Twenty local organizations are receiving support for needs ranging from a Safe Haven Baby Box to scholarships for summer camp.

Wayne County Foundation’s board has approved an allocation of $170,572 for projects through its Grant Cycle I and other first-quarter grant opportunities.

Grants are made through gifts from individual donors who create funds to benefit local causes.

Funds are to support programs or projects that enhance the spirit of the community and improve quality of life across Wayne County.

Several longtime organizations received support, as well as a few newer initiatives, such as the Black Legacy Project of Wayne County and Indiana University East’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

Although most of the latest grant recipients are based in Richmond, many of them offer programs serving the entire county or even broader regional areas, such as Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center (JACY House) and Independent Living Center of East Central Indiana.

Some applicants even reach visitors from across the country and world. The Model T Ford Club of America and Museum in Richmond’s Historic Depot District will use its grant to create a small theater space offering short educational films for school groups and family audiences.

However, a few of the recipients are focused on projects in the county’s smaller communities.

For instance, Nettle Creek Discovery Preschool at Hagerstown Elementary received $5,000 to offset daycare costs for families in need. That project was funded in part by the Hometown Hagerstown Fund.

And, Wayne County Railroaders Association received $7,500 toward improvements for its caboose at Centerville’s Maplewood Park along with educational signage and improved landscaping.

“It is so important to recognize the impact and support the work of the nonprofits in this community,” said Rebecca Gilliam, the foundation’s executive director, in a news release. “The foundation is very excited to have the opportunity to come alongside these organizations who help make a better Wayne County.”

Applications for Grant Cycle II will open April 24 and information is available at

Who received a grant?

Wayne County Foundation funded these projects during the first quarter:

  • Black Legacy Project of Wayne County:: $3,800 to support the organization’s video interview program, educational posters in local schools and the 2023 Black Legacy Exhibition in partnership with the Wayne County Historical Museum.
  • Boy Scouts of America – Crossroads Council:: $5,000 to provide scholarship for Wayne County Scouts who want to attend summer camp.
  • Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center, Inc. (JACY House):: $6,600 to defray costs for staff to attend a professional development conference in Dallas, Texas.
  • HELP the Animals:: $5,000 for repair and improvements to the roof of one of the facility’s outdoor kennel areas.
  • Independent Living Center of East Central Indiana:: $10,000 to purchase assistive devices for clients to help them maintain their independence.
  • Indiana University East Center for Entrepreneurship: $18,000 to support expansion of the Business Opportunities for Self Starters (BOSS) Program for local graduates, encouraging them to achieve entrepreneurial goals.
  • Junior Achievement of Eastern Indiana: $10,000 to help fund a new project coordinator to expand Wayne County services.
  • Model T Ford Club of America and Museum:: $7,510 to support the creation of a small theater space to offer short educational films for school groups and family audiences.
  • Oak Park Church:: $15,000 to purchase a concession-style trailer to help mobilize and distribute bread and bakery goods through their Bread Box program.
  • Richmond Civic Theatre:: $15,000 to help offset costs of royalties for the 2023-2024 season.
  • Richmond Fire Department:: $15,000 to buy, install and maintain a Safe Haven Baby Box at Fire Station 1.
  • Richmond Rose Garden:: $6,540 for repair of damaged walkways in the garden and to repaint the fence along U.S. 40.
  • Richmond Senior Recreation Center:: $10,000 to provide funding to resurface the pickleball courts.
  • Richmond Symphony Orchestra: $2,622 for: new parking signs and shuttlebus service to make handicap parking more accessible for RSO patrons.
  • Wayne County Cardinal Greenways:: $10,000 for donor development software and staff training.
  • Wayne County Historical Museum:: $5,000 for two signature exhibitions in 2023.
  • Wayne County Railroaders Association:: $7,500 for improvements to the caboose in Centerville’s Maplewood Park, educational signage and improved landscaping.
  • Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District:: $5,000 for the district’s youth programming, including Conservation Days and Envirothon.
  • Whitewater Valley Pro Bono Commission:: $8,000 to help offset costs of the Ask a Lawyer series, which provides legal counsel for individuals with limited financial resources.
  • In addition, Nettle Creek Discovery Preschool received $5,000 to offset costs for families in need. (Funded in part by the Hometown Hagerstown Fund).
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A version of this article appeared in the April 5 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.