The Henrico County community always steps up in a big way during trying times, and the coronavirus emergency has been no different thanks to efforts being made by Henrico County Public Schools, the Henrico Education Foundation, and the Robins Foundation. Now, a matching grant as part of the Robins Foundation’s strategic partnership with the Henrico Education Foundation is building on that generosity and channeling donations to best address the emerging short and long-term needs of our community.
In response to generous offers and inquiries from citizens and community groups, Henrico County Public Schools and the Henrico Education Foundation have collected stocks of food supplies and other items to help vulnerable families during the school division’s closure.
While the community has been extraordinarily generous, it can sometimes be hard to match donated items with families’ specific needs. The new funds are an effort to move to monetary donations, in order to fill gaps in community donations and respond to families’ most pressing needs — such as specific food items and devices to create home-internet Wi-Fi hot spots.
To contribute to the fund, go to henricogives.org and click on the blue “Donate” button in the COVID-19 area.
All funds donated by individuals and groups since March 20 are being matched up to $15,000 by the Robins Foundation. While donations beyond the $15,000 grant goal won’t be matched by the Robins Foundation, they will still be used to address Henrico families’ most-pressing needs.
Donations will continue to help provide weekend food supplements to students who use the school division’s weekday “grab and go” lunches and breakfasts, and aid families who might be affected by reduced work hours and paychecks during the public health crisis. During the school year, Henrico Schools has more than 400 participants in its “weekend backpacks” food take-home program. More than 800 current HCPS students have been identified through the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as being homeless or children of a homeless individual.
“We are connected to families that have already lost their jobs. It is hard to focus on learning when life has become so complex and tough to navigate,” said Adrienne Cole Johnson, HCPS’ family and community engagement director.
The Henrico Education Foundation will use donated funds to buy some of the most-needed items in bulk from an HCPS wholesale vendor. In most cases, items can be delivered the next day. By buying in this way, the foundation not only hopes to help Henrico families get what they need but also to avoid emptying the shelves of local retail stores on which our community depends.
“We’re proud to stand with Henrico Schools and Henrico General Government to help our families in need,” said Mike Taylor, chief executive officer of the Henrico Education Foundation. “This match from the Robins Foundation will build on the generous $40,000 our community has already given to help our neighbors with the things they’re telling us they need most.”
The Robins Foundation works to build the Richmond region by strengthening nonprofits that provide resources and take on poverty. The foundation is a strategic partner of the Henrico Education Foundation, aiding its goals of providing research-based innovative educational programs and support to all HCPS schools.
The above information was provided directly by Henrico County Schools. For more valuable, up-to-date information about the efforts being made throughout the Henrico County School system, including food availability and pick-up locations, be sure to visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HenricoCountyPublicSchools/
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