Press Release re-posted with permission from Henrico County Public Schools

The Henrico County community always steps up in a big way during trying times, and the coronavirus emergency has been no different. Now, a matching grant as part of the Robins
Foundation’s strategic partnership with the Henrico Education Foundation will build on that generosity and channel donations to best address the emerging needs of our community.

In response to generous offers and inquiries from citizens and community groups, Henrico County Public Schools and the Henrico Education Foundation have collected stocks of food supplies and other items to help families during the school division’s closure. While the generosity has been overwhelming, it can sometimes be hard to match donated items with families’ specific needs. The new fund is an effort to move to monetary donations, in order to fill gaps in community donations and target purchases of the most-needed items — such as specific nonperishable foods, and devices to create home-internet Wi-Fi hot spots.

The Henrico Education Foundation will use donated funds to buy the most-needed items in bulk from an HCPS wholesale vendor. In most cases, items can be delivered the next day. By buying in this way, the foundation not only hopes to help Henrico families get what they need but also to avoid emptying the shelves of local retail stores on which our community depends.

To contribute to the fund, go to henricogives.org and click on the blue “Donate” button in the COVID-19 area. All funds donated by individuals and groups since March 20 are being matched up to $15,000 by the Robins Foundation. While donations beyond the $15,000 grant goal won’t be matched by the Robins Foundation, they
will still go to purchase Henrico families’ most-needed items.

“We’re proud to stand with Henrico Schools and Henrico General Government to help our families in need,” said Mike Taylor, chief executive officer of the Henrico Education Foundation. “This match from the Robins Foundation will build on the generous $40,000 our community has already given to help our neighbors get the things they’re telling us they need most.”

Donations help provide weekend supplements to families using the school division’s weekday “grab and go” lunches and breakfasts, and aid their families who might be affected by reduced work hours and paychecks. During the school year, Henrico Schools has more than 400 participants in its “weekend backpacks” food takehome program. More than 800 current HCPS students have been identified through the federal McKinneyVento Homeless Assistance Act as being homeless or children of a homeless individual.

The Robins Foundation works to build the Richmond region by strengthening nonprofits that provide resources and take on poverty. The foundation is a strategic partner of the Henrico Education Foundation, aiding its goals of providing research-based innovative educational programs and support to all HCPS schools.