Since the shutdown, Marietta Community Foundation has taken a proactive approach to grantmaking for organizations that need it most, and now, their donors are following suit.

For the past several months, O’Neill Senior Center has been supplying 130 senior citizens food through their grocery box program. While funding for this program has almost run out on different occasions, two anonymous donors at Marietta Community Foundation have come alongside the O’Neill Center in their mission to support our most vulnerable population.

“When this program seemed like it might have to be put on hold, one of our donors was able to help sustain this program through August,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Now, we have another donor stepping up to keep this program going until the O’Neill Senior Center is able to receive funding from the CARES Act… our community’s generosity never ceases to amaze me!”

The O’Neill Center is currently waiting on approval to utilize the CARES funds for this project. In the meantime, a second anonymous donor, through the Foundation, has stepped in at the eleventh hour to provide the necessary funds for this program to continue until the approval is finalized.

“Knowing that individual donors care enough to take a proactive approach to better our community is comforting,” said Connie Huntsman, Executive Director of the O’Neill Senior Center. “Our community is so blessed to have these individuals supporting and funding the betterment of those who live in our area.”

With the CARES Act funds, O’Neill can continue the program through Thanksgiving. Each of the 130 seniors enrolled in the program receive a grocery box every other week, valued at $25 a box. These boxes contain shelf-stable meals and essential items such as milk, eggs, and bread.

“Many of the seniors who receive the groceries don’t have contact with others outside of their homes,” said Huntsman. “They are doing their best to stay home and avoid the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. The person delivering the groceries is a welcome face who they know they can trust to wear their mask and practice safe protocols. Even though the grocery box is delivered to the porch, they see the person and have some distant contact, including a welcomed conversation.”

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 works to improve Washington County through grants and initiatives, if you want to help our local senior citizens receive the resources they need, please contact Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or