Black Belt Foundation awards 53 grants

Published 9:53 pm Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Black Belt Community Foundation’s motto is, “Taking what we have to make what we need.” On Saturday the BBCF had $100,000 in grant funding and they gave it to 53 organizations across the Black Belt of Alabama to give people what they need.

Community education programs, agricultural projects and a handful of local volunteer fire departments, all accepted varying pieces of the $100,000 at Wallace Community College, Saturday.

“It’s just always good to see folks in the community getting out there and doing the work that makes the quality of life better for everyone,” Aubrey Carter, the board member for Dallas County BBCF said about which organization was most deserving. “It’s really difficult to pick just one and say ‘That one really pulled at my heart strings.’ That’s what’s great about the BBCF is that it supports so many across the community and its not just focusing on any one particular area.”

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Five organizations in Dallas County received funding in the amount of $2,000 each. These organizations included Black Belt Central Alabama Housing, Children’s Policy Council of Dallas County, Orrville Volunteer Fire Department, Sardis Churches Unity Fellowship and the Tabernacle Community Outreach Center.

“The good thing about these groups is what we are helping them to do is just a part of their work,” Executive director for BBCF, Felecia Jones, said about the organizations given funding in Dallas County. “We are giving them a grant to support a larger picture.”

While many of the organizations dealt with education and development, Jones also said the many volunteer fire departments that were given funding will be very beneficial to those in rural areas, giving them safety and security.

“For those that live within the city limits, those city fire departments are an asset — but if you live in the rural areas then your insurance rates are higher because you don’t have that type of coverage,” Jones said.

Karen Grimes who accepted a $2,000 grant on behalf of the Orrville Volunteer Fire Department said this funding would give their department better equipment.

“We have two young firemen who have been volunteering without fire suits and so now if the need arises for them to have to deal with fire, they will be equipped,” Grimes said. “The Black Belt Community Foundation has been very good to the Orrville Department — they have taken what they had and given us what we need, which is exactly what their motto says.”