WACF awards $3 million in grants in 2019


It has been an unprecedented year for giving at the Walker Area Community Foundation, awarding 187 grants totaling $3,088,860 in 2019. 

Since June 1, the locally-based foundation has awarded grants totaling $2,190,283 — more than was distributed in all of 2018.

The foundation's growth through the addition of several component funds in 2018 afforded nonprofits the opportunity to request funding this year for projects beyond basic needs.

For example, $732,767 in grants for bricks and mortar projects was awarded through the Don Drummond Family Fund this year. 

"We told nonprofits that they could apply for anything that they needed to improve the physical plant of their building — new HVAC units, a new roof —  as long as they owned their building," said Cristy Moody, the foundation's director of operations .

In previous grant cycles, nonprofits have focused on expenses such as programming that had to take precedence over building needs.

The following grants have been awarded since June 1:

• The Arc of Walker County received funding to upgrade their computer system, and structural needs at group homes. 

• A grant allows Backyard Blessings to provide weekend backpack feeding for additional schools and students in the county. 

• Beacon House can purchase new computers with needed technology and security with their grant. 

• The Bethel Apostolic Church received a grant for their food bank. 

• Bevill State Community College will be able to repair the roof and windows at the Carl Elliott House Museum. 

• Big Oak Ranch received a grant for general operations. 

• The Birmingham Botanical Gardens received a grant for general operations. 

• Black Warrior Council Boy Scouts received funding to purchase new beds and fans for Camp O'Rear, and STEM robotics kits. 

• The Carl Elliott Regional Library will be able to replace their HVAC units. 

• A grant for the City of Cordova will allow for development of the Mill Park Project - green space in downtown Cordova, and to repair a vehicle needed to deliver meals to the elderly in the area. 

• The City of Jasper received a grant to purchase a van to transport rescued and surrendered animals. 

• Equines Assisting Special Individuals (EASI) received funding for education and programs. 

• First United Methodist Church received a grant for renovations to community structures. 

• Freewill Baptist Children's Home received a grant to replace their heating and air conditioning units, and funds for the Bridge Program. 

• Friends of Downtown Jasper received funding for the Town Creek Project, greenspace enhancement, and Wayfinding signs. 

• Glenwood, Inc. received a grant for general operations. 

• The Greater Birmingham Humane Society received funding for spaying and neutering, health services, and supplies for Walker County area animals. 

• Hope House Church received a grant to make their parking lot accessible. 

• Indian Creek Youth Camp received funding to repair the roof of their gym. 

• Jasper Area Family Service Center received a grant to renovate the facility to incorporate a health clinic, and for the West Jasper Community Project. 

• Jasper's First Baptist Church received a grant for general operations. 

• Mission of Hope will be able to replace work tables in the food bank, and met an emergency need for box fans. 

• Nick's Kids received funds for program support. 

• Preschool Partners received a grant for general operations. 

• The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham received a matching grant for an ARC Transportation Grant. 

• The Salvation Army received a grant to replace HVAC units, and replace their delivery truck. 

• St. Mary's Episcopal Church received a grant to renovate the church to accommodate First Class Pre K beginning in the fall of 2020. 

• Funding will allow the Town of Parrish to renovate their senior center. 

• The United Way received funds to support the programs serving Walker County.

• Walker County Arts Alliance received funds to expand Dream Fit and art programs. 

• Walker County Children's Advocacy Center will be able to install new gutters on their facility. 

• Walker County Coalition for the Homeless received a grant to provide services and rehousing assistance to area homeless people. 

• Walker County Community Action received funding to purchase a van to transport children to their afterschool and summer programs. 

• The Walker County Children's Policy Council received funds to employ a School Readiness Coordinator. 

• Youth Advocate Programs received a grant to provide additional services for at-risk youth. 

• The Alabama Kiwanis Foundation RIF Program received a grant that will enable distribution of books to at-risk Head Start and Pre-K students in Walker County.

• The Alabama Symphony Orchestra received a grant to provide musical education for area students.

• The American Red Cross received a grant to support disaster assistance in Walker County for families devastated by home fires.

• Backyard Blessings received funding to support their weekend backpack feeding program for food insecure students.

• The Birmingham Zoo received a grant to support the building of the Alabama Wilds habitat for the RedTailed Hawk.

• Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Alabama received funding for their Walker County Project Learn program, providing after school activities, tutoring, and mentoring support for local students. 

• Capstone Rural Health received a grant for development and implementation of their new behavioral health strategy program. 

• The Carl Elliott Regional Library received a grant to make improvements to their community room and enhance children's services. 

• C.A.S.T for Kids Foundation received funds to support their annual fishing event for special needs children and youth. 

• City of Lights Dream Center received funding to support their women's recovery treatment program. 

• The Daily Mountain Eagle Shoe Fund received a grant to support their annual shoe giveaway. 

• Dilworth Church of God was awarded a grant to purchase a new food delivery truck to support their community food pantry. 

• Full Life Ahead Foundation was funded for their Plan for Success Program, supporting clients with disabilities. 

• Impact Alabama's program FocusFirst Vision Care provides a cost-effective direct response to the vision care problems of children who live in urban and rural poverty in Alabama. With this grant, all students in Walker County Head Starts and lower-income daycares are screened for vision problems. 

• Indian Creek Youth Camp received a grant to help rebuild facilities that have fallen into disrepair. 

• The Jalayah Hackman Foundation received a grant to support their mentoring and tutoring programs, designed to enrich the lives of area youth. 

• Jasper City Parks and Recreation received a grant to support special needs swimming and Dream Team Sports. 

• Kid One Transport System will use their grant to fund a driver and provide vehicle fuel and maintenance for round-trip transportation to medical appointments for children and expectant mothers from the Walker County area. 

• Kids Loving Kids was funded to provide personal needs, school supplies, and Christmas gifts to area children and youth. 

• Magic Moments grants wishes to chronically ill children in Alabama. This grant award will fund Magic Moments for two Walker County patients and their families. 

• Mission of Hope aids families during the holidays with food boxes, clothes, shoes, and toys, and their grant supported the Thanksgiving/Christmas giveaway this year. 

• People First of Walker County received a grant to support advocacy activities for people with disabilities. 

• The Pregnancy Test and Resource Center received a grant to provide services and education for pregnant women in Walker County and surrounding areas, in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates. 

• Funding for Sight Savers America provides a children's eye care program, low vision program, visionscreening program, and health screening program, in area schools. 

• Smile-A-Mile Place and their Hospital Outreach Program brings life-enriching programs to the Hematology/Oncology patients at Children's of Alabama. Funding also supports their family programs and services. 

• UAB School of Nursing was funded to support the Nurse-Family Partnership of Central Alabama, which provides prenatal care for at-risk pregnant women and newborns. 

• Walker County Board of Education received a grant to purchase AEDs for their schools, and to purchase new books for the Valley Junior High School library. 

• Walker County Christian Chorus presents the classical music work Handel's "Messiah" in Walker County to open each Christmas season. This presentation offers singers the opportunity to perform for many individuals who otherwise would not be exposed to the performing arts. This grant award supported the hiring of the orchestra. 

• Youth Advocate Programs received funding for the Trauma-Informed Social-Emotional Learning Interventionist Pilot Program at Sumiton Elementary. This program works with students who are exposed to at-home trauma.