OREMC Foundation Celebrates Grant Awards
The Okefenoke REMC Foundation is pleased to announce grants totaling more than $42,000 were awarded to 14 organizations in the first quarter of 2023.
- Barnabas Center in Callahan, Florida, received a $3,000 to support its mobile food distribution program providing healthy food for hungry families in Nassau County. Accepting the award presented by OREMC Foundation Trustee Ramona Jones was Barnabas Center Chief Development Director Tania Yount and Front Office Receptionist Joyce Knox.
- Camden County Crisis Center in St. Marys, Georgia, received a $1,000 grant to support development of a teen influencer council to raise awareness of teen dating violence and promote healthy relationships. OREMC Foundation Trustee Sonya Walker presented the grant to Marcie Costello, executive director, and Lawanda Right, lead advocate.
- First Coast Women’s Services in Macclenny, Florida was awarded a $5,000 grant to upgrade soundproofing in the Baker Center clinic to ensure patient confidentiality and for clinic outreach. Dana Lane, Baker Center Director, and Jennifer Pace, development director, accepted the grant presented by OREMC Foundation Trustee Tina Mobley and OREMC Board President Wayne Combs.
- Foster Love Ministries, Brunswick, Georgia, received a $2,500 grant to further enable the on-staff family advocate to provide foster home emotional and developmental support services, as well as training in trauma informed care for abused and neglected children. OREMC Foundation Trustee Shallen Crum presented the grant to Marci Bourland, executive director of Foster Love Ministries.
- GICCA Foundation in Brunswick, Georgia, was awarded a $2,500 grant to support a session of This Girl Can, exposing eighth/ninth grade girls to non-traditional occupations for women—welding, automotive repair, engineering and construction— to increase career awareness and exploration. GICCA CEO Brian Weese accepted the award from OREMC Foundation Trustee Shallen Crum.
- Great Books for Kids, Woodbine, Georgia, celebrated their grant of $4,974 to support Learning to Read Together. The program will provide 279 kindergarteners in four Camden County elementary schools with a dual level reader containing 20 short stories that will grow with the children as their reading ability progresses. Jen Tacbas, founder/director, happily accepted the grant from OREMC Foundation Trustee Sonya Walker.
- Habitat for Humanity Camden, St. Marys, Georgia, received a $1,220 grant to support their Christmas Mouse House summer workshop where students design, build, promote and sell bird houses as part of a service learning and entrepreneurship program. On hand to accept the award from OREMC Foundation Trustee Sonya Walker (pictured center) were l-r: Cal Hrivnak, Habitat board member; Alise Pate, director of the Salvation Army and Habitat partner; April Jeans, director of Family Connections and Habitat partner; Lili High, executive director of Habitat for Humanity; Dan Udy, Habitat board member; Mary-Ann O’Connor, Habitat board treasurer; Board President Elaine Smith, Habitat for Humanity; and Chap Sweat, Habitat board member.
- Isaiah 117 House in Macclenny, Florida, received a $5,000 grant to support transitional care at the Isaiah 117 House Baker County currently under construction, for children entering the foster care system. Sherrie Steadman, program coordinator for Baker County, was honored to accept the grant from OREMC Board President Wayne Combs and OREMC Foundation Trustee Tina Mobley.
- The Nest, Yulee, Florida, has moved to a new location and their $3,000 grant will assist in furnishing counseling rooms and stocking a new Baby Boutique offering much needed baby items to families in need. Financial Manager Rhonda Hall was thrilled to accept the grant from OREMC Foundation Trustee Ramona Jones.
- Pinky Promise, Callahan, Florida, is a resource center for women who have been diagnosed with cancer and strives to offer them products—wigs, sleep caps, scarves/head coverings, camisoles for mastectomy patients, chemo gift bags—free of charge to help them feel beautiful inside and out. The $4,000 grant presented by OREMC Foundation Trustee Ramona Jones and accepted by Founder Sybil Purvis and Board Director Dawn West, will help them reach more women in need.
- STAR Foundation of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, Georgia, was awarded a $2,500 grant to support their new Teen Lunch & Learn Series that will educate and empower students with skills and coaching for employment readiness. The program is expected to reach 75 teens ages 14-17. Executive Director Dr. Markisha Butler accepted the grant from OREMC Foundation Trustee Shallen Crum.
- The Storehouse, Callahan, Florida, will help stock the shelves of its food pantry with their $2,500 grant. Serving 300 families with a twice-monthly food distribution, The Storehouse ministry helps feed families primarily in Nassau County, but also Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia. Vice President Carrie Mizell gratefully accepted the grant from OREMC Foundation Trustee Ramona Jones.
- Thiokol Memorial Project, Kingsland, Georgia, was award a $2,500 grant to purchase additional display cases and enhance exhibits with digital imagery as it continues to raise awareness of the tragedy, remember the Patriots of Thiokol and honor their lasting legacy. Museum volunteers celebrated the award presented by OREMC Foundation Trustee Sonya Walker.
- Woodbine Public Library, Woodbine, Georgia, celebrated their $2,500 grant award to help expand their library collection. On hand from the library board of directors to accept the award from OREMC Foundation Trustee Sonya Walker (pictured right) were l-r: Rhetta Sutton, treasurer; Kevin Walker, trustee; Library Manager Erica Stembridge; Janet Heath, co-chair; and Colleen Weinkle, co-chair.
The OREMC Foundation is a launchpad for community development supporting education, community health and economic development in the six Georgia and two Florida counties OREMC serves. Currently, OREMC unclaimed capital credits are the primary funding source. The Foundation Trustees meet quarterly to review applications and make grant awards based on funds available.
The next grant application deadline is Friday, April 7, 2023. Applications and information are available online at oremc.com/foundation.