Woodrow Wilson High School (WWHS) is a secondary school located in Beckley, WV, teaching grades nine through twelve. It is one of four secondary schools in the Raleigh County School District. Including the two new funds mentioned below, BAF now has twenty scholarship funds that are specific to WWHS.
WWHS Class of 1964 Scholarship Fund was created to assist students in furthering their post-secondary education. Applicants must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 – 4.0 scale based on official high school transcripts. This fund started building over time in 2020, but has now been completed thanks to the WWHS Class of 1964 Alumni and other donors.
George Shriver, WWHS Class of 1964 Fund Advisor, said, “Thank you, classmates, for making the Class of 1964 Scholarship a reality. Remember additional contributions can be made at any time, which is a great way to honor those special events.”
WWHS Class of 1980 Scholarship Fund was created to assist students in furthering their post-secondary education. Applicants must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher based on official high school transcripts. This fund is currently building over time and was started by the WWHS Class of 1980 Alumni in 2021. Any donations to help build this fund are encouraged and welcome.
Richard Jarrell, WWHS Class of 1980 Fund Advisor, said, “The Class of 1980 was motivated to establish a Scholarship Fund by the many other classes over the years who have been there to help Woodrow Wilson students continue their post-secondary education. We also wanted to help leave a legacy for future students.”
Both of these funds utilized BAF’s “Building Over Time” option, which enables individuals, families, companies and organizations to establish a fund with a minimum gift of $2,000 and build up the fund over a five-year period.
Anyone may make additional contributions to these funds. Donations may be made online by clicking the buttons below, or by check made payable to BAF with WWHS Class of ‘69 or WWHS Class of ‘80 in the memo. Please mail your check to Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801.
In early December 2020, BAF launched their Campaign for the 21st Century. This annual campaign is an appeal for gifts to BAF’s unrestricted endowments. These funds are used to respond to emerging needs throughout Raleigh County. Recent projects include the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, Community Grant Program and the Household Hazardous Waste Collection. A matching opportunity was available for any donation over $250 to the Campaign. This was partially funded by a donation from the Massey Foundation. BAF received over $20,000 in donations to the Campaign for the 21st Century, and also had three new unrestricted funds started as a result, one of which will remain anonymous.
The Jane Witt Haga Family Fund was started by Jane, to support projects responding to emerging needs in Raleigh County. Jane is a long-time supporter of BAF, she helped coordinate establishing the WWHS Class of 1963 Scholarship Fund in 2013.
The Shirley Weber Koehler Memorial Fund was started by Sally Jarrett, Charles Konas and Sue Thomas in memory of their Mother, Shirley Weber Koehler. This fund was also created to support projects responding to emerging needs in Raleigh County.
Rebecca Williams, BAF Chief Financial Officer, said, “Since 1985, donors have established 83 named unrestricted funds to support BAF programs in Raleigh County. This amounts to over $6.6 million in endowed funds and another $6.2 million dollars is held in our General Unrestricted Fund. Each year BAF is able to respond to the emerging needs of our local nonprofit organizations thanks to the flexibility that these endowed funds provide. BAF is able to put the needs of our community first because of the generosity of donors to the unrestricted endowment funds. Gifts received today will support our community in ways we can only imagine in the future.”
BAF would like to thank the community for their ongoing support, and encourage donations to unrestricted funds. These funds allow the Foundation to respond quickly to the needs in our community, and provide flexibility with new programs and granting opportunities.
Anyone may make additional contributions to these funds. Donations may be made by clicking the buttons below, or by check made payable to BAF with Haga Family, Weber Koehler or General Unrestricted in the memo. Please mail your check to Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801.
In March 2020, the Beckley Area Foundation established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was created to support local nonprofit organizations working to provide aid to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Doug Ramsden, CERF Committee Chair and BAF Treasurer, said, “To serve as a member of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Committee has been a tremendously rewarding experience. Since the virus became known last year, the fund has received well in excess of $100,000 from donors who determined someone else's needs were greater than their own. Over 30 non-profit organizations applied and received grants to support the communities where they reside. Funding has allowed organizations to deliver food boxes to thousands of individuals including families living in Raleigh, Wyoming, Webster and McDowell counties. The emotional impact one receives in response to these grants is life changing.”
The donations have been used to grant $114,669.24 to 37 different nonprofit organizations in Raleigh County and surrounding areas. One of our latest grants benefitted the Itmann Food Bank to help supply food for low-income families in their area.
Arnold Simonse, Director of Itmann Food Bank, said "The winter season is always a difficult time for low-income families in Wyoming County, but COVID-19 has presented a new set of problems as the pandemic has left our county with even greater challenges in providing food. Loss of employment has added to the already large number of folks who rely on the food pantry to provide food for their families. The Itmann Food Pantry's food budget has been stretched, but thankfully, funding from the Beckley Area Foundation will allow us to provide special help to families whose food needs have been stretched even further as a result of the pandemic."
BAF would like to thank everyone involved. The community stepped up in a very big way when people needed it most, and these CERF grants would not be possible without the donations BAF received during this time.
The Landry Family Foundation is located in Boston, MA, and they support innovative leaders and organizations addressing the issues of global poverty, the rights of children, gender equity, and social justice through transformative and sustainable solutions. Their areas of focus include education, health, and the protection of marginalized populations.
Sarah Gauger, Philanthropic Advisor for the Landry Family Foundation, said "When, we heard about the high unemployment in your area, and the fact that so many families are displaced or experience homelessness, we wanted to respond. We also appreciate your partnership with the Raleigh County Board of Education to provide food for families in need, as well as your Students First program, and your community grants. Clearly, the needs are significant, and we’re grateful for the work you're doing."
The Landry Family Foundation was generous to award the Beckley Area Foundation with funds to distribute to programs related to children with special needs, education, food insecurity and homelessness.
After conducting a thorough grant application process, BAF Staff and Board of Directors are excited to award $25,000 to seven non-profit organizations serving Raleigh, Wyoming, McDowell and Fayette counties located in southern West Virginia. This includes $2,500 added to the BAF Kaplan Family Fund for Learning Disabilities in Southern West Virginia.
“We are honored that the Landry Family Foundation chose BAF to act as a grant maker on their behalf. What a difference they have made to the families and communities in southern West Virginia!” said Dena Cushman, Executive Director of the Beckley Area Foundation.
Distributions were as follows:
Helping Hands Community Resource Center – This grant will be used to purchase food and will have an impact on approximately 4,000 individuals - $5,000
Raleigh County Public Library Bookmobiles – This grant will be used to purchase food for the summer reading program. This past summer, 15,000 meals were served with the help of a BAF Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund (CERF) grant - $3,000
United Way of Southern WV – This grant will serve approximately 360 children in the Equal Footing Shoe Program - $2,500 (serves Fayette, McDowell, and Wyoming counties)
Catholic Charities WV- This grant will support CCWVa's Adult Learning Program that will help individuals in recovery become more employable. The program addresses career development and educational goals, which ultimately helps individuals in maintaining recovery and a stable living wage. - $5,000
Calvary Baptist Church – This grant will serve approximately 60 school age children over a 6-month period and will be used to successfully tutor at-risk students by purchasing laptops, internet upgrade, background checks and supplies - $2,000 (BAF is also granting $4,040 from its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to purchase food and food-related items.)
Itmann Food Bank – This project aims at increasing self-sufficiency and will impact 20 families in Wyoming county. These families will learn how to build, care for and manage chicken coops in their own backyards. - $5,000
The Wyoming County Economic Development Authority is hosting a writing competition to encourage and recognize, through grant awards, new or established writers of Wyoming County, WV. The purpose is to help keep alive and inspire new historical and cultural endeavors through the craft of writing. Applicants must submit an entry to the Planning Commission comprised of writers and Wyoming County residents approved by the Beckley Area Foundation (BAF). These awards are made possible by the generous gift of a Wyoming County donor, Lonnie Bailey, who created the Literature Fund for Wyoming County at BAF.
Entries must be submitted to the Planning Commission between April 1, 2021 – May 31, 2021.
The entrant must be a resident of Wyoming County in grades 1-12 or 18+. Public, private and homeschool students are allowed. All entries must be the original work of the entrant. Published works are not eligible to be entered.
Categories & Prizes
Entries must be sent to the Planning Commission at 506A River Road, P.O. Box 1828, Pineville, WV, 24874 OR emailed to email@example.com. If emailing, please include “Wyoming County Writing Contest” in the subject line.
Elementary students may choose to write from one of the following prompts (or create your own):
BAF’s Susan Landis Youth Philanthropists program is a group of high school juniors who are engaged directly in the important role of community philanthropy. The purpose of this program is to provide an intensive hands-on learning experience through which they are taught the art, the science and business of philanthropy.
During a strategic volunteerism exercise, SLYP participants discussed a number of issues which their group might build a service project around. Due to the impact COVID and its isolating effect on senior citizens SLYP is collaborating with the Raleigh County Commission on Aging. They are working to collect items for small gift bags—something that says you are important and we hope this brings you some enjoyment. The gift bags will be dispensed through the RCCOA when meals are delivered or picked up by senior citizens.
Small lotions, nail clippers, small puzzles, large print search and crossword books, a box of cards they might send, a small book of stamps and the list is limited only to the giver’s creativity. Should individuals or organizations not desire to shop, monetary gifts will be used to purchase similar types of items.
Beth Jarrell, a BAF Board Member and SLYP Mentor, said "Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A once stated "How do you identify someone who needs encouragement? They're breathing." The pandemic has affected us all in many ways, especially the feeling of isolation due to limited socialization. We feel that our seniors have suffered the most as many live alone and rely on social gatherings for connection. It is our desire to use a care package to be able to "touch" them, encourage them, and let them know they are cared for and thought about!"
If you have any questions about the SLYP-ers for Seniors project, please call the BAF office at (304) 253-3806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A grant from the Beckley Area Foundation is a partnership. Since the first designated fund was established in 1986, BAF has been telling stories of donors and helping local organizations create new stories. To date, over $5 million dollars has been distributed from designated funds. A designated fund is established by a donor to benefit a specific charity, or program for a charity.
Joyce Broyles — one of BAF’s first employees in 1985 — has started nine funds at BAF and is also leaving her estate to the foundation in her will.
“I am blessed to have been involved with Beckley Area Foundation since the beginning when they were established in 1985. BAF does good work in the community and they continue to grow each year... I'm just so proud. I believe strongly in BAF, which is why I’ve left everything I have to them, including my estate. I did everything I could to help get it started and I will continue to support it.”
BAF’s Board of Directors have approved distribution of $397,850 to 64 organizations in our area from designated funds for 2020-2021. The grant awards are as follows:
Anyone interested in donating to these funds may mail contributions to BAF, 129 Main St. Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801 or donate below. If you are interested in starting a designated fund or leaving a legacy gift, call BAF at 304-253-3806 or email email@example.com.
The Commission on Aging, Executive Director, Jack Tanner standing with the new sound system from their BAF Community Grant.
Beckley Area Foundation makes annual discretionary grants to charitable organizations serving Raleigh County in the areas of animals, the arts, civic beautification, education, health and human services and public recreation. Using the pooled income from discretionary funds, BAF addresses the community’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities. Volunteers from our community serve on the distributions committee to review all proposals and make recommendations to the BAF Board of Directors, who make the final decision on all grants.
The BAF Board of Directors approved $211,907.05 to fund 48 projects between April 2021 and March 2022. Areas of Interest Breakdown:
Ann Worley, Chair of the Distributions Committee and BAF Board Member, described the restructuring of the committee to comply with COVID-19 in-person meeting guidelines. “Twenty volunteers were recruited from the community to serve as readers for the Distributions Committee. Five groups were established, and each group read nine to ten grant applications. With staff help, these sub-groups met via Zoom to discuss their assigned grants and make award suggestions. The Committee then came together via Zoom and a spokesperson from each group presented their assigned grants and award recommendations. The Committee recommendations were then presented at the Feb. 16 BAF Board Meeting for approval.”
“We knew it would be safer and less stressful for our readers if we had our meetings via Zoom. It was certainly not as much fun as meeting in person, but we all adapted beautifully. Staff worked well under these circumstances, too. It was truly a team effort. A huge thank you goes out to our Committee members who gave their time to read for this important opportunity that BAF makes possible for our community organizations.”
Anyone interested in growing the pool of discretionary funds used to respond to BAF’s Annual Community Grant Program can make donations in any amount to any unrestricted fund. Mail contributions to BAF, 129 Main St. Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801, or donate below. If you are interested in starting a named unrestricted fund, call the foundation at 304-253-3806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beckley Area Foundation’s Susan Landis Youth Philanthropists program is a group of high school juniors who are engaged directly in the important role of community philanthropy. The purpose of this program is to provide an intensive hands-on learning experience through which they are taught the art, the science and business of philanthropy. Part of this experience is for them to solicit and evaluate proposals for funding. The students are responsible for making final grants recommendations subject only to the approval of the BAF Board of Directors.
During a strategic volunteerism exercise, SLYP participants discussed needs for stemming hunger, meeting physical needs of young mothers and their infants, student homelessness, impact of COVID on student academics and emotions, and the effect of isolation on senior citizens. These are the type of issues which fall under Beckley Area Foundation’s health, human services and education grant areas.
SLYP is seeking proposals from eligible tax-exempt organizations which could address these areas of concern in our Raleigh County community. The submission deadline is April 4th.
A total of $4,000 in grants will be announced in late May 2021. The maximum single grant award will be $500.
How to apply:
1) Click here to go to our Grant Portal
2) Create an account, or login with your organization's existing credentials.
3) You will then be redirected to the applicant dashboard--Click "Apply" and you should see the SLYP Grant application available from our list.
4) Carefully read the Grant summary and click "apply" to fill out the application.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at 304-253-3806 or email email@example.com
In 2020, Chad, Paul R III, Tieche and John Hutchinson established the Carolyn Smith Hutchinson Sheets Fund in memory of their mother at the Beckley Area Foundation. Distributions from this permanent endowment will be used to provide essentials to needy students in Raleigh County public schools including but not limited to nutritional, apparel, academic and other basic needs. Selections of recipients will be made by the Raleigh County Board of Education.
Carolyn Smith Hutchinson Sheets was born on April 24, 1943, in Beckley WV. She was the daughter and first born of Hulett Carlson Smith and Mary Alice Tieche Smith. Carolyn attended Dana Hall Preparatory School in Wellesley, Massachusetts and was a graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. There she received her Political Science Degree. Following graduation, Carolyn went on to travel with her father as a supporter and volunteer on the campaign trail as he ran for office and became the 27th Governor of West Virginia.
This was an exciting time in Carolyn’s life and proved to be the beginning of a well-lived life devoted to her family. She spent much of her adult life raising and enjoying a family of four children, Trey, Tieche, Chad and John as well as enjoying her three grandsons Paul “Hutchie” (son of Trey), Jack and Miles (sons of John).
Carolyn was also known as an incredibly talented chef and master seamstress. She created the most glorious collection of hand-sewn and custom christening gowns for family and close friends. Her love of sewing even extended to creating beautiful gowns for “Newborns in Need” and stillborn babies in area hospitals. She was a supporter of the arts, especially of her sister Suzaine Smith and her fine art. She also loved nature and all of God’s creatures.
Carolyn is missed every day as a mother, a grandmother and a sister. Her smile, her laughter and peaceful demeanor. Carolyn passed away in May 2019, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Carolyn was a great supporter of everyone and always wanted people to dream big and reach for the stars. This fund is a way for her to cheer on Raleigh County students as they work to fulfill their dreams!
Anyone may make additional contributions in any amount to this fund. Donations may be made by clicking the button below, or by check made payable to BAF with Carolyn Hutchinson Sheets in the memo. Please mail your check to Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 301, Beckley, WV 25801.