Twelve-year-old Taerion knows what it’s like to be homeless. She used to fall behind in school, because she had to watch her younger brothers and help them with their homework, while their mother worked. Once Taerion’s family found the Norfolk-based ForKids emergency shelter, life changed for the better.
“We come here and it’s like here’s the best after school program you could actually be in,” Taerion says enthusiastically. “I can do my homework, activities and finish my assignments on the computer.”
Now Taerion’s back on track and so is her family, getting the support they need to break the cycle of homelessness.
ForKids is one of 161 non-profit organizations that started 2018 with a boost from Dominion Energy. As part of its ongoing commitment to communities, The Dominion Energy Foundation invested more than $1 million in organizations that focus on essential needs like shelter, health care and food security.
This is the third year the company has given more than $1 million in Critical Community Needs through its charitable arm, the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.
“While many of us look forward to a new year, we recognize that many people in our communities struggle to afford the basics needed for a secure, healthy and productive life,” said C. Max Bartholomew, Dominion Energy’s Regional Director. “These grants will help fill critical needs essential for a better future.”
ForKids CEO Thaler McCormick said it’s making a difference.
“This grant from Dominion Energy is going to help us purchase educational equipment technology for two new education centers in Chesapeake and Suffolk,” said ForKids CEO Thaler McCormick. “Experiencing homelessness when children are very young decreases the chances of them graduating from high school and being successful in life. So this change we make right here sets them on a path for the rest of their lives.”
Other local grant recipients include:
• The FoodBank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore for its mobile food pantry.
• Elder’s House for at-risk teens in need of safe, stable housing.
• The Union Mission’s Women and Children’s Emergency Shelter.
• Meals on Wheels of Chesapeake for delivering meals and helping keep seniors healthy, safe and independently living in their own homes.
• YMCA Portsmouth for improving health through its Swim Gym program.