Dominion Energy awards grants to Mid-Ohio Valley agencies
PARKERSBURG — Dominion Energy distributed nearly $30,000 in grants Thursday to four Mid-Ohio Valley agencies.
The contributions were part of the natural gas company’s Critical Community Needs program, aimed at providing food, shelter and access to medical care to those in need in the areas Dominion serves, said Christine Mitchell, external affairs representative. Nonprofits apply for a share of the more than $1 million the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has given each of the last three years.
“If they meet one of those needs and we have the funds, we award the grants,” Mitchell said.
The program provided more than $100,000 to 14 West Virginia organizations this year.
Mitchell started her day in the region in West Union with Dominion employees and representatives of the Doddridge County Family Resource Network. She presented a $6,000 check, with $5,000 for a Doddridge County Schools program that provides backpacks containing food and hygiene products on weekends and holidays for about 180 children living in extreme poverty, said Robin VanScoy, executive director of the Family Resource Network.
The remaining $1,000 will go to the organization’s “Sweat It Out” program, which provides deodorant for underprivileged children.
From there, she came to the Community Resources Inc. offices in Parkersburg, where FaithLink program coordinator Melissa Ogden accepted a $5,000 check to help with the organization’s new Senior Ride Link program.
While FaithLink has a number of volunteers who provide transportation for people who are over the age of 60, physically disabled or chronically ill, there are some they can’t always accommodate. Ogden said the organization wants to purchase a vehicle and add a staff member to fill those gaps.
“We are getting so many calls for transportation,” she said, adding the number ranges between five and 15 a week. “The need is definitely there.”
The vehicle would also provide transportation home from area hospitals, Ogden said. While the primary FaithLink demographic would be targeted, the service wouldn’t be limited to those over 60.
The largest local grant, for $13,500, went to the Old Man Rivers Mission on Pike Street in Parkersburg. Board Treasurer Jim Noland said the all-volunteer mission depends on donations from the community and organizations like Dominion to provide food, hygiene items and more to people in need.
“We’re averaging about 600 families a month,” mission Manager Jeanette Pursley said, noting the recent cold adds to the difficulties of those living in poverty. “When it takes all your money to heat the house, then you don’t have money for food.”
The fourth local grant recipient was Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley, which received $5,000 toward the construction of its 102nd house, for a family of four.