Sudden Boost In Donations May Save Volunteer Farms
Founder: In Better Shape, Still Need Aid
Posted: December 14, 2012
A sudden influx of almost $40,000 in donations may be enough to keep the Volunteer Farms of Woodstock and Culpeper operating next year, said founder Bob Blair.
Despite a quite successful harvest this year, the nonprofit farms were in danger of having to close due to lack of funds, Blair announced at the end of November.
But, since making that announcement, Blair said donations totaling $39,000 had been received, mostly through online donation payments. That amount includes one $25,000 contribution from an anonymous donor.
More than 1,700 volunteers gave their time at one of the two farms this year, helping to grow a total of 70 acres of vegetables. All the produce grown at the farms, which operate as a nonprofit through The World Foundation for Children, is donated to food banks including the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
This year, a $5,000 irrigation system, purchased with donated funds, helped to increase the overall yield from last year’s 10 tons of produce to almost 83 tons.
Expenses run about $100,000 each year to keep the two farms going, according to Blair. That includes a few salaries, insurance, fuel, seed, fertilizer and telephone bills.
“We’re not where we need to be yet, but we’re doing remarkably well,” he said.
He said donations have been flowing in at a rate of around $2,800 a day from all over Virginia, and even one from Florida.
“I’m not sure how they found out about us, but we are glad to have it,” he said.
For the first time, online payments through Paypal have been the most popular way for donors to contribute, Blair said. Previously, the nonprofit had received most donations by mail.
Most of the donors, Blair said, are new. Of this year’s 50 donors, 32 made a contribution to the farms for the first time.
The final decision as to whether the farms will remain open will be made by the nonprofit’s board of directors at a Jan. 12 meeting.
“We don’t know for sure, but if [donations] keep going like this I am hopeful,” Blair said.
Want To Help?
Anyone wanting to donate to the Volunteer Farms of Woodstock and Culpeper may do so online at: www.worldfoundationforchildren.com or send checks to 277 Crider Lane, Woodstock, VA 22664.
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org