Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Local Students Make a Big Decision

Foundation for Roanoke Valley’s Youth Leadership Committee (YLC) announced today that it has awarded a $15,000 grant to Family Promise of Greater Roanoke located in Salem, VA. 

The overall goal and purpose of Family Promise is to provide children and their families with safety, shelter, food, basic needs and assistance as they seek permanent housing.  Family Promise of Greater Roanoke is unique in that it does not split up families during their crisis and is the only emergency shelter in the Valley that serves only families.  This grant will provide intensive case management and child care subsidies to enable the families in the program to move into permanent housing and obtain self-sufficiency.

Marie Muddiman, Executive Director added, “For the able-bodied parents in our program, obtaining employment and finding affordable housing is a full-time job. But those with young children simply cannot afford quality childcare while seeking employment. This grant will allow parents to pay for childcare so they can focus on learning job-seeking skills and actively pursue employment with the help of our Program Manager. The children will benefit from the consistency of a stable, enriching environment, helping them cope with the stress of homelessness and prepare them for success in school.” 

The YLC received 16 grant requests totaling $240,000 and were charged with the very tough task of gaining consensus among the group on a single project to fund.  “Part of Family Promise’s mission is to change people’s understanding about homelessness, so I think involving students in deciding a grant allocation is a great idea.   The Youth Leadership Committee asked thoughtful questions and showed true concern about the well-being of the children. I enjoyed seeing the dawning of their deeper understanding of the barriers faced by families living in poverty. These are students who may become our community leaders, and taking part in The Philanthropy Project is an important step not only in the development of their empathy and compassion but also their ability to effect practical and positive solutions.  It was rewarding to learn that the students said they were interested in giving a ‘hand up not a handout,’ and they felt that Family Promise does just that,” said Muddiman.

The Philanthropy Project was established in 2006 by Foundation for Roanoke Valley to introduce high school students to the world of philanthropy, both in terms of philanthropy’s role in being a productive citizen of the community and philanthropy as a possible career option.  The program also develops leadership and consensus-building skills.  This latest large-impact grant has now taken the YLC over the $125,000 level in cumulative grants.  For more information about the Youth Leadership Committee, please visit 

Pictured L to R: Carly Oliver, FRV Associate Director; Marie Muddiman, Family Promise Executive Director; Aaron Dowdy, Family Promise Program Manager; Will Robinson, Family Promise Board Member

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