Community Foundation Grant Will Help More People with Cancer

Update: November 21, 2018: We are so terribly sad to learn of Jennifer Wall’s passing on November 20. Truly, heaven has a new angel. We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.

 

When Jennifer Wall was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2015, she was frightened for herself and her family.

“I was diagnosed with cancer of the liver bile ducts. As a young mother of two young children, I was scared at the seriousness—and what the future would hold for myself and my family.” A graduate of East Carolina University, Jennifer lived in Kitty Hawk and owned a small business in Kill Devil Hills, all while being a mom.

As Jennifer fought her battle with cancer, she endured surgery and months of radiation in Raleigh. Meanwhile, her family began to struggle with the costs of child care and travel. The medical bills piled up, and Jennifer’s family started to fall behind.

The challenges facing Jennifer are distressingly common. Approximately one third of working-age cancer patients go into debt, according to Kaiser Permanente, and cancer patients are almost three times more likely to file for bankruptcy, according to the National Institutes of Health.

No one should face cancer alone, and here in the Outer Banks, they don’t have to.

In 2016, Jennifer discovered a charity called Interfaith. Established in 2004, Interfaith Community Outreach is a nonprofit organization in Kill Devil Hills that helps people like Jennifer who are struggling with a temporary, emergency crisis. Over these past two years, Interfaith has been helping Jennifer with living and travel expenses while she seeks cancer treatment.

If cancer seems like a growing phenomenon, that’s because it is. Almost 40% of all Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute, and Interfaith sees a rising need for their services in the Outer Banks. Last year alone, Interfaith helped 700 local cancer patients and family members, which was a 17% increase over the prior year.

But there’s good news. Interfaith now has more resources to help more people like Jennifer. A recent grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation of almost $25,000 will help Interfaith add staff capacity to their cancer program—and increase their coffers for providing direct financial assistance.

“This grant will make such a difference,” said Jean Freeman, who has been Interfaith’s Cancer Outreach Coordinator since the program began in 2015. “In these three years, unfortunately, our cancer outreach has grown beyond our imagination. With this grant we can increase our staff hours, help more clients, and have more time to raise more funds to sustain it.”

By providing support for Interfaith’s staff, this grant is the first of its kind for the Community Foundation. Founded in 1982, the Outer Banks Community Foundation has awarded over $8 million in grants and scholarships, but their grants have traditionally focused on tangible items and capital assets and improvements.

“In the past, our grants have been for specific, one-time purchases, like power generators for Hatteras Island, the new ballfield in Ocracoke, the new building for the Beach Food Pantry, and violins for the Dare Youth Orchestra,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “These grants have made a huge impact on our community, but many nonprofits, like Interfaith, need staff, not stuff, to accomplish a vital mission.”

To better address nonprofits’ needs, this summer the Community Foundation announced a significant expansion of their grants program, adding staff salaries to the list of qualified grant expenses.

“Usually funds to pay staff are the hardest dollars for a nonprofit to raise,” explained Lorelei. “Now, thanks to our generous donors, the Community Foundation’s grant funding has grown, and we are able to offer grants that include program staff wages, as well as other hard costs.”

Though Interfaith relies on a cadre of dedicated volunteers, who logged more than 6,800 hours of volunteer labor in 2017, it’s the staff that keeps the organization running efficiently—and providing care and moral support to their clients.

“In addition to the monetary help, the staff at Interfaith check on me regularly and are genuinely concerned about my cancer battle,” said Jennifer.

This kind of emotional support can make all the difference. Another Interfaith client, Kat Reilly, is a recent survivor of breast cancer. She told us: “While all of the tests, the surgeries, and the chemotherapy are taking place, the bills are mounting. A lot of the expenses are covered by insurance, but some are not.”

Then Kat found Interfaith, who helped with her rent and transportation expenses, so she could concentrate on surviving and healing from cancer.

“It’s been proven that the better the attitude, the better the chances of faster healing,” said Kat. “Taking care of the financial end of things is stressful, no way around it, and it can easily affect your attitude in a negative way. To know that there were resources in our community that exist for situations like mine was beyond comforting.”

“The Community Foundation board was so enthusiastic about supporting this grant for Interfaith, because their impact on our community is so broad and immediate,” said Lorelei. “We have already seen a high demand for grant funding for staff, so applications are competitive.”

The foundation’s official criteria give priority to grant projects that benefit a broad segment of the community, are collaborative and/or innovative, attract additional funding from other sources, and/or enhance the organization’s financial sustainability. New programs are prioritized, as well as established programs that are filling a gap and/or meeting a vital, urgent need.

“For our staffing grants, we are really scrutinizing the nonprofits’ financials carefully, and looking for strong organizations that are well-managed and follow best practices,” said Lorelei. “We’re also looking for opportunities where our grant would make a transformative difference for that nonprofit and its mission.”

Interfaith’s mission goes beyond helping people with cancer. The organization has helped over 19,000 Outer Bankers in the face of crisis, including cancer or other illnesses, hurricanes or other disasters, job loss, or death in the family.

“These are friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are struggling, many of them in silence,” said Jean. “They are struggling to pay rent in order to keep a roof over their heads, and they are living in the dark because they couldn’t afford to pay their electricity bill last month.”

“We have seen great successes with clients going into remission or getting scans showing ‘no cancer,’ but we have also lost too many clients due to this dreaded disease,” continued Jean. “Our clients are so very grateful for the help and assistance they receive during their journey fighting this disease.”

As for Jennifer, her cancer is unfortunately not curable, but she can be kept stable with continued treatments. And she and her family continue to fight heroically, with Interfaith by their side. “I am fighting on, currently in a clinical trial. My faith is steadfast and I hope to survive this battle and be able to give back to others in the future.”

 

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $18 million in 180 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards 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 $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. The next application deadline for a Community Foundation grant is Friday, October 26.

Video Contest 2019

If your nonprofit has received any kind of Community Foundation grant since 2014, you are eligible to enter our seventh annual video contest!

This is an opportunity to showcase your organization’s success stories, tell us about your nonprofit’s amazing work, and highlight any exciting or impactful program that the Community Foundation helped fund… while winning money for your group!

Your three-minute video should highlight a project that the Community Foundation supported with any grant since 2014. We can accept just one submission per organization, please. The winning videos will be announced and shown at our annual meeting on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. ALL entries will be posted on the Community Foundation’s website and YouTube page.

And then, of course, there’s the prize money: the first place organization will receive $2,000, second place winner will receive $1,000, and third place will receive $500.

Don’t know how to make a video? It’s easy! Check out your phone, camera, or computer – or even the closest teenager! Your video doesn’t have to be perfect and will not be judged on technical ability. Instead, videos will be judged on how they make us feel. A winning video will make us excited to support your organization’s vital mission! Check out past winners here! For details on the proper video format for submission, please click here for our flyer.

Deadline for entries is Friday, January 18, 2019!

Sign Up for Our Encore Grant-Writing Clinic on Sept. 7

Did you miss our July Grant-Writing Workshop? Don’t worry – we are offering an encore performance! All local nonprofits are invited to a grants workshop on Friday, September 7, 2018 from 9:00 until 10:30 am at the Outer Banks Community Services Collaborative Meeting being held at the Outer Banks Association of Realtors, 201 W. 8th Street, Nags Head in the 2nd floor conference room. You do not need to be a member of the Collaborative to attend! At the workshop, our executive director, Lorelei Costa, will provide an overview of our Community Enrichment Grants Program, and answer questions about our expanded grants criteria.

In late June of this year, the Community Foundation announced a significant expansion of our flagship grants program: Effective immediately, the Community Foundation is now awarding grants to include nonprofit staff wages. This is in addition to our traditional focus on funding tangible items, one-time costs, capacity-building endeavors, program scholarships, and capital assets and improvements.

Nonprofits can apply online now to the newly expanded Community Enrichment Grants Program. The last deadline of the year is Friday, October 26.

Join Us for a Grant-Writing Workshop on July 12

Local nonprofits are invited to a grants workshop on Thursday, July 12 from 1pm to 3pm at UNC’s Coastal Studies Institute on Roanoke Island. At the workshop, our executive director, Lorelei Costa, will provide an overview of our Community Enrichment Grants Program, and answer questions about our expanded grants criteria.

In late June, the Community Foundation announced a significant expansion of our flagship grants program: Effective immediately, the Community Foundation is now awarding grants to include nonprofit staff wages. This is in addition to our traditional focus on funding tangible items, one-time costs, capacity-building endeavors, program scholarships, and capital assets and improvements.

Nonprofits can apply online now to the newly expanded Community Enrichment Grants Program. The next deadline is Friday, July 27, 2018, and the last deadline of the year is Friday, October 26.

 

Community Foundation Expands Nonprofit Grants Program

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced a significant expansion of its flagship grants program.

Effective immediately, the Community Foundation will now award grants to include nonprofit staff wages as part of its Community Enrichment Grants Program. This is in addition to its traditional focus on funding tangible items, one-time costs, capacity-building endeavors, program scholarships, and capital assets and improvements.

“This is exciting news for Outer Banks nonprofits,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director, “because it will help fill such a huge funding need for our local charitable sector.”

The Community Enrichment Grants Program is the Community Foundation’s largest and broadest funding opportunity. Last year the Community Foundation awarded over $225,000 in Community Enrichment Grants to 35 local nonprofits.

Community Enrichment Grants are offered on a competitive basis for any kind of charitable project that benefits Dare County, Ocracoke, and/or the Currituck beaches. Areas of interest include arts and culture, animal welfare, children and youth, education, the environment, disaster relief and prevention, health and wellness, historic interpretation and preservation, and other human services.

In the past, Community Enrichment Grants have supported local charities by funding tangible items or one-time project costs. In 2017, for example, the Community Foundation sponsored playground equipment for the safehouse at Outer Banks Hotline, new vehicles for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to care for the historic equine herd, new/additional parking spaces for visitors to the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve, and restoration of the 1911 Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station.

“While tremendously impactful, grants for supplies, assets, and delimited services do not always cover a nonprofit’s greatest need,” said Ms. Costa. “Many nonprofits also need professional staff to do critical work — yet funds to pay staff are often the hardest dollars to raise. Now, thanks to our generous donors, the Community Foundation’s grant funding has grown, and we are able to offer grants that include program staff wages, as well as other hard costs.”

The Community Foundation is anticipating high demand for staff funding. Grant applications will be competitively evaluated against several criteria, with priority given to projects that involve or benefit a broad segment of the community, provide an innovative approach to addressing area needs, attract additional funding from other sources, promote an organization’s financial sustainability, and/or promote collaboration and efficiencies amongst multiple entities. New programs are prioritized, as well as established programs that are filling a gap and/or meeting a vital, urgent need.

Most of all, the Community Foundation will assess applications based on community impact.

“We ask all applicants to tell us, in as much detail as possible, how the project will benefit the Outer Banks — who will be served, how many people, and how the project will make a difference,” said Ms. Costa. “The strongest applications will connect the staff support to specific, positive outcomes.”

Nonprofits can apply now to the newly expanded Community Enrichment Grants Program via the online application. The next deadline is Friday, July 27, 2018, and the last deadline of the year is Friday, October 26.

The Community Foundation is offering a special grant-writing clinic for local nonprofits that want to learn more about the program expansion. The informative workshop will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute in Skyco on Roanoke Island. Nonprofits are asked to register for the workshop in advance by clicking here.

“If your organization has hesitated in the past to apply for a grant, we invite you to read our new criteria on our website, attend our workshop on July 12, and call our staff to discuss your needs. Your projects may now be a perfect fit for our grants program,” said Ms. Costa.

Additional Resources:
Community Enrichment Grants Guidelines
Community Enrichment Grants FAQ

 

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $17 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards 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 $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

A Lifetime of “Putting Back”

Story by Kip Tabb

Jack Adams, one of the founding directors of the Outer Banks Community Foundation, has a history of giving back to the community in which he lives.

“I’ve always had the desire to help. It’s something I’ve always believed in,” he said.

That desire to give back may have been why Jack signed on to the fledgling charitable foundation in 1982. Or it may have been founder David Stick, who could be very persuasive.

The first CPA to live and work in Dare County, Jack had gotten to known David through work.

“David Stick was a client of mine,” he recalled. “He was one of the owners of Southern Shores Realty and Kitty Hawk Land Company. I was working very closely with him.”

There must have been something about Jack’s work that David liked, because he broached Jack with an idea he had been discussing with other community leaders.

“He came to me one day and said he had been talking with Edward Greene, Andy Griffith, George Crocker, and Marty Kellogg. He didn’t want a private fund, but something that gave back into the community. Based on what he said, we were able to get a 501c3 so we could get money from various donors,” Jack said.

As important as David was to Jack’s community involvement, what seemed to truly motivate him was a slogan crafted by Wallace McCown, one of the first members of the Community Foundation.

“He came up with the slogan, ‘Put something back.’ It stuck in my mind, that you can’t just keep taking something from a community without putting back to help others,” he said.

Although no longer living on the Outer Banks, that belief in “putting back” is still a part of his life. He and his wife have recently created two endowments at the Community Foundation that will help to make the Outer Banks a better place to live.

The Adams Family Fund for Animals was established last year to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that work with animals, with an emphasis on groups that provide shelter for dogs with the goal of finding them a permanent home.

“My wife and I have dogs. Specifically bassets,” he explained. “My wife, Susan Brown, has devoted all of her time to the rescue of animals, especially dogs. We have fostered numerous dogs over the last 20 years for the purpose of finding loving homes for them. It’s something we’ve always been interested in.”

In addition to the Fund for Animals, Jack also established the Adams Family Fund, an unrestricted fund.

“For whatever the needs of the community are,” he said. “Scholarships. A grant for the Food Pantry, if that is what is needed. It’s just like a general fund type of thing.”

Thanks to a relatively new tax law, Jack has been able to contribute to both funds directly from his retirement investments.

“The IRS allows you to make a contribution directly to a nonprofit from a retirement plan,” Jack said. This strategy is often recommended by the Community Foundation and by tax experts, because donating directly from a retirement account can result in a significant savings on income tax. (More information on the IRA strategy here.)

He has also pledged a planned gift to the Community Foundation—a bequest that one day will increase his two endowment funds and perpetuate his legacy of giving.

Jack remained active with the Community Foundation throughout the time he lived in the area. “After David Stick, I was the President of the organization,” Jack said.

“I left the Outer Banks in 1994. Until that time I was involved in it,” he said.

His giving—his putting back—has not been limited to just the Outer Banks.

The lessons he learned about making his community a better place and how to contribute stayed with him, even after he left Dare County.

He moved to Arkansas and then to Savannah, Tennessee, where he now lives, and where he continued to work with community organizations.

“One of the things Hardin County, where I live, needed was a cancer treatment center,” he said. “I was the President of the Hardin County Community and Healthcare Foundation for eight or nine years that raised $1.3 million for the construction of a cancer treatment center. I was also the Treasurer of the Darryl Worley Foundation that also provided $600,000 for the construction of the cancer treatment center.”

For Jack Adams there has been a history of giving back, and much of that philosophy began with those talks with David Stick, the slogan that Wallace McCown created, and the first days of the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

“You can’t just keep taking something from a community without putting back to help others. It just gets back to what you’re supposed to do,” he said.

 

Photograph Above: Jack Adams (second from right) visited the Community Foundation office with his grandson in 2017 to establish the Adams Family Fund and the Adams Family Fund for Animals. He and his grandson are pictured here with fellow founder Ray White and executive director Lorelei Costa.

2018 Scholarships — A Gift from a Caring Community

Story By Kip Tabb

The numbers are remarkable. So far in 2018 the Outer Banks Community Foundation has awarded $147,500 in scholarships to 72 local students. And a number of those scholarships are renewable, bringing the total amount awarded to Outer Banks students to almost $220,000.

But those are just numbers, and although they tell a remarkable story of a caring community that believes in supporting the hopes and aspirations of students, it doesn’t tell the full tale of what it means to know that achieving a dream is one very tangible step closer.

Manteo High School graduate Vanessa Salazar was awarded the Jerry and Arlene Davis Scholarship, a $6,000 renewable scholarship that will help her to begin her studies in nursing at Appalachian State. The Davises, recognizing that college is becoming more expensive, increased the grant this year from $5,000 annually to $6,000.

“It’s a really good career,” she said. “And I can help my community, to provide assistance to people who need help.”

Salazar has already identified what she hopes to do with her nursing skills.

“When I was in the Interact Club, we visited a special needs program. It opened my sight to special needs nursing,” she said.

It is a tribute to Dare County schools that through their studies, many students are able to recognize what they are hoping will be their careers.

The Milton Jewell Academic Scholarship is a $6,000 renewable scholarship that is awarded to one Dare County graduating senior every year. The qualifications include high academic achievement, exceptional school and community involvement, and proven leadership. This year’s recipient, Manteo High School Valedictorian Elizabeth Wheless, exceeded all of the requirements, and is off to UNC Chapel Hill in the fall to major in media and journalism.

“Last year I realized I wanted to work in journalism when we were creating an edition (of Sound to Sea, the MHS school paper). Working on the stories and the editing, I knew it was what I wanted to do,” she said.

The desire to give back to the community seems to be an important theme with the 2018 students who were awarded scholarships.

The R. Stewart Couch Hatteras Island Scholarship was established through a bequest from Stewart Couch, a Hatteras Island native who built Hatteras Realty from a small real estate firm to a nationally recognized property management company.

It is, perhaps, fitting that Kayleeann Jones, the 2018 recipient of the $8,400 scholarship, dreams of coming back to the Outer Banks one day to own her own business.

“During my senior year of high school, I took an entrepreneurship course,” she said. “My partner and I decided to outline a plan for opening an event planning business…on the Outer Banks…I realized this is something that I would like to do myself,” she said, adding, ”My…goal is to return to the Outer Banks …and run a wedding planning business on Hatteras Island.”

The scholarships seem to be a validation of the dreams of the students, but there is also the very real understanding of the financial burden of a higher education.

Echoing the thoughts of the students who were interviewed, Jones observed, “Receiving the R. Stewart Couch Scholarship relieved my family and me of struggling to pay for my college tuition. It puts me many steps closer to my career goals.”

Although helping with the cost of college was important, the sense of pride in the achievement and love of their parents are also memories the students will cherish.

“When they told me I would be getting the scholarship, my parents hugged me and told me they were incredibly proud of me,” Wheless said.

For Salazar, an AVID student who will be the first in her family to attend college, her accomplishment is also a source of family pride, something that was evident at the scholarship award ceremony.

“They were very happy for me,” she said. “My father has been my biggest champion. He is my example of what work ethic and character should be.”

2017 Annual Report Now Available!

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has released its 2017 Annual Report, showcasing 19 new endowment funds and $750,000 in grants and scholarships.

The report spotlights our director emeritus, Josephine Oden, and her mother, Inez Daniels Austin, and the scholarships endowments established in their memory. It also highlights Community Enrichment Grants to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for new transportation, to the Beach Food Pantry providing cold storage for nourishing fresh foods, and to First Colony Foundation for their OBX History Weekend sharing the discovery of Site X.

Click here for special recognition of our Life Members on our website, who donated at special giving levels early in the Community Foundation history.

The Community Foundation gratefully thanks and acknowledges all of our generous 2017 donors, including designer, Barbara Noel, who generously donated 30% of the graphic design services for this beautiful report.

Download the report here: Outer Banks Community Foundation 2017 Annual Report.

OBCF Welcomes Lauren Mahler as 2018 Milton Jewell Intern

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is delighted to welcome Lauren Mahler this summer as our 2018 Milton Jewell Intern. Lauren has just finished her sophomore year at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where she is studying public policy and economics, and where she serves as president of her residence hall. Over the next 12 weeks, Lauren will be in our office part-time to help us update and improve several of our key databases, including our grants and scholarship records, and our nonprofit database. Lauren graduated from First Flight High School in 2016, and she is a past recipient of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors Scholarship. Welcome, Lauren!

Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications for Special Focus Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its annual Special Focus Grants. Areas of Special Focus include Animal Welfare, Aviation Education, Health/Wellness, and Opportunities for People with Disabilities. Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 27, 2018.

Aviation grants will be drawn from the Aviation Education Fund. Requests for $500 or less may be made through a simple, one-page letter that explains the project and how the grant money would be spent. Applicants must also submit proof of tax-exempt status (e.g., 501c3 letter from the IRS). If an organization has a larger project in mind, it can apply for matching funds through the Community Foundation’s online application.

Animal welfare grants will support efforts to protect, rehabilitate, and care for animals, both domestic and wild. Animal grants will be drawn from the All God’s Creatures Fund, the Adams Family Fund for Animals, and the Schiffman Fund for Animals. In this category, requests for $1000 or less may be made through a one-page letter that explains the project and how the grant money would be spent. Proof of tax-exempt status must be attached. If an organization has a larger project in mind, it can apply for matching funds through the online application.

Health and wellness grants will be made from the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot Fund to improve and support the health and wellness of all people of the Outer Banks. Here, health and wellness is defined broadly, to include initiatives that attend to physical, social, emotional, and environmental health, and including projects that focus on prevention, education, and direct care. To be considered for a health and wellness grant, organizations must submit an application online.

Finally, in the area of opportunities for people with disabilities, the Community Foundation will utilize three special focus funds: the David Aycock Loy Memorial Fund, the Pauline Wright Endowment for Currituck County, and the Pauline Wright Endowment for Dare County. While the Loy Endowment focuses on children with developmental and/or learning disabilities, with a priority for children with autism, the Pauline Wright Endowments may give priority to programs for adults with Down syndrome. The Pauline Wright Endowments are available to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies, serving either Currituck or Dare residents, or both. To be considered for a Loy or Wright grant, organizations must submit an application online.

In addition to these Special Focus Grants, the Community Foundation is also accepting applications for its general Community Enrichment Grants Program, which is open to any nonprofit for any kind of charitable project that benefits the Outer Banks. This includes: arts & culture; children & youth; education; the environment; disaster relief & prevention; historic interpretation & preservation; and other human services.

Most Community Enrichment Grants will support the direct costs of a charitable project or program (e.g., art supplies, educational materials); however, Community Enrichment Grants are also awarded for capacity-building projects, with a goal of enhancing a nonprofit’s long-term effectiveness, financial stability, and/or program quality (e.g., computers, office equipment, strategic planning).

Program scholarship grants are also available; these are grants that enable a nonprofit to offer scholarships for its programs to participants in need. These scholarships would offset or reduce the participation fees normally charged for any sort of enrichment program, such as a day camp, educational offering, and/or after-school program.

Before submitting an application for any Special Focus or Community Enrichment Grant, prospective applicants should first review the criteria at www.obcf.org/grants, and then contact Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 27, 2018. Grant decisions will be announced on Thursday, June 7, 2018.