County partners with BBCF for advanced funds to purchase COVID related items/services

The Greene County Commission met in its regular session, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 with all commissioners in attendance. The agenda presented was approved with an addendum, offered by Commissioner Corey Cockrell, proposing that Bingo funds received by the county be separated from the country’s general funds and only spent when authorized by the County Commission. The proposal was approved.
The County Commission also agreed that any additional items and/or services related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and approved by the state, would be purchased with advance funds available through the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF). Once the county receives its CARES reimbursement, BBCF would be refunded the advance funds provided. This arrangement with BBCF allows the county to make needed purchases without tying up local funds or making other budget adjustments. To date, the county has expended approximately $220,000 in COVID related expenditures. Greene County has been allotted a total of $500,000 in CARES money.
BBCF, which raised these earmarked funds to assist local communities, has a similar arrangement with other county and municipal governments in its service area.
The commission approved a staggered schedule for county employees through the end of this calendar year. The county offices will remain open, but will serve citizens by appointment only.
County offices will be closed for the holidays on December 24 and 25, 2020 as well as on January 1, 2021.
The commission approved a one-time payment to employees at the rate of $300 for part-time employees and $550 for full time employees.
Commission Chairperson, Roshanda Summerville, announced the following commission committee appointments: Commissioner Lester Brown is assigned Education; Commissioner Corey Cockrell is assigned Highway and Solid Waste; Commissioner Allen Turner is assigned Public Safety and Health; Commissioner Tennyson Smith is assigned Industrial Development and Summerville is assigned to Personnel and Finance.
In other business, the commission acted on the following:
Tabled consideration of draft suit related to Commission vs Greene County Sheriff.
Approved extension of exemption application to January 18, 2021.
Approved engineer hiring additional staff for paving.
Approved hiring personal property clerk.
Approved match for 2021 HRRR Grant (Bridges without guardrails).
Approved modification of the 2020 HRR grant to include just two sites.
Approved three year participation plan for liability coverage renewal (related to bridges).
Approved advertising for solid waste driver.
Approved Red Cross Agreement, relative to county providing use of facility during disaster recovery assistance.
The County CFO, Macaroy Underwood presented the following bank balances as of November 20, 2020. Citizen Trust Bank – $3,848,524.22; Merchant & Farmers Bank – $2,845,573.19; Investments – $1.076,756.46. Bank of New York – Report not available.
Underwood reported the following claims paid for November: General Fund – $$86,999.60; Gasoline – $51,911.28; Appraisal Fund – $$1,098.93; Solid Waste – $17,942.41;
Senior Citizen Fund – $1,108.84; Federal match – $436.34. Electronic claims paid totaled $75,827.09.

Black Belt Community Foundation Counterbalance to COVID: Help Artists and Spread Joy

SELMA, AL – May 19, 2020: Through support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and a national donor, the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) has been funded to create two new grant application opportunities to help individual artists and arts organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis across BBCF’s 12 county service area of the Alabama Black Belt.
BBCF’s “Artist Relief Fund” allows individual, professional working artists (age 18 and older) who are having trouble meeting their basic needs to apply for up to $575 in a one- time grant.
The second grant application announced is BBCF’s “Black Belt Joy” grant whereby arts organizations can receive up to $1,000 each by sharing creative ways to spread joy across the Black Belt through the arts. This special grants process also includes a video application option.
In addition, BBCF will be offering extension support to arts grantees already funded in the last 2019 Arts Grants cycle. This support helps arts projects already underway to continue operations during this crucial time where all cultural activity has been critically impacted or, in many cases, grounded to a complete halt.
How to apply? Applications are available online at the BBCF website. These can be filled out and submitted in real-time on the website ( There are two different applications available. All of the requirements and rules for the grant applications are outlined there.
BBCF President Felecia Lucky states, “Thank you to our long-term support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the NEA by helping BBCF to quickly aid artists and arts organizations who are hurting across the Black Belt. Our goal with these new grants is to get relief out to those who need it the most in the simplest and least stressful way possible, so our process offers a streamlined way to apply. Through this, we look forward to spreading some comfort and joy as we continue supporting the many artists and arts organizations already granted in our last cycle.
How to Connect in this Crisis? How to Help?- If you are an organization or someone that is actively working in the community looking to join forces for greater outreach, BBCF wants to hear from you. E- mail BBCF at Individual donors can immediately contribute to the COVID-19 Relief Fund here:

Black Belt Community Foundation awards Community and TRHT Grants

Greene County Children’s Policy Council: $1,500 grant to provide writing coaches and supplies to host a four-day writing camp for elementary, middle and high school students.
Boy Scout Troop 945: $1,500 grant to provide speakers, transportation and supplies for young and adult men to travel on an educational journey including workshops and forums to help prepare them for life.
The Mt. Hebron Community Coalition: $1,500 grant to purchase electronic equipment and supplies for public exercise activities three days a week for citizens to live healthier lives.
Center for Rural Family Development: $1,500 grant to provide stipends, field trips and supplies to support an eight-week leadership and business training for students in 8th thru 12th grade.

 The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) is celebrating several months of hard work in completing two concurrent granting cycles with its 2019 First Round of Community Grants for 11 Black Belt counties and its first 2019 Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Selma grants for Selma and Dallas County. The Total pool of funding for Community Grants is approximately $75,000 funded across 54 different community organizations, and for the TRHT grants, approximately $24,000 in funding is being awarded to six different organizations based in Dallas County. This represents 84% of applications being funded from a total of 64 applications for community grants and 55% of applications being funded from a total of 11 applications for TRHT Selma/Dallas County grants.
This community granting cycle involved the full participation of BBCF’s large network of volunteer community associates active across its 12 county service area of the Alabama Black Belt. A key component of community granting is the ‘participatory granting’ process where communities start their own fundraising locally that are matched with funds from BBCF to create a greater collective impact in funding community enriching work across each county.
BBCF President Felecia Lucky states,”’Impressive’ is the word I have in reference to all of our grant applicants, awardees and the amazing team of our community associates and TRHT Selma grants committee and partners in engaging the community for this process. To be able to award nearly $100,000 in vital funding to 60 different organizations engaging in community transformative work is truly a blessing!”
The TRHT Selma granting cycle involved a three-month long grants application process starting in April that included four public grant seekers workshops in Dallas County and two racial equity workshops held in Selma. Of note, BBCF’s TRHT Selma place partner, The Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation produced and conducted all of the racial equity workshops that were required for applicants alongside of attendance at a workshop.
All grant recipients were announced and celebrated at BBCF’s joint Community Grants/TRHT Grants Awards Ceremony held at Wallace Community College in Selma on Sat. June 29th in the Hank Sanders Technology Center Conference Room (11AM start).
Specific details on the names of the grant recipient organizations and the type of work that will be funded is presented with photos above.

BBC Foundation selected as Head Start grantee for Dallas, Choctaw, Marengo and Wilcox Counties


Selma-based organization will provide high-quality services to the children and families of the Black Belt region. Will host community information sessions.
June 23, 2017 (Selma, AL) The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) has been awarded over $1.4 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the Head Start programs in Dallas, Choctaw, Marengo, and Wilcox counties in Alabama. With the help of this grant, an estimated 307 children in Alabama’s Black Belt will be able to receive critical investment in their early educational development through high-quality program options.
Founded in 2004 with the idea that those living and working in the Black Belt of Alabama best know the area’s challenges and opportunities, the BBCF raises funds and distributes grants to nonprofits that are making a difference in local communities.
BBCF President Felecia Lucky states: “We are excited to be selected as a first-time Head Start grantee to provide high-quality Head Start services to children and families in the Black Belt region. With our programs, we have served over 50,000 children and families. Like Head Start, our programs emphasize the importance of starting early and working closely with families to improve academic outcomes. We were happy to answer the call to serve the community in this way, and we are ready to build on both the work of the Head Start organizations who have come before us and our successful track record of service in the region.”
U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama states: “This is outstanding news for children and families in the Black Belt region. It is so important that our children are supported at an early age with educational programs such as Head Start so that their learning capabilities can be cultivated throughout their formative years. With this grant, the Black Belt Community Foundation will be able to bring valuable program offerings to children in the state that need this support the most.”

Below is the information for next week’s organizational sessions in Selma:
LOCATION: Concordia College, Wright Complex, Selma, Alabama
1804 Green Street, Selma, AL 36701 (ph: 334-874-5700)
June 27:  12pm-1:30pm and 4pm-5:30pm  Informational meeting for current Head Start staff.  This meeting will provide an overview of next steps.  The goal of this meeting is to help provide a clear view to the staff the process BBCF will follow in moving forward.
June 28:  8am-5:30pm  Job Fair. Head Start job applicants can complete their job applications.
June 29:  8am-5:30pm Call Back Interviews (Attendees will be notified in advance.)

BBCF Community Associates raise $41,000 for foundation


This past year, you may have bought a raffle ticket, or purchased a BBQ sandwich, or a box of donuts from one of the ‘community associates’ of the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF).
At the BBCF Community Associates Annual Retreat in December in Tuscaloosa, the volunteer community associates from the twelve counties served by the foundation raised over $41,000 through grassroots fundraising during 2016.
“This is a great achievement to boost the work and value of our community foundation. Our Community Associates Program is one of our secret assets which helps us to grow our foundation from the bottom up,” said Felecia Jones Lucky, President of the foundation.
The BBCF Board of Directors has decided to use all of the monies raised by community associates toward making small community grants ($1,000 to $3,000 per grant) in the 12 county service area. The BBCF has not been able to make general support community grants for the past two years due to funding cutbacks. “Based on the outstanding work of the Community Associates and funds raised at our Legacy Award Dinner, we will be able to make at least $5,000 in community grants, in each of our twelve counties: Choctaw, Sumter, Pickens, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Dallas Wilcox, Lowndes, Macon and Bullock counties,” said Lucky.
The BBCF has had funds from the Alabama State Arts Council to make arts grants and other specific grants for summer educational activities, support for mentoring and other special activities for African-American boys and young men and other targeted projects.
“At our retreat, we discussed ways the Community Associates could share ideas, work on joint projects and help to strengthen the foundation,” said Christopher Spencer, who is on loan to BBCF from the University of Alabama Community Projects staff to help develop, inspire and grow the BBCF.
Each of the 12 counties has a group of Community Associates from 3 to 10. “We are always looking for new associates who want to build our county chapter. We give people information about the foundation programs and we do grassroots fundraising year round, “ said Miriam Leftwich, Chair of the Greene County Associates. “We also accept checks and funds from people, who don’t want to buy raffle tickets or donuts but we know it takes grassroots efforts to make the foundation grow,” said Leftwich.
Persons interested in becoming associates or contributing to the Black Belt Community Foundation can contact the website at or visit the office in Selma, Alabama.