Women United in Philanthropy (WUP) Grants Committee has released proposal summaries of the five finalist organizations under consideration for a 2018 Human Services Grant Award. These finalist organizations will present at the 2018 Grant Finalists Presentation on May 9, 2018. The WUP membership will vote on the awardees beginning on May 10th. Only members may vote, so please be sure you have joined or renewed.

Below is a summary of each finalists’ proposal along with a link to learn more:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge (BBBS) provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, and professionally supported 1-to-1 mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. BBBS has identified two specific groups of children who are potentially vulnerable and need BBBS mentoring relationships: (1) youth who are in danger of being incarcerated in a juvenile facility or are currently housed in juvenile detention and hope to be released and (2) children who are refugees or immigrants. BBBS seeks support to provide the possibility of mentors to both of these cohorts of youth residing in our community. Funding would allow implementation of focused outreach to both identified groups, for additional staff training, background checks, match enrichment activities, and volunteer recruitment.


Building Goodness Foundation

Building Goodness (BGF) leverages the skilled labor of local builders and artisans who volunteer their time by putting together projects to effectively utilize that donation of skills in the Charlottesville community, as well as for international projects in Haiti and Central America. BGF seeks funding for projects with three local non-profits. By improving the spaces of two existing non-profits and building a playground for a budding Head Start program, this grant has the ability to provide transformation and impact to many in our community. Most of the funds requested will be used to build a playground at Pilgrim Baptist Church, which allows this community center-like organization near Westhaven to expand their after-school program into a Head Start program. The remaining funds will be used to rebuild the porch of the Barrett Early Learning Center and to improve the large community space at Camp Holiday Trails.


Emergency Food Network 

Emergency Food Network (EFN) is a 45-year-old grassroots food safety net program for Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents needing assistance to feed themselves and their families. EFN, which is almost entirely volunteer driven except for a part-time office administrator, seeks support of their operating budget. EFN provides three days of balanced meals per month for each family who requests it – no questions asked. Approximately 20,250 people were served in 2016 and again in 2017, which equates to 30 orders per day, 5 days a week. Ninety percent of EFN’s budget is spent on food and a mere 6-7 percent supports administration.


International Neighbors

International Neighbors (IN) connects deeply with refugee families in our community when resettlement programs end. IN seeks funding to allow the organization to transition from an all-volunteer effort into a sustainable non-profit structure with paid staff for the first time. Recognizing that a sense of well-being, control, and self-efficacy in the face of challenges are fundamental to all success, IN is seeking support to aid in providing three key services in these areas to foster success for our international neighbors: (1) access to adult and pediatric dental care, (2) driver’s education, and (3) in-home English tutoring. Grant funds would extend and strengthen three IN program pillars: (1) addressing critical health needs via the Super Smiles Program, (2) improving English via the Bilingual Buddies In-Home Tutoring Program, (3) improving independent mobility via the Driving the Dream Program.


The Roots and Wings Project of The Front Porch

The Front Porch (FP) is a roots music school that hosts classes, workshops, master classes, weekly jams, and performances. FP seeks support of its Roots and Wings project, which provides opportunities for children from underserved communities to obtain a musical education in a safe environment, allowing them to express themselves in movement; express their emotions; tell and write their own stories and poetry; and learn to trust, share, and love learning. The grant will fund half of its expansion beginning in August 2018 to promote its senior teacher to part-time Program Director. This opportunity will enable him to train three more teachers, develop a written curriculum and methodology, expand the number of children served per week from 80 to 300, and develop new programs at the Blue Ridge Detention Center and an international refugee choir.


The membership, guests, and the general public are welcome to the Grant Awards Finalists Presentation. The event will be at CAAR Conference Center at 550 Hillsdale Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901 at 5:30 pm. Please RSVP by May 7 to WomenUnited@UnitedWayTJA.org or 434.972.1701,