This past Spring, Marietta Community Foundation gave away over $100k in grants – the most in its 45-year history. As a local funder for organizations and charitable causes in Washington County, the Foundation works to diversify the gifts they give out each year. By diversifying its gifts, the Foundation ensures the needs in our area are being met in a variety of ways.

One of those ways includes giving children opportunities to learn through hands-on experiences. Educational development for children and youth is vital to the success of our community, and it is an important topic to the Foundation and its donors. Fortunately, the Foundation’s 2019 Spring Grant Cycle yielded several opportunities to enrich the lives of children and youth in Washington County through different programs of local nonprofits.

The Foundation would like to highlight a few of the 2019 Spring Grant Cycle recipients who are striving to enrich the lives of children in our region:

Building Youth Through Making is an ongoing program through the Building Bridges to Careers Makerspace. This program allows local youth to become immersed in innovative technology to create objects and enhance creative capabilities.

“Part of our mission includes connecting students to community networks and providing them experiences that can help shape their future,” said Dr. Tasha Werry, BB2C Executive Director. “We work on youth, career, and community development.”

Another program that received funds in the 2019 Spring Grant Cycle, was Marietta College’s Summer Reading Camp Program. This program gives elementary-aged children a hands-on opportunity to develop their reading capabilities and communication skills. Through reading, children are able to cultivate their imagination by flipping through a few pages.

“Funds from the Marietta Community Foundation helped to provide tuition for over half of the children who attended the three-week reading camp,” said Dr. Dottie Erb, Marietta College Education Department. “These were children whose families would not have otherwise been able to send them, and each reading camper left camp with a collection of books that had been hand-selected for them based on reading level and interest areas.”

The Ohio State University Extension of Washington County partnered with River City Farmer’s Market to provide a unique experience for children – the Junior Farmer’s Market. This program is being implemented to help children and their families establish healthy lifestyles and encourage contributions to our local economy. This fall, fourth-grade students from six local elementary schools will be given $5 each to purchase fresh produce from local vendors to take home to their families.

“The farmers market is a fun and exciting social event,” said Marcus McCartney, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator at OSU Extension. “The goal of the Junior Farmers Market is to give students an opportunity to experience this excitement and associate it with fruits and vegetables to establish long-term healthy, local future consumers.”

If you are a part of a nonprofit organization or charity and would like to apply for funding for an upcoming project, the 2019 Fall Grant cycle’s deadline is October 1st. Applications can be found on the Foundation’s website.

“MCF is approachable,” said Werry. “Heather [President & CEO of the Foundation] invites community organizations to come to them with funding ideas. MCF is very much a part of this county and the communities within it, and wants to support the work of all non-profits and other organizations in the area.”

The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.

Marietta Community Foundation supports many causes focused on children and youth educational development, if you are interested in partnering with one of these projects, please contact Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or