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BBCF awards grants

Representatives from organizations who received grants from the Black Belt Community Foundation pose for a photograph Saturday. -- Submitted

The Black Belt Community Foundation awarded five local organizations with more than $13,000 in community grants during its annual grant ceremony held Saturday.

This grant round, Dallas County organizations such as Black Belt Central Alabama Housing, McRae Learning Center, Selma Children’s Museum, Speak Out Against Rape (SOAR) and VIP Organization received between $1,000 and $3,000 in grants.

BBCF executive director Felecia Jones said the grant process is a competitive one, with a committee comprised of community volunteers and BBCF board members, choosing recipients.

“Organizations from Dallas County are competing with 12 counties across the region,” Jones said. “A committee goes through applications and make a really hard decision of groups that would be funded. These organizations best demonstrate what the community wanted and needs.”

Jones said BBCF supports projects that have a great impact on the community and don’t rely solely on funding from BBCF but can raise their own funds.

“We support good works going on in the Black Belt,” Jones said. “One or our core values is that we invest in organizations doing good works across the region. We give organizations hope.”

Established in 2004, the foundation awarded a total of $125,000 to 45 nonprofit organizations based in and serving Alabama’s Black Belt.  Since 2005, BBCF has awarded more than $1.9 million to nonprofit organizations through its Community Grants Program, Black Belt Arts Initiative Program, the Community Based Land Development Program and Pass Thru Grants. The foundation also gives awards to volunteer fire departments, youth development programs and health advocacy groups.

Jones said giving awards to help transform the Black Belt region is important to the foundation.

“We want to see a transformed Black Belt where everyone comes together to help in the transformation,” Jones said. “We’d rather fund an organization that has been on the ground and doing work for years without our help, it shows a level of commitment.”
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