‘I was thrilled’: Five Richmond nonprofits receive 2021 Collective 365 grant

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 5:10 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Collective 365 recently selected the winners of a $17,500 grant, and out of the seven chosen, five were from Richmond: Slyderz Baseball, Iron Village Preparatory Academy, Black Lives Matter 804, Resume Revamp, and Girls Like Me.

“Oh my God. The first thing was I’m actually going to be able to create an environment for these kids to flourish in,” said the founder of Slyderz Baseball, Carl Smith.

“I was thrilled, excited, over the moon to actually receive it,” said the founder of Iron Village Preparatory Academy, Devin Copeland.

It’s a dream come true for both, Carl Smith and Devon Copeland as their nonprofits were recipients of this year’s Collectives 365 grant.

“The top seven finalists did a great job of just explaining what it is happening in their community, and how they’re going to change it or have changed it,” said co-founder of Collective 365, Fatima M. Smith.

The newly formed nonprofit supports Black and Brown organizations, businesses and nonprofit communities. By investing in the Black and Brown communities, Smith said it shows organizations that they’re seen.

“There is a group of people that see you, we appreciate you, and we want to support you and see you do well,” said Smith.

Copeland is the co-founder of Iron Village Preparatory Academy. For her, the grant is an opportunity for a fresh start.

“This really lets us launch out the gate full-force and make an impact right from the beginning,” said Copeland.

She plans to use the money to create a summer camp for Black youth.

“The next step for Iron Village Preparatory Academy is preparing for our enrich and empower institutes to launch this summer,” said Copeland.

On the flip side, Smith works with children as well. He founded Slyderz Baseball, a youth baseball nonprofit, and said he wants to use the money to revitalize a baseball field on the northside to match others in the area.

“It doesn’t attract kids when they walk past it. It’s not something they look at and say, ‘I want to be part of that,’” said Smith. “I want to create a space where we can start building some competitive baseball. The grant would allow me to add batting cages, and fences that will protect the community garden and fences around the field.”

Both Smith and Copeland have a heart for serving the community and said having nonprofits like Collect 365 supporting their dreams gives them the extra push to make change within the community.

“I’m so excited that Collective 365 exists,” said Copeland.

“It makes me want to, once my organization grows, to jump in and give back as well,” said Smith.

Collective 365 is currently seeking to create a $35,000 grant fund for the 2022 grant cycle. If you would like to donate, click here.

The 2022 grant cycle begins on Feb. 1, 2022. If you are interested in learning more about the grants or want to be notified about when the application is open, click here.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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