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Junior League of Roanoke Valley gives out more than $40,000 for healthcare access, fighting hunger, poverty

Seven organizations will benefit from the grants

Junior League of Roanoke Valley donates to Feeding Southwest Virginia to help with COVID-19 relief. Pictured is JLRV President Lindsay Phipps and Executive Vice President Kate Hailey.
Junior League of Roanoke Valley donates to Feeding Southwest Virginia to help with COVID-19 relief. Pictured is JLRV President Lindsay Phipps and Executive Vice President Kate Hailey. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va. – $44,671 is going to support local organizations from the Junior League of Roanoke Valley. The JLRV’s focus is addressing poverty by connecting the community to existing resources and removing barriers to healthcare and food. Its goal is to collaborate and build partnerships within the Roanoke Valley connecting people to the resources they need.

The following organizations received money:

  • Bradley Free Clinic: $22,270 will allow the clinic to provide more care to patients in the form of lab, pharmacy, and medical supply expenses
  • LEAP Mobile Market: $7,901 will allow LEAP to install cold storage on the vehicle and fix and update Mobile Market infrastructure to serve more customers in food deserts
  • Kids Soar: $5,000 to help provide year-round multi-generational literacy education to the underserved communities of Roanoke. The Kids Soar Literacy Initiative specifically targets children who are behind on the reading scores Roanoke Schools use to assess reading ability
  • Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley (CHIP): $5,000 to help with childcare costs while women go to school or get job training
  • Boys & Girls Club: $2,500 to purchase and install two refrigerators so kids have access to fresh food and produce
  • Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Virginia: $1,000 to help with COVID-19 relief efforts
  • Feeding Southwest Virginia: $1,000 to help with COVID-19 relief efforts

News release from JLRV:

Junior League of Roanoke Valley (JLRV), a non-profit organization committed to training women as civic leaders, announces it will be distributing $44,671.00 in funding to community partners that support its community focus. The JLRV’s focus is addressing poverty by connecting the community to existing resources and removing barriers to healthcare and food. Its goal is to collaborate and build partnerships within the Roanoke Valley connecting people to the resources they need.

Annually, the JLRV will award three grants: the Care That Counts Grant, the Community Focus Grant, and the Apel Family Grant. For the 2019-2020 League year, the Community Focus and Apel Family grants are in their first years.

The JLRV fully funded the projects of three community organizations.

In addition, the organization was able to give $1,000 each to the Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Virginia and Feeding Southwest Virginia to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. It also bought meals from a local restaurant to give to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital staff during the pandemic.

The grants were awarded to the Roanoke Valley as follows:

CARE THAT COUNTS Grant

Purpose: Given to organizational projects relating to childcare, after school care, supporting agencies in our community in need of assistance with sliding scale childcare and to provide scholarships to students who otherwise could not afford specific educational opportunities or other opportunities that enrich the lives of children.

CHIP ($5,000): Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley believes that every child should have equal access to healthcare and enter school ready to learn. In July 2018, CHIP began offering childcare slots so that caregivers/parents could continue their education or return to work. JLRV funds will be used to help fund these childcare slots in 2020. In 2019, CHIP was able to help nine mothers return to work or receive job training that helped secure employment, by providing childcare slots.

Kids Soar ($5,000): Kids Soar provides year-round multi-generational literacy education to the underserved communities of Roanoke. The Kids Soar Literacy Initiative specifically targets children who are behind on the reading scores Roanoke Schools use to assess reading ability. They also work with English language-learning children, who are typically first-generation refugees. Parents attend programming one night each week. Each student gets daily meals, school supplies, books, clean clothes, Christmas gifts and a week at summer camp. All families receive full scholarships, so they have no tuition expenses. Students are referred by Roanoke Public Schools and are served regardless of race, religion or country of origin. JLRV funds will be used for direct program expenses including classroom supplies, transportation, field trips, teaching and meals for the Kids Soar Literacy Initiative.

APEL FAMILY Grant

Purpose: To provide funding for unusual and capital expenditures for established organizations that align with the JLRV Community Focus.

LEAP ($2,500): The LEAP Mobile Market makes 12 stops/week and focuses efforts on low income, low access neighborhoods. Funds from JLRV Apel Family Grant will be used to improve the LEAP Mobile Market’s operational efficiency and customer experience. Through these capital investments, the Mobile Market will be able to serve more people, streamline our operations, and more effectively provide convenient, reliable access to fresh produce. This funding will allow LEAP to (1) install cold storage on the vehicle and (2) fix and update Mobile Market infrastructure.

Boys & Girls Club ($2,500): Through their Healthy Habits program, BGCSWVA provides healthy produce and food to their youth club members. This is done in response to the lack of fresh food and healthy eating choices in the community in which these youth live. Fresh foods and produce require accurate and consistent refrigeration. Refrigerators currently in use are not dependable and do not provide consistent temperature control for the fresh produce. JLRV funds will be used to purchase two refrigerators and cover all installation and set up costs for the appliances.

COMMUNITY FOCUS Grant:

Purpose: Given to organizations in order to fund a project that aligns with the JLRV focus.

Bradley Free Clinic ($22,270): Bradley Free Clinic (BFC) was able to hire a full time Nurse Practitioner who began seeing patients in September 2019. Through this hire, the amount of time that they are able to provide medical services increased from 9.5 hours per week to 49.5 hours per week. This addition to BFC’s staff will allow the Clinic to begin providing access to immediate care, to reduce patient wait times, and to improve continuity of care for their patient population. With this expansion of services, BFC will incur additional costs, to include lab, pharmacy, and medical supply expenses, to meet the clinical needs of this increased patient population. Bradley Free Clinic will use the JLRV Community Focus Grant to fund a significant portion of the non-salary expenses that they will incur as a result of their efforts to increase access to health care for the low-income, underserved members of the Roanoke Valley.

LEAP ($5,401): The LEAP Mobile Market makes 12 stops/week and focuses efforts on low income, low access neighborhoods. Funds from JLRV Apel Family Grant will be used to improve the LEAP Mobile Market’s operational efficiency and customer experience. Through these capital investments, the Mobile Market will be able to serve more people, streamline our operations, and more effectively provide convenient, reliable access to fresh produce. This funding will allow LEAP to (1) install cold storage on the vehicle and (2) fix and update Mobile Market infrastructure. In addition to Mobile Market improvements, JLRV funds will go towards a new program called FreshLink Ambassadors (FLA). The Ambassadors will share information about available food-based resources in the community, including farmers markets, and where they can participate in healthy food incentive programs. After each conversation, the person will receive a coupon for fruits and vegetables to be redeemed at markets and tracked for evaluation purposes.

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About Junior League of Roanoke Valley:

Junior League of Roanoke Valley (JLRV) is in its 94th year in service to the community. The Junior League of Roanoke Valley is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

The JLRV is an exclusively educational, charitable organization which reaches out to women of all races, religions, or national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism. The Junior League welcomes all women who value its Mission. It is committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities.