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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The Critical Impact Award celebrates local grantmaking, big and small. The award goes to the organization that demonstrates creativity, innovation and sustainability in their grant projects. This organization demonstrates bold vision and strategic initiative.
During the Philanthropy WV Annual Conference, Beckley Area Foundation was awarded the Critical Impact Award for their COVID-19 relief efforts and other innovative projects, including PPE distribution, Back to School Poster Contest, Household Hazardous Waste Collection, Mac’s Toy Fund, and more. BAF has awarded more than $75,000 in COVID-19 relief grants this year.
"All the work we do is possible because of generous donors who believe in making things happen. Every donation, no matter how large or small, lets us know our supporters believe in BAF's mission to advance our community especially during this time of uncertainty" said BAF Executive Director, Dena Cushman.
The Critical Impact Award is one of five awards given out each year at Philanthropy WV’s Annual Conference. The West Virginia Spirit of Philanthropy Awards are the state’s premiere awards recognizing philanthropic efforts of private individuals, collaborative projects in communities & regions, professional leaders of foundations and corporate giving programs.
Beckley Area Foundation (BAF) is currently celebrating its 35th year since its inception in 1985. What started as a gift of $1.1 million from the Dr. Thomas Walker Memorial Health Foundation has grown to more than $46 million in over 490 different endowed funds managed by their three trustee banks. During that time, BAF has distributed over $17 million to nonprofit organizations, churches and schools located in Raleigh County or surrounding areas; making BAF one of West Virginia's largest community foundations.
The growth of BAF is a testament to the generosity of the community. Individuals or organizations who make a gift to BAF share a similar vision of "advancing our community." These gifts will sometimes be large (ex: a bequest or new fund) or small (ex: donating $5 to a fund), but they will leave the foundation as a significant resource to an area of need. BAF has received an estimated 24,000 gifts from the community since 1985, and these gifts have been used in a variety of ways, such as scholarships to help pay tuition, grants specific to a field of interest such as public recreation or the arts, or designated for a particular nonprofit organization. These grants can vary in size, but they all have a massive impact on the community.
The new logo for BAF represents precisely that; the incoming and outgoing resources within the foundation. Some gifts may come in as a small line, but will grow over time to leave the foundation as a much more substantial line. BAF would not exist (or literally, be visible) without the incoming and outgoing resources from the community.
Dena Cushman, Executive Director of BAF, says "All the work we do is possible because of generous donors who believe in making things happen. Every donation, no matter how large or small, lets us know our supporters believe in BAF's mission to advance our community."
The Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be from 8am-2pm on Saturday, October 3, 2020.
This is a FREE event, and the perfect opportunity to dispose of your hazardous materials. Doing so will help protect the local environment and improve the health and safety of our community!
We are very lucky to have help from the following sponsors to put on this free event:
To find out what you can and cannot bring, please view the flyer below.
The Beckley Area Foundation would like to congratulate our 2020-2021 scholarship recipients on the awards they have received, and wish them the best of luck as they take a big step into the next chapter of their lives.
We would also like to thank our donors for their continued support. Your generosity will help these students achieve their dreams and pursue an education.
Using 107 different funds, the Beckley Area Foundation distributed $325,818 in scholarships this year. Click the button below to learn more about our scholarship program and view the awards yourself.