Nine nonprofits are seeking funding from Zebulon for the upcoming fiscal year. Among them are four groups the town has supported regularly in the past.
Typically, the Zebulon Board of Commissioners doesn’t decide which groups to support, and to what extent, until after adopting its annual budget in June. But the total available to nonprofits is $5,000, and no group can get more than $1,000.
The town board has awarded the same amount to three groups each of the past five years: $1,000 each to Shepherd’s Care Medical Clinic and the East Wake Education Foundation and $500 to the Zebulon Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast. Last year, Zebulon granted a first-time request for $1,000 from Raleigh-based InterAct, which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Wake County.
At the town board’s March 6 meeting, Shannon White requested $2,000 for the East Wake Education Foundation. She said the town’s support is important to the foundation’s cause, which is working to prepare children for grade school at no cost to families.
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“Where private preschool for you and me might be easy, it’s not for every family,” White said. “Due to certain family situations, for some families, that’s not something that’s easy for them to do.”
Shepherd’s Care, the region’s only free and charitable medical clinic, and the MLK Jr. breakfast each requested $1,000. So did Keri Christensen, the associate executive director of InterAct.
“We have a lot of services right under our roof, where when a victim comes to us, they don’t have to leave our building and go somewhere else,” Christensen said.
Communities in Schools of Wake County, which works to empower kids to stay in school, is seeking $2,000. The town board denied the group’s $2,500 request last year.
Local businessman and civic club advocate Carnell Taylor spoke on behalf of the Zebulon-based N.C. Family Training and Counseling Center, asking for $1,000.
The center sponsors Camp I Can, a summer youth camp that Gladys Todd founded 25 years ago to boost academic skills and teach kindness, perseverance, respect and self-control. Taylor told commissioners their support would help make the camp possible for some children who otherwise might not be able to attend.
“It’s our objective to teach at or above (the public school) level, so when they go back to school, they’ll be further down the road than when they left,” Taylor said.
Area pastor Herbert Gray requested $1,000 for Progressive Teamwork Outreach Ministry, which for 12 years has sponsored a school-supply jamboree for children in need. The event served about 250 students last year.
“We’ve done this solely on donations over the years from individuals and churches and businesses,” Gray said. “We just need support, because sometimes we might have a group support us one year, and the next year they don’t.”
Sherry Hayes made a pair of $1,000 requests: for the Zebulon Swimming Pool Association and for the Zebulon Swim Team.
The swimming pool association, approaching the 60-year mark, was the first of its kind in town and continues to offer the most affordable access to swimming locally.
“We believe we are providing a resource for our citizens that the town currently is not,” Hayes said.
The swim team, now in its 20th year, teaches kids ages 3-18 how to swim and gives them a place to do so competitively in the summer.