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.