Local charity SHARE, Inc. is better equipped to pick up donated furniture and deliver it to the needy, thanks to a $12,500 grant from the McLean Citizens Foundation (MCF).
“We’ve had the grant for a couple of months — the truck cost about $15,000 they gave us $12,500,” said Vic Kimm, former president of SHARE, Inc.
The non-profit, all-volunteer, charitable organization, was established in 1969 by a coalition of faith communities in the McLean area. Its purpose is to provide a range of services to more than 3,000 lower-income people who are often overlooked in affluent suburbs. SHARE operates out of McLean Baptist Church and offers food and clothing stores to its clients, as well as its annual Thanksgiving Basket and Christmas Store programs. In addition, SHARE provides furniture donations to individuals and families in need, emergency monetary or crisis assistance, and transportation to medical appointments.
The McLean Citizens Foundation (MCF) is the charitable arm of the McLean Citizens Association (MCA), and first came into being after the general membership of the McLean Citizens Association voted in May 1978 to sell a 5.147-acre tract of land between Dolley Madison Blvd. and Balls Hill Road. The proceeds were used to establish a charitable foundation to benefit the residents of McLean.
TODAY, the McLean Citizens Foundation continues to distribute grants to local charities and organizations in the community. In the past, the Foundation awarded $50,000 to the McLean Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a Heavy Rescue Squad, and also approved a grant for $50,000 for the Fairfax County Park Foundation to help build Clemyjontri Park, a playground for children with and without disabilities in McLean.
The McLean Citizens Foundation awarded SHARE, Inc. a $12,500 grant this past March to replace SHARE’s 18-year old truck that was also purchased with funds from the Foundation.
“SHARE also matched $2,500 of their own funds towards the truck’s purchase,” said McLean Citizens Foundation Board of Trustees member Trish Butler.
Butler said SHARE, Inc. is an obvious choice for Foundation grants because of the organization’s commitment to helping local residents.
“The MCF Board has a proud history of support for SHARE,” she said. “We feel they stand alone in their commitment to and work on behalf of those in our community who have fallen on hard times.”
According to Kimm, the new truck could not have come at a better time.
“With the current economic downturn, the working poor are really taking it on the chin on the short run,” said Kimm. “Generally speaking we’re seeing a big increase in economic difficulties and so we’re seeing increases in the need for the services we offer. I don’t know if we’re looking at beginning of a long period of economic difficulty or if this is a short-term blip — we’ll see.”