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Group starts critical needs fund here

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By Jesef Williams

A local foundation has stepped up to the plate to help those in need in Lancaster County.

The Lancaster County Community Foundation, an endowment established 20 years ago, has organized a special fund to award grants to agencies in the county that provide aid to residents.

Foundation board members plan to award grants through its new critical needs response fund until March.

Board chairwoman Jodie Plyler said the foundation has raised $10,000, but is asking the community for more donations.

The foundation plans two grant cycles – one this month and another in February.

The amount given and the creation of a third cycle will depend on how much is received in donations.

“We are grateful $10,000 was raised to start this fund,” Plyler said. “The hope is that many others will donate above and beyond their traditional giving patterns to assist our neighbors during this difficult time.”

The foundation had to raise $10,000 to receive support from the Foundation for the Carolinas. The Foundation for the Carolinas, based in Charlotte, will handle all of the administrative, management and tax-reporting tasks for the fund.

The local foundation is an affiliate of the Charlotte group.

Foundation board member Robert Folks said the fund isn’t trying to compete with local charitable organizations but has been established to give them another way to receive money.

“I hope we can get more money to answer some of the needs,” Folks said.  

Any tax-exempt, non-profit group may apply for grants  from the critical needs response fund.

The application deadlines are Jan. 16 and Feb. 13.

Grant applications may be downloaded from the foundation’s Web site, www.lancastercounty-cf.org.

To donate to the fund:

u Visit www.lancastercounty-cf.org

u Mail checks to P.O. Box 3194, Lancaster, SC 29721. Make checks payable to Foundation for the Carolinas. Write “Lancaster Critical Needs Response Fund” in the memo line.

For details, call 285-1300.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152