Valley Community Foundation Awards Grants to Area Nonprofits and Programs

Derby, CT (July 27, 2022) – The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) and its Board of Directors gave $431,000 in grants this week to 19 area nonprofits. The grant recipients provide a wide range of services in the Valley, from food assistance programs, youth services, education, healthcare, arts and culture initiatives, and public safety.

Six organizations received multi-year responsive grants totaling $401,000. There were also 13 Valley nonprofits that received single-year community grants totaling $30,000.

This week’s substantial grantmaking is in addition to $447,000 in grants that VCF has previously given to other area nonprofits in 2022.

The Kathleen Samela Food Pantry at Christ Episcopal Church in Ansonia received one of the six multi-year VCF grants. The pantry provides food to several thousand Valley residents each year and it received a $96,000 grant.

“Without this money, we would not be able continue to provide the life-changing services to our Valley’s most vulnerable residents,” said Meme Yocher, the food pantry’s coordinator. “Food insecurity is at an all-time high in the Valley and this grant is a real lifesaver.”

VCF’s multi-year responsive grants are awarded to help nonprofits with unrestricted funding. The multi-year grants, distributed over three years, allow recipients financial stability, a critical factor for struggling nonprofits during the COVID-19 recovery, said Sharon Closius, VCF’s President and CEO.

“As we all work to build a better Valley and fortify it from the negative impacts of the pandemic, it’s important to recognize just how much our area nonprofits do for the community,” Closius said. “Helping them succeed, helps us all succeed and supporting these organizations, especially allowing the flexibility of using unrestricted grant money, helps strengthen our region as a whole.”

This year’s community grant process was also well represented by grassroots organizations working with traditionally underserved populations throughout the region. “VCF is committed to expanding support to communities of color in an effort to truly make a positive change in equity and inclusion in our Valley,” said Valerie Knight-Di Gangi, VCF’s Program Officer.

2022 VCF Responsive Grant Recipients:

  • Center Stage Theatre – To provide general operating support to increase entertainment opportunities and a community theater experience for Valley residents. $35,000.
  • Christ Episcopal Church – To provide general operating support to continue to improve food security for Valley families through the operation of the Kathleen Samela Food Bank. $96,000.
  • Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Ambulance Corps. –To provide general operating support to strengthen EMS capacity to respond to emergencies. $105,000.
  • Life Health and Wellness Center – To provide general operating support to enhance the quality of its services for the children, families, and individuals it serves. $60,000.
  • Shelton Economic Development Corp. – To provide general operating support to assist in continuing economic development initiatives for Shelton and region. $45,000.
  • Valley Shakespeare Festival – To provide general operating support to increase its audience base and provide continued free community performances throughout the Valley. $60,000.

VCF’s Community grants are geared towards volunteer and nonprofits groups in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton that have less than two full-time or four part-time employees. These grants range from $250 to $2,500 and can be for new or recurring programs that support civic and community engagement.

2022 VCF Community Grants:

  • All-American Valley Basketball Club – To support the club’s participation in an 11-week tournament. $2,500.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Basket Committee – To help purchase food and supplies for thanksgiving baskets for Valley families in need. $2,500.
  • Ansonia Rotary Club – To purchase new signage for the merger of the Ansonia and Seymour-Oxford Rotary Clubs. $2,430.
  • Derby Boy Scouts Troop 3 – To help fund Troop 3 leadership opportunities and foster collaborations with scouting organizations in England and Ireland. $2,500.
  • cARTie – To help fund an internship and boost art initiatives and opportunities to underserved Valley youth. $2,470.
  • Derby High School Beekeepers – To support new beekeeping club the high school. $2,500.
  • Irving School Food Pantry – To fund a new food pantry for Irving School families. $2,500.
  • The Richi-Dee’s BBQ Table Project – To support children, ages 5-16, with opportunities to help their community through learning how to cook and other activities. $1,200.
  • Seymour Soccer Association – To support a program for children, with neurotypical disorder, or other developmental needs, to learn soccer. $2,500.
  • Shelton Farmers Market – To support the Shelton Farmers Market and Valley Sprouts program. $2,400.
  • Southford Falls Quilting Guild – To support “Heart of Quilting” which reuses, recycles, and repurposes scrap and used fabric. Also, to boost membership, teach and practice sustainability in quilting and hire an AV equipment operator for hybrid meetings. $2,500.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church – To help upgrade the church’s kitchen to provide meals for Valley residents in need. $2,500.
  • Valley Historical Research Committee – To support the digital replication and restoration of Derby’s earliest known map from 1852. $1,500.

These grants were awarded through VCF’s Responsive Grantmaking program, which is done with its partner in philanthropy, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF). The program is funded by a generous annual grant from TCF’s Gates Fund, and other VCF field of interest and unrestricted funds.

Media contact: David Rivera
Communications & Marketing Manager
Email David Rivera

(203) 751-9162


About the Valley Community Foundation

Established in 2004, the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) distributes approximately $2 million in grants each year that support local nonprofits, programs, and people. In addition to grantmaking, VCF works in close partnership with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (TCF) to promote philanthropy in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton. VCF manages more than 268 local charitable funds. It also receives funding from The Gates Fund, and other funds at TCF that benefit the Valley. For more information about VCF, or if you would like to donate or create a fund,

call 203-751-9162, or visit