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Foundation deserves thanks for distributions

February 27, 2012

Matching money with need isn’t always easy. That’s why we are appreciative of the Community Foundation of Washington County, not only for being a conduit through which gifts and grants are made, but also for identifying areas of the community where scarce dollars might do the most good.

The foundation divvied up $115,000 among 21 groups earlier this month, in accordance with the foundation’s Strategic Community Impact Plan (SCIP), which sets local priorities that range from socialization for seniors to fighting childhood obesity.

Because they are implemented at the community level, relatively small dollar amounts can have great impact on a great number of people. For example, two local agencies received $10,000 for continuation of a community gardening program championed by Janet and the late Gordon Bartels.

The gardening program both supplies wholesome food for Hagerstown families, and teaches the skills of gardening that will in all probability span years and even generations. That’s the boots-on-the-ground type of program than can do real and immediate good.

As a conduit for charitable giving, we are impressed both by the Foundation’s collection and management skills, and by the worthiness of the groups to which it contributes. Here, we see it helping imaginative causes, including the processing of deer for local food banks and an intergenerational tutoring program that rewards both the wisdom of old age and the exuberance of youth.

This is community at its best. It is local dollars addressing local needs. It is applying previously untapped talents to assist previously underserved populations. It accentuates the value of a bottom-up approach, as opposed to top-down.

We thank the Community Foundation of Washington County and those who handle its affairs, and also thank the agencies that put these dollars to such good use. With all the rancor that swirls about our heads these days, it is nice to see a vine of hope and care so effectively spreading at our community’s feet.

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