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Inspired by the story of Thomas Cannon, the Help Somebody Hall of Fame is a platform to honor selfless individuals in our community. Thomas Cannon worked as a Richmond City postal worker, and throughout his lifetime generously gave away more than $150,000. His donations were made mostly in thousand-dollar checks, showing that small gestures can make a big impact. He gave to people who demonstrated remarkable courage or generosity, or who experienced a challenging time, often reading about them in the Richmond Times Dispatch. According to a 2005 Richmond Times Dispatch article published shortly after his death, Thomas Cannon did not want to attach his name to any efforts to carry on his philanthropy. “What he wanted in his honor and memory, he told the Times-Dispatch, was simple: ‘Help Somebody.’”
An anonymous TCF donor was so inspired by Thomas Cannon’s story that he created the Help Somebody Hall of Fame to recognize giving individuals, in addition to donating $1,000 awards to nonprofits in their honor. Nominations are invited from the community at large to recognize a nonprofit staff member, client, volunteer, neighbor.…anyone residing in Greater Richmond who is making a positive difference. Twice a month a new name will be added to the Hall of Fame, and ConnectVA.org will feature their story.
Know a deserving individual you’d like to recognize? We encourage you to share their name and story by completing a simple nomination form and answering three questions:
Access the Nomination form here: http://bit.ly/HelpSomebodyForm
Each quarter, a random drawing will be held and two $1,000 awards will be made to a nonprofit organization, in honor of a nominated outstanding community member (chosen by the nominee). Interested in learning how you can leave a legacy as Thomas Cannon did? The Community Foundation can help! Learn about 5 fulfilling ways to give through TCF.
At The Community Foundation, we know that no individual or organization alone can solve a problem as complex as intergenerational poverty. That is why we must work together toward shared goals and collaborative efforts that will create powerful, lasting change for our region.
It is in this spirit that The Community Foundation has committed $750,000 over 3 years to support the Choice Neighborhood Initiative, a comprehensive plan to transform Richmond's East End from a community rooted in segregation and disinvestment into a community of choice and opportunity. The work will begin in Creighton Court, the second largest of the city's six public housing communities. Led by Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and informed by neighborhood leaders, the strategy is built on empowering the people of the East End by providing choice: of housing, employment, education and health within their own community.
Funding from TCF helps meet the local funding match required for Richmond to be considered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a Choice Neighborhood implementation grant, which would bring $30 million to support this revitalization. Our support will help bring services directly to residents, reflecting our desire to help individuals and families achieve educational success, economic prosperity and health and wellness.
PERSISTENT POVERTY: UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUE
Richmond is experiencing an influx of business development, internationally acclaimed arts and recreational opportunities and a robust housing market. However, in stark contrast to these exciting growth opportunities, we have extreme pockets of poverty and communities where educational attainment, income and life expectancy are all significantly lower than their suburban counterparts. Over 20,000 residents live in public housing communities located in Richmond’s East End. These communities are over 75 years old and were born from segregation and disinvestment. Struggling to find hope and help, residents of these communities have little to no access to early childhood education, transportation or employment opportunities, and live in housing so old it causes health issues, especially in children.
About Creighton Court:
STEPS WE HAVE TAKEN
The Community Foundation has prioritized the East End since 2009 with funding, staff leadership, and co-investment with our donors. In the last 3 years alone, TCF and its donors have invested over $7 million. Together, we have:
Our nonprofit partners are stronger today because of these investments. However, extreme concentrated poverty, and the challenges that come with it, still exist.
CHOICE NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE: A NEW, POWERFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE
The Choice Neighborhood Initiative is an opportunity to transform a housing project into a thriving neighborhood. A team of civic and neighborhood leaders is crafting a bold plan to transform public housing and the surrounding neighborhood in Church Hill. This work will begin in Creighton Court, a public housing community of 504 families located in Richmond’s East End.
We believe this opportunity places Richmond on the cusp of real change. Stay tuned for updates about HUD funding and upcoming tours of the revitalization zone!
The majority of grantmaking from The Community Foundation is done at the direction of donors who choose to partner with us on their philanthropy. We are privileged to work with hundreds of individuals, families and businesses who enjoy the opportunity to focus on how they want to make a difference, while we take care of the administrative details. Their collective generosity has resulted in $18 million in donor-directed grants for a variety of causes so far this year!
Our staff is always available to provide guidance as needed, with years of experience in matching donor interests with the good work happening throughout our region. While donor-directed grants often align with the Foundation’s focus areas, individuals may also recommend support for other interests like animal welfare, religious institutions or even organizations in other communities where they have ties. Whatever your passion, we can conduct research and help you achieve the greatest possible impact.
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We are halfway through the year and already we have accomplished so much together, all to create a stronger, healthier and more vibrant RVA. Through June 30th, The Community Foundation and its funding partners – including the Jenkins Foundation, Pauley Family Foundation and REB Foundation – awarded $6 million in competitive grants. These are grants provided through an application process to support initiatives that address important community issues and build the capacity of organizations and their leaders. Competitive grant programs are made possible by the generosity of past donors, the participation of donor advisors who wish to leverage greater impact and the leadership of several volunteer committees.
(RICHMOND, VA)…Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announced two new grants of $20,000 each to Richmond Cycling Corps and Excel To Excellence. They honored the recipients at a celebration at the Richmond Cycling Corps Bike Park on June 2, 2016.
The grant to Richmond Cycling Corps will provide employment opportunities for youth who participate in this unique program that uses the bicycle as a tool to help youth in public
housing break free from systemic poverty. While the program has proudly produced the only two inner-city youth cycling teams in the nation, it also offers its youth participants a good dose of tough love. Central to its mission, Richmond Cycling Corps provides a range of case management services to help these young people navigate life and learn personal accountability. This year, with support from Ujima Legacy Fund, 6 young people will be offered summer jobs as assistant coaches, bike patrol members and maintenance staff for a large scale community garden project.
The grant to Excel to Excellence will allow the program to expand from two to four schools in 2016, reaching an additional 60 students. Developed by Richmond native and former NFL player Michael Robinson, Team Excel is an ongoing academic program that encourages youth to excel in the classroom throughout the school year. The program uses a “reverse” fantasy football concept in which students are coached by professional athletes and community mentors. Each week, youth participants receive individual and team scores based on their grades, attendance and community service. Aimed at bridging the achievement gap in Henrico County, Team Excel is designed to help students increase their classroom performance, learn life skills and explore career opportunities.
“Richmond Cycling Corps and Team Excel represent two inspiring examples of what can happen when you believe and invest in the potential of young people,” said Immanuel Sutherland, leadership team member, of Ujima Legacy Fund. “The members of the Ujima Legacy Fund are proud to make a collective investment that will help these organizations continue to grow and innovate and to provide young people from our communities with life-changing opportunities that will help them achieve in school and in life.”
In 2013, The Ujima Legacy Fund was launched as a way to make philanthropy engaging and accessible for African American men in the Richmond region. Ujima is named after the third day of Kwanzaa and means collective work and responsibility. One of three giving circles created in partnership with The Community Foundation, Ujima members pool contributions of $1,100 each to generate greater community impact. Together, they select at least one local nonprofit organization annually that they feel best demonstrates the ability to empower youth through education-related initiatives, with a particular emphasis on underserved youth. Since inception, membership has grown to 43 men and has awarded a total of $128,000 to six organizations.
We are pleased to share that 184 scholars were awarded scholarships totaling over $380,000 to continue their education journey. More than 60 scholarships are offered annually through The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia for graduating seniors and adult learners. Through establishing a scholarship fund at TCF, donors have the opportunity to help local students pursue their dreams of higher education based on merit or financial need.
At our recent scholarship celebration, donors and staff members recognized award recipients and celebrated their bright futures. Sr. Vice President of Philanthropy Services Molly Dean Bittner welcomed those in attendance and shared with the students: “Your aspirations are far reaching, and above all, your commitment to service sets you apart. Please accept our congratulations for your accomplishments to date, and for the many accomplishments that are promised in your futures.” The generosity of donors will continue to impact the lives of these students for years to come, and we wish them all the best.
Congratulations to all 2017 scholarship award recipients!
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EXPLORE OUR scholarships
Each year, a portion of The Community Foundation’s grantmaking is awarded through a competitive process, in which local organizations apply for funding for programs and operations. We invite submissions in partnership with The Jenkins Foundation, one of TCF’s six partner foundations, which focuses its grant program on improving health care in the region. The process is guided by a framework in which the Foundation identifies nonprofit partners that are effectively, and many times collaboratively, working to lift up Richmond as a place where all of its residents can thrive.
As part of this collective vision for our community, our grants align with four priority areas – Cultural Vibrancy, Economic Prosperity, Educational Success and Health & Wellness – that we believe are the cornerstones to a healthy, vibrant community.
We are pleased to announce combined grant awards, totaling just over $2 million, to the following organizations:
Goal: to ensure that community members have access to and an appreciation for arts and cultural opportunities.
$40,000 to support free young programs led by professional artists trained in creative youth development best practices.
Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia
$25,000 to support the access to and availability of history and cultural activities.
$50,000 to secure ongoing care, programming, and vibrancy of Maymont .
Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers
$100,000 to support Bike Walk RVA, a program designed to build safe and accessible infrastructure for people to bike and walk in all parts of the Richmond region.
Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (formerly CenterStage)
$50,000 to support the expansion of BrightLights Education Initiatives.
$22,000 to support the opening of a new exhibition, Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond.
Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation (ICA)
$50,000 to support free admission to temporary art exhibitions over three years and engage a broad array of visitors.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation
$15,000 to support VMFA’s need to accurately track its existing space, determine its best usage and plan for optimum space utilization for near-term usage.
Virginia Repertory Theatre
$30,000 to support the improvement and expansion of Virginia Rep's innovative health and wellness programs.
$20,000 to support our new Live Audio Description program so that theater patrons with low vision can have equal access to the performing arts in Central Virginia.
Visual Arts Center of Richmond
$30,000 to support the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s programs and partnerships that will deliver free arts education and adult mentoring to 1,504 Richmond youth.
Goal: to ensure that the region’s resources are sustainable and its residents are economically stable and secure.
$25,000 to support the Inside Out Community Strengthening Model in the Brookland Park community.
$25,000 to enhance case management support for households residing in HomeAgain's emergency shelters and those enrolled in rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing programs.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. (HOME)
$75,000 to support mobility counseling to deconcentrate poverty, integrate schools, and tear down barriers that prevent Housing Choice Voucher holders from living in neighborhoods of opportunity.
Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
$15,000 to support "This is the Moment," designed to respond to increased demand for programs and services.
Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
$15,000 to hire an Executive Vice President to drive future success.
Goal: to ensure children enter school ready to learn and receive effective academic and social support throughout their educational experience.
Blue Sky Fund
$50,000 to support experiential academic enrichment with a special focus on environmental science for Richmond Public School students.
$40,000 to support establishment of the Region 1 Computer Science Hub.
Communities In Schools of Chesterfield
$25,000 to support CIS programming at six CCPS schools.
Communities In Schools of Petersburg
$25,000 to supports site coordination and program support to two schools .
$25,000 to support improved vision services to Richmond students and to measure the educational impact for students needing and receiving vision correction.
Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation (Smart Beginnings)
$300,000 over 3 years to provide operating support for Smart Beginnings and its implementation of the School Readiness Plan 2017-2020.
Partnership for Families
$50,000 to support the Data Collaborative Initiative.
Peter Paul Development Center
$75,000 to support the satellite program at Fairfield Court Elementary School.
Science Museum of Virginia Foundation
$50,000 to support a pilot program designed to foster interest in STEM career pathways.
Southside Transformation Opportunities for Residents and Youth (STORY)
$25,000 to support the ML2 After School program in the Thomas Rolfe Court public housing community.
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg
$50,000 to support strategic plan implementation for Richmond Youth Program Quality Intervention, in partnership with youth serving organizations in the region.
Virginia Early Childhood Foundation
$50,000 to support the implementation of Richmond Area Services Alliance (RASA) to improve the capacity to provide stable, affordable, quality early education in high-risk Richmond communities.
Virginia Literacy Foundation
$40,000 to support kindergarten classrooms at Oak Grove and Westover Hills Elementary Schools.
YMCA of Greater Richmond
$40,000 to support YMCA year-round expanded learning programs in Richmond at Woodville and Oak Grove Elementary Schools and in Petersburg at Walnut Hill Elementary School.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Goal: to ensure that Central Virginia residents are safe and healthy.
Alzheimer's Association Jenkins
$37,500 to expand access to dedicated Alzheimer's Association care consultants.
Central Virginia Health Services
$50,000 to increase access to behavioral health services.
Challenge Discovery Projects Jenkins
$30,000 to support the "Say It With Heart" bullying and violence prevention curriculum.
Circle Center Adult Day Services Jenkins/Sheltering Arms
$40,000 to provide high quality care and support that enables older adults to live at home with their families.
Cross Over Ministry Sheltering Arms
$10,000 to support general operations.
Doorways Sheltering Arms
$5,000 to help Greater Richmond families access primary, specialty or life-saving care.
Elk Hill Jenkins / TCF
$50,000 to support school-based mental health services for students in Goochland Middle School.
Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment Sheltering Arms
$15,000 to increase outreach to meet the needs of the residents facing mobility challenges.
Free Clinic of Powhatan Jenkins
$30,000 to support the addition of a part-time RN.
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
$45,000 to support Wellness Integration and Learning Garden programs.
Goochland Free Clinic Sheltering Arms
$10,000 to provide health care services that meet basic human needs in Goochland County.
International Rescue Committee
$20,000 to support improved refugee health outcomes in Richmond.
Jewish Family Services Jenkins
$40,000 to provide low-income older adults or adults with disabilities with comprehensive services to remain safe and independent in their own homes.
Legal Information Network for Cancer Jenkins
$20,000 to support non-medical needs and referrals to legal or financial volunteer professionals.
Lucy Corr Foundation Jenkins
$40,000 to provide salary support for a dental assistant and registered dental hygienist.
MCV School of Nursing Jenkins
$30,000 to provide healthy meals and connect vulnerable older adults to resources.
NAMI Central Virginia Jenkins
$10,000 to provide Mental Health Education for parents or caregivers of children with a mental health condition.
Positive Vibe Sheltering Arms
$15,000 to partially support the cost of a Training Program Director.
project:Homes Sheltering Arms
$10,000 to provide elderly and/or disabled homeowners with critical accessibility modifications for their homes.
RAMPS Sheltering Arms
$7,500 to provide ramps for older adults and individuals with disabilities.
REACHcycles Sheltering Arms
$5,000 to purchase therapeutic cycles for children and veterans.
The READ Center Jenkins
$20,000 to help low-literate adults better understand health concepts and navigate the healthcare system.
Richmond Peace Education Center Jenkins / TCF
$25,000 to support new, site-based programming to equip young people to be leaders for peace in their schools and neighborhoods, resulting in less violent, more cohesive and more vibrant communities.
RVA Rapid Transit Sheltering Arms
$17,500 to advance education, organization, and advocacy for a regional public transportation system.
$15,000 to expand outreach through the development of interactive web, video and print materials.
Shalom Farms Jenkins / TCF
$50,000 to improve health and increase self-sufficiency of low-income communities in Richmond experiencing the most limited access to healthy food and resources.
South Richmond Adult Day Care Center Jenkins / Sheltering Arms
$50,000 to provide care for low-income older adults with complex medical conditions.
Sportable Sheltering Arms
$20,000 to support the I Am An Athlete program for athletes with physical and visual disabilities.
St. Joseph's Villa
$60,000 to support continued rapid re-housing efforts of Flagler Housing & Homeless Services by helping homeless families of all compositions obtain permanent housing with integrated support services based on need.
$35,000 to support a collaboration with youth-serving agencies.
The James House Intervention/Prevention Services, Inc.
$40,000 to provide evidence-based prevention education programs in English and Spanish, as well as advocacy services for children and adults impacted by interpersonal violence.
$15,000 to extend programming to further address the needs associated with limited food access.
United Spinal Association of Virginia Sheltering Arms
$15,000 to expand the Peer Mentor and Family Support Program.
Virginia Supportive Housing Jenkins
$25,000 to support the A Place To Start program.
Learn more about how to apply for a grant
A generous $20M bequest will support nonprofits in Richmond and Mount Airy, NC.
James M. (“Jim”) Frye died in April 2015, leaving a philanthropic legacy to the communities he loved. The $20 million bequest to The Community FoundationServing Richmond and Central Virginia endows an unrestricted fund that will enhance local grantmaking, as well as restricted endowments that will provide ongoing support to over 30 eligible organizations in Richmond and Mt. Airy, NC. In addition to the bequest to The Community Foundation, his estate provided direct charitable bequests to a number of organizations.
At age 84, Jim looked back on a life of singular accomplishment. He rose from depression-era poverty in Mount Airy, North Carolina to become Director of Government Relations for Phillip Morris, one of the world's largest and most profitable public companies. After retirement in 1988, he served the company as a consultant for 19 more years, completing a remarkable 55 years of service. Jim and the many leaders who worked alongside him helped build the company into the leader in the tobacco industry.
Jim was known for his deep friendships, his good humor, and his integrity in business and in life. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 1953, gaining admission on a football scholarship. Then he joined his lifetime employer as a management trainee, earning an MBA from Richmond while working full-time. He served his country two years in the Army, including a year in Japan right after the Korean Conflict.
His potential for leadership was recognized in 1966 with a posting to the Brookings Institution as a Public Affairs Fellow, and there he served Congressman Gerald Ford, who would go on to be America's 38th President. That relationship would result in a lifelong friendship. The President's balanced and unselfish approach to problems influenced Jim in business and philanthropy.
Jim knew that both organizations and community needs change over time. This made him reluctant to set aside significant capital for a cause unless he could be assured that the organization would be monitored and his committed funds managed professionally. Jim learned of The Community Foundation in 1997 and, true to his creed, investigated it. He crafted a careful plan to give nearly all of his savings to charitable causes after the death of he and his wife, Virginia Nash Frye. In the meantime, he gave generously and always anonymously each year. His plan included meaningful capital gifts to selected charities including St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (his church), Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (board member for 15 years) and others in Mount Airy.
The balance of his estate was gifted to The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia to fund endowments for ongoing support of his chosen causes, but with 25% reserved to address community needs as identified by the Foundation. Of particular importance to Jim Frye was the duty of the Foundation to monitor the organizations selected and to move endowment support to other organizations if they failed to perform effectively or if the need served dwindled.
Always a very private person, Jim requested toward the end of his life that the details of his plan be publicized after his death. This was not for his aggrandizement ("After all I won't be around," Jim said with typical wry humor) but to encourage others to give.
Frye’s philanthropy was influenced by his life experience – growing up during the Depression when basic things were scarce; mentors during his life who coached and encouraged his talent and leadership; the loss of loved ones due to health considerations; and, his faith. His legacy of philanthropy is captured in the themes of helping children, promoting the dignity and well-being of less fortunate persons, supporting health and expressing faith through community outreach. Jim’s wife of 47 years, ‘Lucky’ as she was known to her close friends, died in 2010. In addition to his charitable gifts, Jim Frye left meaningful bequests to his and Lucky's extended family members and a few close friends.
During the time Jim worked with Philip Morris, the company was making its first charitable grants. Today, the company’s philanthropic legacy spans 50+ years, setting a corporate culture of giving and community engagement by company leaders and employees. Jim was fully invested in Philip Morris, and contributed significantly to the company’s strong performance during his career. In his eulogy to Frye, long-time friend Bill Leidinger exclaimed that “Jim just didn’t work for Philip Morris. Jim was Philip Morris! He was Philip Morris personified.”
Friends report that Frye never sold a share of Philip Morris and he would acquire the stock whenever he could. The Philip Morris Companies (now Altria) investment story has been an amazing one in its own right. A $360 investment in just 10 Altria shares in 1970 would have grown to more than $500,000 today, with reinvested dividends. But it was Frye’s investment acumen and discipline that Jim brought to actively managing his own money in retirement that proved to be brilliant and produced the wealth that enabled his philanthropy.
Jim’s loyalty to Altria, his entrepreneurial spirit and his compassion for others translated into millions for the communities he loved and will now benefit countless people through this bequest to The Community Foundation.
Organizations benefiting from Frye’s Estate are as follows:
Learn more about establishing a fund at The Community Foundation.
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