Part I: Who We Are — Exploring Our Values
From the desk of Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller
Values are our guardrails that help us navigate the world. They are no different for an organization as they are for us individually. An organization’s values make a statement to the world about what they believe in and how they behave. As Harvest wrapped up its strategic planning process, reviewing and updating our value statements was the final step. We saved this for last because we needed to learn along the way and then reflect on who we are and who we want to be.
At our June Board Retreat, the board and staff dug deep into what makes us tick. We shared all the values that we think align with who we are and then the prioritizing began. We have lots of values but asked ourselves what are the most important. We gathered the concepts and spent the next few months trying to capture their essence in statements.
This month, the Harvest Board of Directors approved a list of value statements that reflect the organization’s journey over the past twenty years. For the next few months, I’ll share a bit about each statement, so you can understand what the statement means to us.
But first, Harvest’s Values:
- We choose hope.
- We uphold integrity beyond reproach.
- We are committed to our equity in all we do.
- We advocate for an inclusive and united community.
We are boldly ambitious.
- We are a catalyst for generational change.
- We never walk alone.
The first one shouldn’t be a surprise. You’ve heard us talk about Hope all year. As I’ve written about before, many in our community lack hope for their future and the future of MHC. Hope is an action, it’s a response.
By choosing hope, we choose to be proactive, to be optimistic, and to believe that better times are ahead for everyone. Hope will show up in our grantmaking and the choices we make. We are looking ahead and believing that tomorrow will be better than today.
We uphold integrity beyond reproach. This value is embedded in this organization, deep. Doing things right, by the book, and being transparent about how we are managing and guiding this community resource is a top priority of the board and staff.
Those are just the first two, I’ll dive a little deeper into the others in October and November. In the meantime, enjoy the beauty of our changing season.
The Harvest Foundation 20th Anniversary Documentary
Celebrating 20 Years of Serving Martinsville-Henry County
We are thrilled to share with you our documentary celebrating 20 years of serving Martinsville-Henry County. We've seen tremendous changes in our community since our first grants cycle in 2003. There's still much work to be done, but we can all be proud of how far we've come.
Building a Stronger MHC
The Harvest Foundation releases 2016-2021 Strategic Plan Report
This is our report to the community on the outcomes of our 2016-2021 strategic plan. It addressed key priority areas of health, education, and community development, but with a strategic focus on economic development. As we move into our new strategic plan, our focus will shift to those areas this evaluation has highlighted. Contact us to get a printed copy.
The Harvest Foundation invested $1,491,500 in matching grant funds that leverage state and federal funding to achieve universal broadband in Martinsville-Henry County. Pictured from left to right are Caleb Gravely, Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller, Christian Youngblood, Tiffany Hairston, Harvest Foundation Senior Program Officer DeWitt House, and Mark Alley.
Henry County moves closer to universal broadband access
The Harvest Foundation invests nearly $1.5 million toward Henry County's universal broadband access initiative
Martinsville, Va. — Henry County is one step closer to ensuring access to broadband for homes and businesses previously unserved by high-speed internet capability.
The Harvest Foundation invested $1,491,500 in matching grant funds that leverage state and federal funding to achieve universal broadband in Martinsville-Henry County. DeWitt House, senior program officer, said broadband access is a utility to which everyone should have unrestricted access.
“From banking and paying bills to completing schoolwork, there is no end to how much we depend on the internet to live,” House said. “The digital divide was clear before, but following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of access to high-speed internet became even more pronounced. Ensuring universal access to broadband throughout Martinsville-Henry County meets our goals to grow the community and its infrastructure, but it also goes further in creating equity among MHC residents.”
Broadband expansion is a clear goal in Harvest’s strategic plan, “because we realize for us to thrive as a community, it’s essential for every household and business to have affordable high-speed internet access. The internet makes it easier for us to find jobs, receive healthcare, and learn. What happens to people who don’t have access? We have to treat broadband access as an essential service because, in this day and age, it is.”
This funding leverages resources provided by a VATI (Virginia Telecommunications Initiative) grant of $33,571,073 secured in 2021 by the West Piedmont Planning District Commission (WPPDC) to connect 10,056 unserved locations in Henry, Patrick, and Franklin counties. Other partners include RiverStreet Networks and Appalachian Power. Virginia’s DHCD (Department of Housing and Community Development) administers the VATI program.
The Harvest Foundation will fund a three-year investment of $300,000 to hire a Martinsville-Henry County reporter for Cardinal News. Pictured from left to right are Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller, Luanne Rife, Cardinal News executive director, Dwayne Yancey, Cardinal News executive editor, and DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation.
Regional news nonprofit to add Martinsville-based reporter
Cardinal News expands in Martinsville-Henry County with support from
The Harvest Foundation
Martinsville, Va. — Cardinal News, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization covering Southwest and Southside Virginia, is expanding its footprint in Martinsville-Henry County (MHC) by hiring a local reporter.
The Harvest Foundation made a three-year investment of $300,000 to fund the new position. Harvest Program Officer DeWitt House said with more than 150 years of combined experience in journalism, Cardinal News brings a unique product to Martinsville-Henry County.
“Since its launch in September 2021, Cardinal News consistently develops factual and unbiased news coverage that benefits our entire community,” House said. “Cardinal News tells stories that matter, whether it’s in-depth coverage on population changes at a local level, or a spotlight on issues in Richmond (Virginia) and how they affect Martinsville-Henry County. High-quality journalism creates a well-informed community and allows decision-makers outside Martinsville-Henry County to create policies that positively affect our lives.”
This investment directly aligns with Harvest’s strategic plan goal of developing a Vibrant Community by building a connected and revitalized MHC to attract and retain residents.
House added, “Growing a positive future for Martinsville-Henry County residents starts with education. Healthy communities with access to high-quality information empower residents to make up their own minds from factual stories with diverse voices.”
Cardinal News is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization sustained by grants and donations. All published content is free for readers to enjoy. The organization began publishing on Sept. 27, 2021 following a fundraising campaign aided by generous donors including The Secular Society, Carilion Clinic, Dominion Energy, and American National Bank & Trust.
Level UP MHC Community Summit Coming Oct. 20
Level Up MHC brings us all together to learn and explore potential solutions to grow Martinsville-Henry County. We're looking to expand our community's amenities while supporting the ones we already have. We're identifying new ways to grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourage small business owners. We're finding better ways to connect new and existing residents to the community.
Hope builders in Martinsville-Henry County and The Harvest Foundation are planning Level Up MHC, a community summit and conversation, on Oct. 20, 2022. The event will be held at New College Institute, 191 Fayette St., Martinsville, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
We invite local leaders that work in Housing, Community Amenities, Small Business Entrepreneurship, and Building Community Connectivity. All of these areas are connected to improving the quality of life. We aim to learn more about each of these areas, but also work on strategies so that our community leaders and organizations can activate them.
Come if you want to be a part of the change.
There's always something fun to do in
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 once a quarter. Our PUP Small Grants Program is an open process with decisions made in less than six weeks. The newly announced Project Hope program is about supporting small, grassroots projects with immediate impact.
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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