Thanks to a grant made possible by the late Barbara Upton Wilson, our region has its first pet-friendly shelter for survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking or homelessness.
Barbara was a Norfolk native who passed away in 2013 after retiring from SunTrust Bank following a 40-year career. She left a charitable bequest to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation that created endowed field-of-interest funds to forever provide grants in areas important to Barbara -- the humane treatment of animals, the environment and environmental education.
Samaritan House in Virginia Beach can now serve area pet owners fleeing unsafe situations. Until a few months ago, survivors in our region could not bring family pets when they moved into temporary housing. This led many of them to refuse to leave unsafe situations since they had to leave behind their beloved cats and dogs.
A $20,000 grant from the Barbara's charitable fund matched a RedRover Foundation grant so Samaritan House could equip one shelter with pet-friendly furnishings, indoor kennels, a washer for pet laundry, a dog grooming tub and outdoor dog runs. Now four dogs and four cats can stay in a shelter with their owners, which can help adults and children cope with trauma.
Field-of-interest funds like Barbara's focus on specific areas of concern. This gives the community foundation flexibility to tackle specific needs within the identified fields. Last year, the field-of-interest funds we administer provided nearly $2 million in grants to nonprofits working in areas ranging from improving arts and early childhood education to helping foster care youth and survivors of domestic violence.
to see the array of field-of-interest funds our donors have established.
Possibilities for new funds are endless. Let me know if I can help you or your clients explore ideas for forever helping others through philanthropy.
Kay Stine, CFRE
Vice President for Development
Hampton Roads Community Foundation