From the desk of Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller
We are busy working with community partners to plant seeds of Hope throughout MHC. One way we are doing this is by hosting a community summit.
In June, Harvest convened a group of some of our Hope Builders (people that are actively working in the community to promote and improve MHC). The group worked together to discuss what we should be talking about and working on as a community. Many issues were raised, but the top priority came down to improving the quality of life so we can attract and retain residents and workers.
If you follow any of the Census reports, you will notice that MHC is no longer losing large amounts of population, but we are steadily declining.
Because our population is older and we are losing more people than we are having babies. So with the exception of asking our local young families to keep having children, we need to recruit people to come live in MHC.
If this is a conversation that interests you, please hold October 20, 2022, on your calendar. We are expanding the planning table to include local leaders that work in Housing, Community Amenities, Small Business Entrepreneurship, and Building Community Connectivity. All of these are interconnected to improving our quality of life. We aim to learn more about each of these areas, but also work on strategies in each so that our community leaders and organizations can activate them.
We hope you will join us and if you have an urge to help plan, please contact us!
We are looking for the right person to join our team.
According to the World Health Organization, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment but also the vibrancy of built environments, the physical and mental health of residents, access to education, recreation, leisure time, and a sense of social belonging.
In this new position, the Program Officer for Education/Health will identify community needs, facilitate collaboration among regional stakeholders with a focus on education and health in the region as it intersects with Harvest’s three focus areas (thriving youth, vibrant community and resilient and diverse economy), and analyze grant requests to support Martinsville Henry County area efforts.
If you'd like to apply for this position, visit our website to learn more.
Smith River Fest presented by Sovah Health Returns
Saturday, August 20th
Martinsville, VA (July 20, 2022) - Smith River Fest, Henry County’s annual outdoor recreation showcase, will be back and more exciting than ever on Saturday, August 20th at the Crown Holdings Festival Grounds at the Monogram Foods Sports Complex!
For many, the annual outdoors festival is not only a summer tradition, but also a highlight. The Smith River Fest aims to be a celebration of all things outdoors that make Martinsville – Henry County an outdoor recreation hotspot. MHC boasts the beautiful Smith River and gorgeous Philpott Lake as well as the Smith River Blueway and the Philpott Blueway.
On any given day, there are ample opportunities to get outdoors, get active, and enjoy nature. Smith River Fest is a day to learn more about many of these amenities while having a fun opportunity to experience them. This year’s Smith River Fest is presented by Sovah Health – Martinsville. Both admission and parking are free for this event.
In past years, thousands of guests from more than 10 different states and 52 Virginia communities have participated in the event, and festival organizers expect those numbers to continue to grow. Highlighted events for the 13th annual event include the Helgramite Hustle 5K Mud Run presented by Martinsville Eyecare Center, the 4.8-mile long River Race, the Paddling Demo Pool presented by the US Army Recruitment Center, live music by local band Andy & Jake.
Harvest celebrates Virginia Intern Day
Intern Zariah Scales is spending her summer at The Harvest Foundation
The Harvest Foundation celebrated Virginia Intern Day on July 28th with summer intern Zariah Scales. Here's more from Scales about her work and how it ties back to her love of Martinsville-Henry County.
Why choose Harvest for your internship?
"When I was on the Harvest Youth Board in high school, I worked with staff and other board members making a difference in the community. I witnessed firsthand how important the foundation was to MHC and I was grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that again with a new perspective while in college."
What have you been working on?
"I'm researching the benefits cliff of public assistance programs and how they can impact the economic mobility of families. Benefits cliffs occur when families receiving public benefits experience an increase in income, even by the slightest amount, which results in the loss of benefits programs. This is an issue for many low-income families because the increase in hourly wages is typically less than the amount that the family loses in benefits. This creates a barrier for many people who have opportunities to take a promotion, take on a new job, accept a raise, etc."
Overall, what's your experience with this internship, and how does it support your future career?
"The experience and the knowledge I've gained with this internship made the most impact on me this summer. This is such an important topic that not many people are educated on. I feel that I've gained a unique perspective on the issues I've been researching, and I've also enjoyed making connections with the people who aid my research. Just the experience of working in a professional environment will help me in the future. Nonprofit and community work are a passion of mine, even though I'm going to school to be a physical therapist."
Last question, What do you love about MHC?
"I love the small town and close-knit community vibe that we have here. There are bigger cities not far away that you can go to if you want to do something, but you can always come back to MHC. I think our area has such great potential for businesses, activities, recreation, arts, and so much more. There are many small businesses opening in our area and other larger businesses coming to town, which is just what we need. If others realize the potential that Martinsville-Henry County has, then so can we as citizens.
Virginia Nonprofit Survey 2022
From the Dan River Nonprofit Network:
The Dan River Nonprofit Network and regional capacity partners have launched a survey of Virginia nonprofits, and we would greatly appreciate your organization's input. Any 501(c) organization or social impact group that covers a Virginia service area may take the survey, and we want to hear from organizations of all sizes. Each organization that completes the survey will receive a free report of the findings and will be entered to win a raffled $350 gift card.
All feedback will be aggregated with the input of other nonprofits to help the Nonprofit Network and other capacity builders and funders across our region to improve how they plan and invest in strengthening nonprofits and their communities. Study collaborators include Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, PATH Foundation, Blue Ridge Habitat, Micro Nonprofit Network, Network Peninsula, and Center for Nonprofit Excellence.
The survey closes August 8th, please take the survey and spread the word today!
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Make an impact in your community. Share your HOPE.
We welcome your voice and ideas at The Harvest Foundation.
Our general responsive grants cycle is open year-round with consideration from our Board of Directors one a quarter. Our PUP Small Grants Program is an open process with decisions made in less than six weeks.
Give our office a call to schedule an appointment with a program officer.
About The Harvest Foundation:
The Harvest Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 2002 by the sale of Memorial Hospital. In partnership with the diverse people and organizations that call MHC home, we serve as a long-term catalyst, advocate, and investor to make our community a welcoming place where all can thrive. Our vision is a community where everyone shares in the promise of an MHC that is healthy, prosperous, and vibrant. To date, the foundation has invested more than $150 million in grant dollars back into the community and has an annual grants budget of roughly $10-12 million. To find out more about Harvest, visit www.theharvestfoundation.org.
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