Press Release - Foundation Awards Grants

On March 31, the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, Inc. awarded grants totaling $48,350 to several different programs and ministries around West Virginia. Foundation president, Jeff Taylor, says the Grants Committee meets quarterly to review applications to help fund innovative programs that address an acute need in communities. At its March 31 meeting, the Foundation made a total of $48,500 for the following:


  • $10,000 to the Grin Again Program of Mountain Home Ministries, Inc. to help provide dentures and dental care for the poor of McDowell County. Dr. Samuel D. Bever said the Foundation’s grant would provide funding for at least 22 people to receive both upper and lower dentures.
  • $5,000 to West Virginia Volunteers in Mission to provide training to equip leaders of short-term mission service at home and around the world. Taylor said the Committee was moved by potential for a multiplying effect of this program. “We know these immersion mission experiences move people out of their area of comfort in service to others. They tend to be transformative experiences,” Taylor said. “Our Foundation is grateful to play a part in it.”
  • $8,000 to St. Paul United Methodist Church, South Charleston, for Camp Appalachia, a collaborative effort between the church and several other agencies to create an 8-week day camp for 60 at-risk elementary-age school children from the South Charleston area beginning in the summer of 2017. A goal of the program is to empower children to change their circumstances. Rev. Cindy Briggs-Biondi said the program is geared toward cultivating trust, appreciation, self-efficacy and hope, not only for the children involved in the program, but also their parents.
  • $2,500 to the Boothsville United Methodist Charge in Fairmont to start a backpack program of providing weekend meals for food-insecure students in rural Taylor and southeastern Marion Counties. Grants Committee chairperson, Marc Chernenko, Esquire, of Wellsburg, said since the Foundation’s grant program started in 2014, it has been eye-opening to see the need for addressing weekend meals for students. This is the latest of several backpack programs the Foundation has helped to launch.
  • $15,000 to Christ United Methodist Church, Rowlesburg in Preston County to help repair the roof and steeple of the historic church. Taylor said that while it is a little unusual for the Foundation to provide a grant for building repairs, the fact the church is a center of community activity and the continuing effects felt in the community following the devastation of the 1985 flood made the request compelling. The Foundation is matching funds already raised by the church through a successful GoFundMe campaign.
  • $8000 Benton’s Ferry United Methodist Church of Fairmont for construction to increase accessibility for persons who are physically challenged as well as parking. Rev. Andrew Tennant, pastor of the church, said the congregation is represented by a wide range of programs for both adults and children each Sunday and throughout the week. This grant will enable the building to be more accessible to the community, and to increase the church’s reach for ministry. It is an expression not only of the church’s purpose but also of one of The Foundation’s core values – inclusion.


The deadline for the next round of grants is June 1, 2017. For more information, see