Foundation for Southeast Texas awards grants to 30 nonprofits

Mellie Bevilacqua presents a check of $45,000 to Scott Doss of Nehemia's Vision

The Foundation for Southeast Texas announced the recipients of the grants from its Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at a check presentation Friday, Dec. 8. Thirty local organizations received over $250,000 to support hurricane relief efforts in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties.

The grants ranged from $1,770 to $45,000. The foundation’s grants committee reviewed each application from 60 organizations and made recommendations to the board of directors for final approval, said Mellie Bevilacqua, executive director of the Foundation for Southeast Texas.

“This funding will make a great impact on the recovery of our community after the devastation we have endured from Hurricane Harvey, Bevilacqua said. “We believe that, with these partnerships, we will rebuild Southeast Texas stronger than it was before the storm. These charities are getting people back in their homes. … It’s important for us to get these nonprofits up and running, so that they can take care of the families that depend on them for food, for clothing and for other things.”

Donations came from donors from across the U.S. as well as locally, Bevilacqua said, adding that the Foundation for Southeast Texas also donated to the fund.

“We wanted to make sure we made a large impact on the community, so the board decided we would fund these organizations,” she said.

The Foundation for Southeast Texas is a nonprofit, public charity established in 1996 that accepts funds from donors, manages them and distributes them to nonprofits in Southeast Texas and beyond. It is one of 32 community foundations across Texas and serves the needs of both donors and nonprofits in Jefferson, Orange and Hardin counties.

“We’re boots on the ground here in the community, so we know these nonprofits. We know which ones are going to continue to serve the community,” Bevilacqua said, adding that if the foundation continues to receive donations, it will continue to disperse Hurricane Harvey grants.

“Chances are the fund will continue to grow and we’ll continue to give because there were a lot of applicants that weren’t funded. I think we funded about 50 percent. So those that weren’t funded or funded fully, we hope to give them some more funds, so that they can continue their mission.”

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