Seeking ideas

Published 7:30 pm Friday, August 3, 2012

Beaufort County may have hit the jackpot in the form of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
Through its new Healthy Places initiative, the trust will donate up to $100 million to 10 to 15 of North Carolina’s poorest counties during the next 10 years.
In the two months since the trust announced that Beaufort County would be one of the first to benefit from the initiative, senior program officer J. Nelson-Weaver has been making the rounds to determine what the county needs most.
She sat down with local chambers of commerce, met with alumni associations, toured nonprofits and met church leaders. It’s all a part of what Nelson-Weaver calls the “relationship-building” stage of the process.
“For us, it’s about more than the money. It’s about helping folks solve problems long-term,” she said.
Nelson-Weaver wants to hear from more than just the community leaders. She will speak to anyone with an idea that will make Beaufort County a healthier place to live, whether it is through medical care (additional clinics, cutting-edge equipment) or preventive measures like new bike paths, playgrounds and farmers markets.
The trust accepts funding applications twice a year. But Nelson-Weaver wants to be involved in the process long before the application phase.
She will coach you through the process of turning an idea into a successful project, identify additional funding from other grants and trusts, then connect you with others in the community who have similar goals and can help.
Nelson-Weaver will not be the one who decides which projects ultimately receive the funding, but she will be at the table when those decisions are made.
Now is your chance to make an impact, bounce ideas around and find creative solutions to Beaufort County’s biggest health issues. The first step is to get to know J. Nelson-Weaver.
Contact Nelson-Weaver by phone, 336-397-5510; fax, 336-723-7765; email,; or at her office, 128 Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem, NC 27106-5123.