advantageous for any future career. We are looking for enthusiastic, detail-oriented, and creative individuals who are mature, quick-learning, and hard-working.

The intern will work 20 hours per week from our Southern Shores office on the Outer Banks, with flexible hours to accommodate additional employment. The position pays $12.50 per hour. Start and end dates will depend on the intern’s college schedule; however, a 12-week commitment is expected. The Milton Jewell Intern will closely with our Scholarship and Office Administrator and our entire staff.

Job duties will be centered around a major research project that will assist the Outer Banks Community Foundation in organizing, further developing, and possibly expanding our scholarship program. Job duties include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct a research study to evaluate the impact of our scholarship program on individuals and the community at large. We are looking for data on past students’ academic performance, graduation rates, student debt load, and career achievements.
  • Interview donors, scholarship recipients, and volunteers to glean stories of the impact of the Community Foundation’s scholarship program’s impact on students’ lives.
  • Solicit feedback from previous scholarship recipients on the Community Foundation scholarship program and on other ways we can support and sustain them (mentor programs, alumni associations, giving circles) through anonymous online surveys.
  • Help design and update the Community Foundation’s webpages, as well as (potentially) various print publications, flyers, and brochures to reflect such new surveys.
  • Uphold and promote the mission and values of the Community Foundation.
  • Assist with administrative duties as assigned.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a current undergraduate college student. Preference may be given to current sophomores and juniors; however, current freshmen and seniors are also invited to apply.
  • Must be a current or past recipient of an Outer Banks Community Foundation scholarship, including any of our scholarships given in partnership with other entities.
  • Preference may be given to students in the field of education, public policy, social sciences, program evaluation, and/or nonprofit management, and/or to students with a strong career interest in the nonprofit sector.

Essential Qualities:

  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, maturity, reliability, self-motivation, congeniality.
  • Superior work ethic.
  • Strong computer skills.
  • Proficiency with the MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).

To Apply:

  • Email your cover letter, résumé, and list of three references, to no later than December 20, 2019. Please specify “Internship Application” in the subject line of your email.
  • Your list of references should include professional and/or academic contacts, with at least one current or past employer. For each reference, include his/her name, title/affiliation, telephone number, and email address.
  • In your cover letter, please describe your career interests, and any experience you have managing or creating spreadsheets and databases.
  • Finalists may be invited to interview in person over the holiday break, if possible.

About the Community Foundation: Founded in 1982 and based in Southern Shores, the Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity that helps meet local needs across Dare County and the entire Outer Banks. The Community Foundation manages $19 million across 185 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, providing tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. With these funds the Community Foundation awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, and educational scholarships to local students through 50 diverse scholarship programs. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded over $9 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. Learn more at

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to make all hiring and other employment decisions without regard to an individual’s sex, race, national origin, religion, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, or physical or mental disability.

Message of Gratitude from Your Community Foundation

This year, we are thankful to so many friends who have contributed to our foundation, including a record number of generous supporters from near and far who made donations to Outer Banks relief efforts after Hurricane Dorian. Thanks to your generosity, we are helping hundreds of storm victims in Ocracoke, Hatteras, and Dare County rebuild their lives after the storm.

You can still make a tax-advantaged gift this year to our Community Fund, which will build our foundation’s largest grant-making endowment, and will support all of our organization’s efforts in disaster relief, scholarships, and nonprofit leadership.

You can also still contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund, or to any scholarship or grant fund of your choosing.

Year in and year out, we gratefully acknowledge the difference you make with your giving, to your community, through your Outer Banks Community Foundation.

Click here to donate now.

Billy G. Roughton Scholarships To Help Students Achieve Their Dreams

At six foot and one inches, Billy Roughton was a big man, and he had nicknames to match. His many friends called him ‘Bear,’ from high school onward, his grandkids called him ‘Big Daddy,’ and he was just ‘Billy’ to his wife of 50 ½ years, Millie. Billy’s story is one of mentorship, marriage, undying devotion, hard work, random acts of kindness, and paying it forward. Millie Roughton recently chose to honor her magnanimous husband by establishing two scholarships at the Outer Banks Community Foundation in his name.

Billy and Millie met in Elizabeth City when they were just 18 and 20 years old. Billy was a store clerk at Overman & Stevenson Pharmacy on Main; Millie was a hairstylist at a salon across the street. Millie recalled, “We started dating in the fall, and we were married that January. We just knew.”

Billy soon turned his attention to a career and decided to earn a degree in Pharmacology. He worked at the pharmacy by day and did his schoolwork at night, beginning at College of the Albemarle and ultimately earning his PhD at UNC-Chapel Hill. They started a family; Billy built Millie a hair salon on the side of their home, just off the living room, so she could work and watch their young daughters. “We both worked really hard,” she recalled with a smile.

They shared a lifelong love of the Outer Banks, came down to the beach every summer, and soon purchased rental property. They made a permanent move in the 70s with the purchase and relocation of Jacock’s, an Elizabeth City pharmacy. “We moved it to Kitty Hawk and renamed it ‘Bear Drugs,’” said Millie. “Our daughter Amy was obsessed with bears; she picked out the name.”

In addition to owning and running a pharmacy, Billy’s interests included commercial development, real estate, and restaurants. “We started Prime Only in Nags Head – the steaks were the best,” remembered Millie. “I miss them!”

Billy served on several boards around town, including the Dare County Health Department. One of many gifts made in his lifetime, Billy donated the property where the Monument to a Century of Flight stands today. He also mentored other pharmacists throughout his career, endeavoring to instill in them his penchant for accuracy and quality when mixing and compounding prescriptions. Always a strong believer in education, Billy anonymously provided financial support to a number of college students throughout his career.

Their daughters, Pam, Amy, and Jennifer, naturally picked up a strong work ethic and love for learning from their parents. Pam attended the NC School of Science & Mathematics in Durham while in high school, and then went on to UNC to earn her degree. Amy attended College of the Albemarle and UNC-W, and ultimately went back for a second career, as an older student. She earned degrees in both Arts and Nursing, and today is an RN at the Outer Banks Hospital.

“Our youngest, Jennifer, attend College of the Albemarle, and has made a career in the hospitality business,” said Millie. “She has loved hospitality since she was a high schooler, working at our restaurants.”

Billy died suddenly in 2015, at age 70. Stunned by her family’s loss, Millie knew she had to memorialize the wonderful man who had been her partner in life.

And now she has done just that. Earlier this year Millie founded two scholarships in honor of her husband with the Outer Banks Community Foundation. The Billy G. Roughton Memorial Scholarship for Medical Professions will provide financial assistance to students to pursue studies related to medical professions; The Billy G. Roughton Memorial Scholarship for Tourism and Hospitality will help students interested in tourism and/or hospitality. Both look for learners from Dare or Currituck County who have a strong academic record. Two scholarships will be awarded each year, one from each fund. “The funds can be awarded to students right out of high school, or to students returning to school later in life,” Millie said.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation manages scholarship funds not only for families, but also for churches, civic groups, nonprofits, and businesses, including the Outer Banks Association of Realtors, Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, the Duck Woods Ladies Tennis and Golf Associations, and all four of Dare County’s local rotary groups, among others. Both of the Roughton scholarships will be managed in partnership with the College of the Albemarle, focusing on students who are ineligible for other scholarship support.

Anyone can memorialize Billy Roughton with a gift to the new scholarship funds in his name, or can create a new scholarship with another purpose. The Community Foundation has awarded more than $1,300,000 in scholarships to over 1,200 Outer Banks students since the organization’s inception in 1983. For more information, call Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839, or visit

“Billy never wanted recognition; he didn’t want his name on anything,” recalled Millie. “This is my way of honoring his life and all that he meant to me, to his family, and to the community. He would enjoy knowing he is helping deserving students attend higher education.”

Wells Fargo Bank Awards $50,000 Grant for Disaster Relief

Wells Fargo has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Outer Banks Community Foundation for the Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund. The grant will directly support hundreds of households who have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

“Our hearts go out to all the families and businesses impacted by Hurricane Dorian,” said Thomas Cline, Wells Fargo’s Region Bank president for Eastern North Carolina. “Wells Fargo is committed to supporting our communities in their time of need, and we appreciate the Community Foundation’s commitment to ensuring that every penny in the Disaster Relief Fund will go directly to hurricane victims.”

“Our neighbors on Ocracoke are still struggling terribly in the aftermath of this hurricane,” said Lorelei Costa, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Private philanthropy is now playing the leading role in rebuilding our communities, and Wells Fargo’s donation is a big step forward in meeting our neighbors’ needs.”

Already, dozens of  households on Ocracoke have been awarded assistance through the Disaster Relief Fund. Administered in partnership with the Ocracoke Fire Department, the Fund is helping these families with appliances, car down payments, utilities, rent payments, wheelchair ramps, medications and medical equipment, electrical repairs, and much more.

The Disaster Relief Fund has also pledged up to $500,000 toward temporary shelter and home repair needs. In partnership with Hyde County, the Fund is paying for utility hook-ups for 35 temporary trailers for Ocracoke families while their homes are rebuilt or repaired. Additionally, the Disaster Relief Fund has pledged financial assistance to purchase building supplies for home repairs for 60 Ocracoke homes, in partnership the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

These awards, said Ms. Costa, are just the beginning of many grants to come over the next many months.

Relief efforts on Ocracoke are led by volunteers, who are contributing countless unpaid hours to helping their neighbors in the recovery. This includes volunteer case workers, who are working directly with storm victims, and the members of the Ocracoke Fire Department, who are managing disbursements. Beyond Ocracoke, more than 7,700 businesses and families have donated to the Disaster Relief Fund since Hurricane Dorian.

“We have been astounded by the efforts of the volunteers in Ocracoke, who are tirelessly helping their neighbors, and the generosity of people across the country who have donated to Disaster Relief,” said Ms. Costa. “From large institutions like Wells Fargo, to children running lemonade stands, the outpouring of generosity has been incredibly humbling.”

The Community Foundation is still accepting donations to the Disaster Relief Fund for Ocracoke. Contributors can visit to make a secure donation online. Or mail a check to OBCF, 13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, NC 27949, with “Ocracoke disaster relief” written in the memo line.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that helps meet local needs across Dare County and the entire Outer Banks. The Community Foundations manages $19 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

Disaster Funds Allocated for Home Rebuilds, Repairs, and Temp Housing

More than $625,000 has now been allocated and awarded from the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund for Dorian victims. As recovery efforts continue on the island, much more financial assistance is to come, according to Fund representatives.

The Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund was raised by the Community Foundation from thousands of generous donors across the country, and the dollars are being awarded and disbursed by a committee of local volunteers from the Ocracoke Fire Protection Association.

More than half a million dollars has now been dedicated by the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee for housing for Ocracoke storm victims. This includes $300,000 that has been pledged for materials and supplies for repair and rebuilding projects. In partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Community Foundation money will be used for building supplies and materials for storm victims, including sheet rock, lumber, shingles, and more, with priority focus on helping the elderly and people with medical needs.

“We’re delighted to partner with UMCOR on this rebuilding project, which will benefit at least 60 Ocracoke families,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s Executive Director. “UMCOR will be leveraging a national pool of volunteers, who will travel to Ocracoke to help families repair and rebuild their homes. With our funds, UMCOR will be able to purchase deeply discounted building materials in bulk, allowing us to help even more families.”

Additionally, the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee has set aside another $200,000 to install temporary housing trailers purchased by Hyde County. At least 35 families will be able to live in these trailers while their homes are being repaired or rebuilt. The Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund will subsidize utility hook-ups, like septic, water, gas, and power.

In addition, the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee continues to approve monetary assistance to additional storm victims each week to help them pay bills. Funds have been awarded for roof repairs, appliances, furniture, vehicle replacement, utilities, rental assistance, wheelchair ramps, medications, medical equipment, insulation, electrical repairs, and much more.

Additionally, the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee recently awarded funds for sixty space heaters, which are being distributed to families in time for the approaching winter.

If you or your family suffered hardship or damage from Hurricane Dorian, and you’re a full-time resident of Ocracoke or Dare County, you can still request assistance from the Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund. Full-time Ocracoke residents are invited to contact the Ocracoke Recovery Fund Committee by emailing Full-time residents of Dare County can contact Interfaith Community Outreach through 252-480-0070.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to collect financial contributions to assist individuals and families in Dare County and Ocracoke who have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian. All contributions to the Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund are tax-deductible, and every penny of every gift will be used to directly assist local individuals and families – neither the Community Foundation, nor any of its nonprofit partners, are using disaster relief donations for fees, salaries, or administrative or operating expenses. Donations can be made securely online at