2020 Grant Recipients

African American Museum of History and Culture at Loray Mill - $7,000

Funding will be used to develop an Online Learning Platform for visitors online. This will be an Education platform giving students the opportunity to access the Museum online. Students will learn about African Americans and how they achieved, accomplished, and made contributions to local, regional, and National history. "Beyond Museum Walls: Innovative Ways to Engage Our Schools and Communities," will offer interactive activities for students, information and websites for parents and teachers.

Animal League of Gaston County - $10,000

Funds will be used for “Spay Together” which will offer free or very low-cost spay/neuter services to Gaston County residents who receive Medicaid, food stamps, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Social Security Disability or unemployment benefits. By offering these services to families who cannot otherwise afford to alter their pets, we save Gaston County money, reduce pet overpopulation, and minimize the number of unnecessary killing of unwanted pets surrendered to the shelter.

BackPack Weekend Food Program Inc - $10,000

Coming up on 10 years, the BackPack Weekend Food Program will recognize this September a decade of serving students in Gaston County Schools with weekend meals during the school year. What was meant as a band-aid has become a critical program to ensure kids are fed and ready to learn. This program ensures no child goes hungry on the weekend.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Gaston - $10,000

Preparing young people for an increasingly competitive global workforce is critically important for their future success. These funds will go towards the College & Career program which helps prepare teens by helping them develop their leadership skills, access postsecondary and career readiness activities, and connecting their passions with clear goals as they begin their journey toward a Great Future.

Catawba Lands Conservancy – $15,000

Funds will be used to replace the heavily used wooden Spencer Mountain River Access Canoe and Kayak launch on the South Fork River with a sustainable metal launch. The current launch is twelve years old and has reached the end of its lifespan, exacerbated by damage from frequent flooding. The launch is one of two along this free-flowing portion of the South Fork River above the McAdenville dam.

Catherine’s House - $14,000

Since 1992, Catherine’s House has provided transitional housing to women and their children facing homelessness. For these 28 years, all case notes, files, and clinical data for Catherine’s House residents have been maintained on paper or through an employee-created excel spreadsheet. Funding will be used for case management software which will enhance their ability to serve residents by better coordinating case needs across multiple staff members and will more effectively track and report key measurements on resident progress toward self-sufficiency.

Christ Community Outreach Food Ministry - $1,500

Funding will assist with the transportation costs associated with traveling to and from local food banks and distribution centers to pick-up donated goods such as medical supplies, toiletries, and paper goods. Funds will also be used to purchase food for the food bank when necessary.

Crisis Assistance Ministry - $25,000

Funding will allow this much needed organization to reopen their building to the public and re-configure their lobby to enable accommodations to protect their clients, volunteers, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, funds will go towards much a needed roof replacement.

Dream Center of Gaston County Academy - $15,000

Funds will support Dream Center Academy’s first year of high-school programming and operating expenses. These funds would go toward hiring qualified personnel and providing after-school and summer programming for our 9th-grade students. DCA’s high-school program is designed to ensure their students thrive in high school and become college and/or career ready graduates.

Gaston County Family YMCA - $20,000

Funding will go towards the YMCA Afterschool program. As state and local school officials work diligently to safely send children back to school for the 2020 - 2021 school year, it is apparent that the landscape will look differently than ever before. The program will need to adapt to meet the educational needs of students and allow parents to get back to work. Requested funds will allow the Y to engage subject matter experts to enhance learning opportunities and provide financial assistance.

Gaston County Virus Relief Fund - $50,000

This year, the Community Foundation board voted to allocate funds to the Gaston County Virus Relief Fund. This was formed to respond to many immediate needs from nonprofits in the area. During the spring of this year, local nonprofits were in need of immediate assitance so in partnership with the United Way of Gaston County, the Foundation established this emergency fund to help. Learn more here.

Gaston Dance Theatre - $1,500

Funds will be used to purchase the technology needed to offer remote learning in the upcoming dance year. With dance studios closed and many families concerned about contracting COVID-19, GDT is working to continue providing quality dance instruction.

Gaston Family Health Services and Kintegra Health - $12,500

Funding will go towards providing breast cancer screenings for low-income, uninsured Gaston County women who do not qualify for other charitable programs providing these screenings.

Gaston Innovation Group Inc - $15,000

Fund will be used for the new Virtual Presence Lab (VPL): 8 spatial computing workstations (with headsets) for 3D Modeling, Visualization, AR & VR Development and Training. The VPL can be significantly leveraged to help Gaston with "digital transformation" in order to address a new remote workforce, online learning, training with immersive technologies in a 3D visual environment. TechWorks will be the leader in this region.

Gaston Literacy Council - $7,180

Funds will go towards a program for students studying English in our area. This will be for students to be able to study and build English skills from a remote location (home or work.) Due to state/county restrictions currently in place and rising cases of infection, GLC is preparing to offer a majority of it's instruction online for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Gaston School of the Arts - $20,000

Funds will go towards supporting GSOA efforts to offer virtual and CDC compliant on-campus options as much as possible and to help this organization overcome this historical pandemic.

Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County, Inc. - $10,000

Funding will go to provide a program called Critical Home Repairs, a housing solution that will provide a hand up to low-income homeowners, helping them maintain a healthy, safe, and warm home. Keeping a home in good repair also increases the likelihood that the family will remain homeowners and not lose their house to unsafe living conditions. Priority will be given to the elderly, disabled, and veterans.

Heart Society of Gaston County, Inc. - $10,000

Funds will be used to purchase cardiac related medication through local pharmacies for clients who are uninsured, for clients who have insurance but cannot afford their co-pay, and for clients who are waiting for their application to be approved by the pharmaceutical companies’ patient assistance programs.

Holy Angels, Inc. - $10,000

Holy Angels is home to a most vulnerable and medically fragile population - all 80 residents we serve take a minimum of 5-6 different medications. Quick Mar, our electronic medical dispensing software, runs on individual laptops on our 15 med carts located around our facility. These funds will go towards the "Dispensing Meds Safely to our Angels" project is to purchase 15 new laptops for these med carts.

Keep Gastonia Beautiful - $5,200

Funding will go towards a new innovative hands-on environmental education program to be offered to 6th graders, at public schools located within the city limits of Gastonia. They plan to create a community collaborative mural, metal artwork and pollinator education garden at the Farmer's Market, as well as a "winged" metal art piece for all citizens to enjoy.

Least of These Carolinas - $5,000

This funding will go towards supporting Least of These Carolinas’ campaign for purchasing a larger building. The function and support of LOTC's current programs has expanded beyond the walls of their current office space, overflowing into containers on the property. In addition, this building will allow them opportunity for expansion of foster child programming.

Mount Holly Community Garden - $5,000

Funds will go towards a large-scale renovation of all 52 raised garden beds due to dilapidation, rotting and weathering over 6 years of operation. The funding will facilitate the renovation to new more substantial, durable and weather tolerant garden beds that will last for years to come.

NC MedAssist - $5,000

Funding will go towards providing prescription medication to Gaston County residents for 1 year. With an increase of 5% this year in need, funds should serve at least 200 Gaston County residents. Funds will be used for program costs related to the free pharmacy - purchasing medication, pharmacy supplies, shipping costs, pharmacy and social work salaries. etc.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina - $20,000

Funding will go to partner agencies in Gaston County to increase their capacity to accept refrigerated items - primarily food items high in nutritional value such as meat, fresh produce and dairy. These agencies currently participate in Second Harvest’s Retail Store Donation Program and have the ability to feed more people in need if they have the right infrastructure.

Serving Our Community with Kindness in Springwood (S.O.C.K.S) - $2,000

Funding will go towards providing more storage space for food. With an increase in demand this year, SOCKS is in need of more storage and transportation capabilities so this funding will also help provide updates to their vehicle.

Tarheel Trailblazers - $11,250

Funds will be used to construct the beginner trail in Rocky Branch Park. The full Trail Enhancement project will sustainably transform 41 acres of undeveloped, wooded land in an urban setting into a progressive trail system. Anchored by a multi-use trail designated as Carolina Thread Trail, featuring trail loops offering beginner, intermediate and advanced trail features to serve a diverse range of interest and skill levels for residents and visitors.

The Gastonia's Potters House - $5,000

Funds will help offset the economic strain placed on The Potters House over the past few months due to the ongoing pandemic. The request for emergency operational expenses will go directly towards maintaining the facility and treatment of clients.