All In With GCF

All In With the Greenbelt Community Foundation

By Lois Rosado and Dorrie Bates

Guests attending the Annual Meeting of the Greenbelt Community Foundation(GCF) on Sunday, November 12th , were greeted by members of GEMZ, a faith-based mentoring and leadership program open to all young ladies between the ages of 11 and 18 residing in Greenelt.   GEMZ was awarded a grant this year, and the young hostesses were very polished and helpful.

As they mingled,  guests were entertained on guitar by Talon Hall, a student from Eleanor Roosevelt High School.  GCF has awarded several grants to the ERHS Music Department over the years; the department continues to share their talented music students with the Foundation and with the community.

Melissa Ehrenreich, the outgoing Chair, presided over this event, reviewed the organization’s balance sheet and introduced the incoming officers: Carol Shaw, Chair; Carolyn Lambright-Davis, Vice-Chair; Anthony Borges, Treasurer.  Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, Program Committee Chair; and Melissa Ehrenreich, Resource Development Chair.  Carol Shaw also chairs the Outreach Committee.

Melissa shared some of the 2016-17 highlights, beginning with GCF’s signature Anniversary campaign, Explore Your Greenbelt.  .   Throughout the year, Greenbelters attended events in different parts of the City, and becoming informed about the abundance of talent here. GCF was able to spotlight many of the funded projects over the 10 years of its year’s existence.

In an effort to offer grantees continuing support, GCF has initiated a Grantee Liaison Program, where a board member or a committee member is assigned to a grantee to monitor its progress, collect photos and stories and assist as needed.  Carolyn Lambright-Davis is coordinating this effort.

Looking ahead, Melissa unveiled GCF‘s 2018 theme:  “Roots and Shoots”.  ” In order for GCF to continue and grow, we need to engage youth in philanthropic experiences.” she said.   By providing workshops, media services, and mentoring GCF can steer young people into developing projects and learning how to secure grant funding.

A new GCF media effort is headed by Rev. Ray Raysor, a member of the Outreach Committee. The goal is to continue the theme of Explore Your Greenbelt by highlighting the projects funded by GCF.  Making a video, interviewing participants and sharing them on GATE television to help enlighten the community about how their donations to GCF are being used to help enhance life in our City.

One of this year’s grantees is The Center for Dynamic Community Governance.  Aileen Kroll, who heads the organization, gave an overview of the project, a partnership with the Old Greenbelt Theatre to expand its volunteer program and get people involved and excited about what is happening close to home. This project is another way to get young people to be more engaged.

Kim Kash and Kim Rush Lynch of the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market spoke about the importance of gaining seed money from the Greenbelt Community Foundation to start the Farmer’s Market.  Both speakers stated that the Market would not have happened without the Funding received from GCF. Many Greenbelters have benefited from the market and enjoy purchasing fresh produce.   The GCF’s signage grant in particular enabled the Farmer’s Market to expand their outreach to the surrounding area.

Several speakers reinforced the idea that donating to the Greenbelt Community Foundation is making an investment in Greenbelt’s nonprofit community based organizations,  supporting extra special programs and projects that all Greenbelters enjoy.