Recent News

Disaster Relief Fund

An effective response, regardless of where a natural disaster occurs, requires sustained involvement on behalf of donors, responding organizations and a myriad of other actors.  The bulk of disaster dollars are often allocated during the emergency humanitarian relief phase (with a focus on emergency food, shelter, water, sanitation and health care).  Emergency relief is vital.  Still, experts agree that disaster relief dollars are insufficient to meet the medium- and long-term needs of disaster-affected communities. 

 Community Foundation of Western Virginia, Inc. (d/b/a Foundation for Roanoke Valley and Martinsville Area Community Foundation) has established a Disaster Relief Fund in order to respond to  catastrophic events as they occur.

 How will the Disaster Relief Funds be used?

100% of all donations (except any online credit card processing fees) will be used to respond to the complete timeline of the disaster management effort: from immediate relief to recovery, and then to reconstruction and rebuilding.

Who will the funds support?

The Disaster Relief Fund will support nonprofit organizations and public entities that have a defined role in short-term and long-term recovery efforts by providing critical services to individuals, families and communities impacted by the disaster.  Each nonprofit or public entity who receives disaster relief funds will be carefully vetted by the Foundation to insure the most effective and efficient use of the monies raised.

How can I make a donation?

Donations can be made online here. Checks can be mailed to Martinsville Area Community Foundation at P.O. Box 1124, Martinsville, VA  24114. Please designate your gift for “Disaster Relief”.  Donor Advisors may also recommend a grant to the Disaster Relief Fund by submitting a Donor Advised Fund Grant Recommendation Form.  All gifts are tax-deductible.

Application and Essay Tips

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Suggestions for Completion

  • Remember your scholarship application represents YOU!
  • Give your application the time, attention, and preparation that it deserves.
  • Complete all sections.
  • Read and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Proofread your work - especially your essay. Be specific and personal. It is your job to make your essay stand out from the rest. Check the spelling and grammar. Ask a parent, friend, or teacher to proofread your completed application.
  • Be honest and yourself.
  • If you are asked, do not be afraid to highlight your strengths and to talk about yourself.
  • Make certain the people you ask to prepare letters of recommendation know you well.
  • WATCH DEADLINES - financial aid offices and scholarship personnel adhere to them.
  • Finally - keep a written record of scholarships for which you applied. Make a note of deadlines, requirements, and responses.

Writing the Scholarship Essay

The personal essay - this may be the hardest part of your application to complete, but it is also the part of the application where you can stand out from the rest of the crowd.

The key to writing a strong essay is to be personal and specific. Include details about yourself so the reader can get to know who "you" are and what you stand for. Be truthful and honest.

Scholarship Selection Committees may have many essays to review. It is YOUR job to get their attention when reading your essay. Here are tips that may help you when you begin:

  • Think before you write. Brainstorm to generate some good ideas and then create an outline to help you get going. Make sure that if you have to address specific questions that you express them clearly.
  • Be original. Be creative in your answers.
  • Show, don't tell. Use examples to individualize your essay and demonstrate the point you want to make. You'll avoid vagueness and make a stronger impression.
  • Know your audience. Personal essays are not "one size fits all." Write your essay that fits the requirements of that scholarship fund.
  • Neatness counts. Make sure your essay is neatly typed.
Proofread. This is very important because you do not want to have a typing mistake on your essay. Check spelling and grammar and share your essay with a friend, parent, or teacher. Another pair of eyes can catch errors you might miss!