Y-GIG Afterschool Program Launched; Foundation YMCA Now Open Downtown

Following a summer sampler of activities for middle school youth, the Foundation YMCA kicked off Y-GIG (Youth Gather, Interact & Grow). The innovative afterschool program for middle school students started in fall 2022 at the new Foundation YMCA location in downtown Wilson with a wide range of activities such as cooking, robotics, literary chats, and web design, which were provided in collaboration with community partners.

Y-GIG and the new Foundation YMCA facility are part of a bold and strategic funding commitment of more than $25 million made by Healthcare Foundation of Wilson in 2018. The Foundation YMCA provides a special space and place in the heart of Wilson for the much-needed afterschool experiences that are now offered through the Y-GIG program for middle school youth from across the county.

“It is incredibly exciting to see our leadership’s vision becoming a reality with the launch of Y-GIG and the opening of Foundation YMCA,” said Denise O’Hara. “The promising outcomes are countless, and we look forward to seeing the many ways that Wilson youth and our entire community will benefit from the foundation’s investment in the creation of sustainable, high quality afterschool experiences and this positive, new place of health and wellness.”

Y-GIG Spring Session Starting Soon

The spring session of Y-GIG is scheduled to start March 13. Youth who enroll for Y-GIG will select activities from a menu of options for a 10-week session. Enriching activities are offered with a focus on academics, arts and humanities, college and career, health and wellness and STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics).

Activities are provided onsite at the Foundation YMCA as well as within the community through partnerships with talented individuals and business leaders.

All middle school youth in Wilson County are eligible to enroll in Y-GIG. The Foundation YMCA offers a sliding scale rate, and scholarships are available. Students also have the option to select individual programs if they cannot attend full-time, and families can pay monthly or by session.

Y-GIG youth coordinators are assigned to each of the five middle schools in Wilson County, and transportation is provided from the five public schools to the Foundation YMCA and back to the schools.

Visit wilsonymca.org to learn more about enrollment for the next Y-GIG session.

Grant Funding Expands Healthy Experiences
for Youth

Wilson youth were on the move in 2022 with a healthy taste of new activities thanks to grants awarded to The Arc of Wilson, Love A Sea Turtle, The SPOT and Wilson Police Athletic League.

Over the summer, Wilson Police Athletic League (PAL) offered a menu of camp experiences that kicked off with a Culinary Camp session during spring break. Youth made dough from scratch and prepared a meal from start to finish! The chef from Wilson Community College included food and kitchen safety tips as part of the experience, and the PAL volunteers teamed up with the youth for the kitchen creations. The monthly summer camp sessions featured football, cheerleading, baseball, softball and volleyball.

The Arc of Wilson added daily exercises activities at Camp Sunshine for youth with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Camp participants also received healthy snacks and lessons about healthy choices.

Wilson youth also enjoyed a two-week sailing camp along with concurrent options for golf thanks to a grant-funded partnership between Love A Sea Turtle (LAST)  and The SPOT. The team expanded on their previously funded WOW (Wilson on Wheels) activities with new WOW (Wilson on Water) activities and other unique experiences to help develop physical fitness skills along with self-confidence.

Grant seekers have already submitted letters of inquiry to the foundation and are in the process of completing applications for 2023 funding. Healthcare Foundation of Wilson will announce new responsive grant awards in the summer. Learn more about what we fund and the responsive grant cycle.

Summit Provides Data for Community Health Needs Assessment

A local community health summit was hosted in late August to collect data needed for the 2022 Wilson Community Health Needs Assessment, which is a collaborative effort of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson, Wilson County Health Department and Wilson Medical Center.

Results of the full assessment will be published later in 2022, and each organization will address top health concerns with separate action plans. 

Read The Wilson Times to learn more about the summit, data collection and the needs assessment. 

Community Celebrates Wilson Changemakers and 2022 Grant Recipients

Healthcare Foundation of Wilson announced the 2022 responsive grant recipients over the summer with celebratory check presentations and the installation of banners to celebrate Changemakers of Wilson. Thirteen grant awards totaling $482,500 were awarded in July to support community projects that focus on solutions to some of the greatest health challenges for Wilson.

View the celebratory slideshow above.

Learn more about the 2022 Responsive Grant Awards. Read about more Wilson Changemakers in the latest 2019-2021 Community Report 

Healthcare Foundation of Wilson Announces 14 Responsive Grant Awards

WILSON, N.C. (July 11, 2022) – Healthcare Foundation of Wilson announces 14 grant awards totaling $482,500 to support community projects that focus on solutions to some of the greatest health challenges for Wilson.

Healthcare Foundation of Wilson provides responsive grants and strategic funding for programs that focus on sustainable solutions with measurable outcomes to address four of the community’s greatest health concerns, including adolescent pregnancy, alcohol and substance abuse, obesity and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The following 2022 grants have been approved to fund initiatives that address one or more of the four areas of health concern:

Responsive Grants for 2022

“As we increase our investments in strategic funding initiatives with high potential for long-term, positive health outcomes, we remain committed to providing grant funding for projects that respond to current health needs and rising concerns in our community,” said Denise O’Hara, executive director of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. “Our responsive grant funding since 2016 totals more than $6.8 million, and our total community funding-to-date is $54.6 million, which includes strategic grant funding and financial support for hospital improvements.”

Learn more about the 2022 Responsive Grant Awards.

Healthcare Foundation of Wilson Surpasses $36 Million in Total Funding

Thirteen New Responsive Grants Awarded for the Greater Wilson Community

WILSON, N.C. (July 12, 2021) – With the recent approval of 13 new responsive grant awards for 2021, Healthcare Foundation of Wilson’s investments in collaborative health and wellness initiatives in the Greater Wilson Community has reached more than $36 million in funding support for the local community since the establishment of the foundation. 

Since 2014 Healthcare Foundation of Wilson has been committed to providing funding support for essential and strategic projects that improve the health and well-being of the people of greater Wilson. Funding has been provided to our community through four different avenues:

Responsive Grant Funding – $6.35 million 

Strategic Grant Funding -$5.9 million – Funding allocated to date for the Middle School Afterschool program and new YMCA facility. An additional $17 million in future funding has been approved for the initiative.

Restricted Funding – $626,992

Hospital Support -$23.56 million

Responsive grants and strategic funding support the Wilson community’s work to address adolescent pregnancy, alcohol and substance abuse, obesity, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Restricted funding provides support through donated funds that are designated in specific areas of healthcare, and the hospital support has provided funding for construction and upgrades to the local hospital.

The 13 new responsive grant awards for 2021, which total $821,300, are to support nonprofit sustainable solutions and measurable outcomes related to one or more of the foundation’s four focus areas.

Responsive Grant Funding for 2021:

“As Healthcare Foundation of Wilson increases it’s investments in vision-driven, strategic funding initiatives, we remain committed to providing these annual, responsive grants for sustainable projects that focus on rising concerns and current needs to improve the health and wellness of the greater Wilson community,” said Denise O’Hara, executive director of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. 

Learn more about the 2021 Responsive Grant Awards.