THUMBS UP to $14.8 million in Victims of Crime Act Assistance funds given to 81 public and private nonprofit agencies throughout the state. The funds will provide direct services such as counseling, personal advocacy, court advocacy, client transportation and support services to victims of crimes including domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse and elder abuse. The funds will also support assistance to victims as they move through the criminal justice system.

Just a few of the examples of how that money will be used include:

● Greenbrier County Commission – $48,618 for staff in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to provide direct services to crime victims in Greenbrier County.

● Stop the Hurt, Inc. – $81,901 for staff to provide direct services to child abuse victims in McDowell County.

● Child Protect of Mercer County, Inc. – $134,178 for staff to provide direct services to child abuse victims in Mercer County.

● Just For Kids, Inc. – $248,113 for staff to provide direct services to child abuse victims in Raleigh, Fayette, and Wyoming counties.

● REACHH Family Resource Center, Inc. – $52,082 for staff to provide direct services to child abuse victims and adult survivors of child sexual abuse in Summers County.

● Mothers Against Drunk Driving – $45,654 for staff to provide statewide direct services to victims of Driving Under the Influence cases throughout West Virginia.

● WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc. – $234,768 for staff to direct statewide legal services to victims and survivors statewide who could not be served by Legal Aid or other pro bono attorneys.

THUMBS UP to Dr. Lucie Refsland’s commitment and generosity which were honored at New River Community and Technical College’s Lewisburg campus Oct. 28 with the naming of the school’s student center in her honor. Refsland loved her job and her students so much that she didn’t retire until she was 81 years old, and her philanthropy at the college where she taught for nearly 30 years continues to this day. “She has created an atmosphere for learning,” said the college’s president, Dr. Bonny Ball Copenhaver. More than 50 of Refsland’s former students have become certified math teachers in West Virginia.

THUMBS UP to the Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary for starting a chain reaction of “giving forward.” The Skyline Lodge in Flat Top created a board giving patrons a place to pay for a meal to be used to give a veteran a free meal and let them know in some small way how much they are appreciated for giving to the country and its freedom. Honoring veterans has always been an important FOC Auxiliary endeavor. During December the Giving Hearts program provides toys, food and clothing to veteran families in need of assistance.

THUMBS UP to Mitchell Stadium, one of 16 high school football stadiums from across the nation competing in the USA Today Best High School Football Stadium Competition. With more than 2 million votes, Mitchell Stadium won it the title of America’s Best High School Football Stadium.

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