By Nicole Collins
The Woodruff Area Soup Kitchen, Helping Hands Ministries of Woodruff, and Stone Soup Storytelling Institute, all nonprofits based in Woodruff, received Just Because grants from the Spartanburg County Foundation last month.
The grants were announced virtually the morning of Nov. 10 on the Nonprofit Thankful for You Celebration Zoom Call. The Foundation typically hosts this event as an in-person breakfast held at the Piedmont Club in Spartanburg, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was moved to a virtual platform.
The grant recipients were chosen through a random drawing, which is the normal selection process. Local nonprofits had to register for the event to be entered into the drawing and then be present on the call to receive the grant if chosen. The Foundation Community Leadership team, who were in their offices for proper social distancing, had all the 64 registered nonprofit organization’s names printed in a bowl to draw from.
A total of $21,500 was awarded to 13 Spartanburg area nonprofits, including the three nonprofits in Woodruff. The grant funds are unrestricted, meaning that the nonprofits can use the money to pay overhead costs or reserve for emergency needs.
“The Just Because Program started in 2014 as an opportunity to bring awareness to issues throughout Spartanburg County and to highlight nonprofit organizations that are working diligently to meet those needs. The Foundation leverages numerous avenues of resources in order to surprise nonprofit agencies with unrestricted, unsolicited, and unbudgeted grants bringing awareness to their missions countywide,” said Logen Hall, communication specialist at The Spartanburg County Foundation, in an email to The Woodruff Times.
Helping Hands, Woodruff’s food pantry, received $2,500 and plans to use the funds to restock our pantry shelves and purchase extra Thanksgiving fare to add to the holiday food boxes. “Due to the pandemic, schools and churches have not had the opportunity to hold food drives for us,” said Sandi Turner, director of Helping Hands. “I was very surprised! And thankful! The grant we won was thrown in at the last minute from President Troy Hannah’s reserve fund. Times have been tough this year and I was happy that the Soup Kitchen and Stone Soup received grants also.”
The Woodruff Area Soup Kitchen also receive a $2,500 Just Because grant. “We plan to use the money for energy efficient refrigeration/freezer and operating expenses. We were very surprised, excited and thankful that we were fortunate enough to be a recipient,” Stan Sanders, chairman of our Woodruff Area Soup Kitchen Board of Directors.
Stone Soup Storytelling’s was awarded $1,500. “Stone Soup will utilize these funds for operational costs such as our website, online and internet fees and to support events that we have planned for 2020-2021,” said Karyn Page-Davies, president of the Stone Soup Storytelling Institute.
These are the 13 organizations that received a 2020 Just Because Grant.
- Brothers Restoring Urban Hope (BRUH Mentor), Inc.
- Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation
- A Light Unto My Path | Sober Living Homes for Women
- First Tee of the Upstate
- Stone Soup Storytelling Institute
- Spartanburg Interfaith Hospitality Network (SPHIN)
- Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas
- Woodruff Area Soup Kitchen
- Hope Remains Youth Ranch
- Louvenia D. Barksdale Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Inc
- American Red Cross of the Upstate
- Helping Hands Ministries of Woodruff Area, Inc.
- Cancer Association of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties, Inc