The Iredell County Community Foundation, which is a regional affiliate of the Foundation for the Carolinas, is celebrating 30 years of philanthropy.

In 2019, the Iredell County Community Foundation gave a total of $124,219 in grants to the community.

The foundation, which was established in 1989, has an endowment that supports Iredell County nonprofits through an annual competitive grant-making program. The mission of the foundation is to bring together donors, community leaders and nonprofits to make a positive impact in Iredell County.

“Over the years they have awarded over $2 million in grants,” said Kindl Detar, vice president of board management at Foundation for the Carolinas.

For 2019, the total in grants presented was:

$7,500 to Fifth Street Ministries;

$11,845 to Habitat for Humanity;

$10,000 to Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County;

$33,000 to ICARE, Inc.;

$8,374 to Iredell County Crosby Scholars Community Partnership;

$5,000 to Iredell County Partnership for Young Children;

$10,000 to Mooresville Soup Kitchen;

$3,500 to the North Carolina Symphony;

$2,500 to Piedmont Mediation Center;

$15,000 to Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church;

$5,000 to Young Individuals Pursuing Employment in Iredell County (YIPE);

$5,000 to YMCA of Greater Charlotte;

$5,000 to YMCA of Northwest North Carolina (Statesville Family YMCA);

and $2,500 to Youth Development Initiatives.

The $10,000 grant to Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County’s Rainbow Kidz Pediatric Grief Counseling program is for its free in-school grief groups, with a focus on improving academic outcomes.

The program is serving 26 schools across Iredell County this semester, helping children learn how to cope with the loss of a loved one, said Rainbow Kidz Director Leigh Ann Darty.

Rainbow Kidz measures the impact on students’ lives, with 97 percent feeling less isolated in their grief and 93 percent showing improvement in school attendance, behavior or grades.

“Grieving children often feel alone and misunderstood — and these feelings can impact every area of their lives, from their relationships at home to their success at school. Rainbow Kidz educates students on how grief can look and feel while giving them tools to cope in a healthy way.

“Thanks to the support of the Iredell County Community Foundation, we are able to hold groups in the schools and teach children that they are not alone and that there are others feeling just the way they are. Our hearts are full that the foundation and our community give so generously to ensure that no child in Iredell County has to grieve alone,” she said.

The Mooresville Soup Kitchen’s grant will help provide hands-on training to individuals in meal planning.

“MSK is extremely grateful to the Iredell County Community Foundation for their support of our Culinary Job Training Program. Students spend 12 weeks with our chef and other highly skilled volunteers learning the intricacies of working in the food service industry as well as how to secure and maintain employment,” Executive Director Lara Ingram said.

At the completion of the program, the soup kitchen assists the graduates with finding employment at a livable wage and maintaining their employment or moving on to better opportunities, Ingram said.

“We have had 13 successful graduates of this program who were all connected with employment,” Ingram said. “It is because of the Iredell County Community Foundation and our other community-minded donors that we are able to assist those in need with learning valuable job skills and increasing their chances for independence and success.”

The grant is open to all nonprofits in Iredell County with the focus on education and workforce development, Green said.

Each year the board evaluates the greatest needs in the community and caters to that; as the county changes so does the foundation.

“It is wide open so any nonprofit who serves the residents of Iredell County is free to apply and we think that it is important to spread a wide net there because that results in the best proposals we get,” said Detar.

The endowment grant exists to provide for the community, said Detar.

In addition, the Give, Grant, Grow Iredell partnership has evolved, Detar said.

Through this, the community foundation matches each dollar in contributions from current and former board members up to an annual maximum, Detar said.

The total contributions are then added to the Iredell County Community Foundation’s grant-making funds and awarded to nonprofits in Iredell County.

If contributions received exceed the annual maximum, the excess contributions will be added to the principle of the Iredell County Community Foundation’s endowed funds.

“Again, as the Iredell County Community Foundation celebrates 30 years, the board is looking forward to the next 30 years and beyond,” said Detar. “Over time, generous community members created and grew the board’s endowment, and thanks to the earnings on that permanent endowment, the Iredell County Community Foundation is a local asset that will continue to support nonprofits for generations to come.”

A board of individuals from across Iredell County determines which organizations receive the grants.

“Our board is comprised of local, committed neighbors who work hard to ensure funds are distributed to local nonprofits with the strongest needs,” said Timothy Hager, assistant vice president of public relations at Foundation for the Carolinas.

The board is reflective of the county, said Detar, including Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh as vice chair.

The chairman is David Green, who is also the vice president of tax at Lowe’s Companies, Inc. He grew up in and continues to live in the county, moving from Statesville to Harmony and now Mooresville.

Being a part of the board since 2016 has meant a lot to Green, he said.

“We are not just handing over money,” Green said. “We want to make sure we are accomplishing the right thing.”

Some programs would not have even happened without this funding, he said.

Each year, the board is looking to reach out and help a diverse group of grantees. Site visits with nonprofits are part of the evaluation.

“We want to be sure we are not just going to our usual suspects but really trying to have a cross-county reach,” Detar said.

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