Habitat for Humanity St. Augustine/St. Johns County received a $10,000 gift from the Scheidel Foundation this week to aid in the organization’s general efforts to build safe and affordable homes for families in St. Johns County. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Habitat for Humanity is dependent on its partnerships with donors, including their ongoing partnership with the Scheidel Foundation. The Scheidel Foundation invests primarily in Jacksonville/St. Augustine, Florida; Sarasota, Florida, and Washington, DC area, promoting organizations that focus on economic empowerment of disadvantaged communities or organizations that help advance the practice of integrative medicine. The foundation was formed by the Scheidel family, who work very closely with the staff to make passionate decisions about where their money is invested in the community.
Habitat for Humanity of St. Augustine/St. Johns County has a special relationship with the Scheidel Foundation in that the organization has not only been the recipient of the Scheidel Grant in 2015, but also works closely with the foundation who provides the Scheidel Scholarship and funds the Prep Club program at the local Habitat affiliate. The Scheidel Scholarship, founded by Herb and Miyuki Scheidel in 2002, provides Habitat families of St. Johns County and Jacksonville Beaches with an educational scholarship. This is a unique opportunity that is only available to these two local Habitat affiliates as the Scheidel Foundation is based out of Ponte Vedra in north St. Johns County. The scholarship is valid at local colleges including the University of North Florida, St. Johns River State College, or Florida State College of Jacksonville.
Also, funded by the Scheidel Foundation is the Prep Club. This program is designed to provide incentives and educational support to students who live in Habitat homes. This program awards students in grades K-12 for perfect attendance and good grades. The hope is that the students will learn the value and importance of education while also preparing them to enter college upon graduation from high school. To join the Prep Club, there is an application, questionnaire and the students must sign a Drug Free Pledge. The students then submit their report cards to the Habitat office on a quarterly basis. Habitat St. Augustine/St. Johns County’s Prep Club Coordinator Lindsey Rodea states, “Because of the Scheidel Foundation, Habitat families in our community are blessed not only with the opportunity of homeownership but also the opportunity for an education.”
Beyond their efforts in education for Habitat families, the Scheidel foundation awarded Habitat for Humanity of St. Augustine/St. Johns County $10,000 on Tuesday December 15th to be used towards general operating expenses of the nonprofit organization. This particular act of generosity is especially unique as most donors require specific projects for donations. What can go overlooked in a nonprofit agency, is the general operating expenses are typically more difficult to fund. General operating expenses can include program expenses directly related to carrying out the mission of Habitat for Humanity, administrative expenses including overall operations and management, and fundraising expenses including publicity and fundraising campaigns/events. Thanks to the generosity of the Scheidel Foundation, Habitat for Humanity can look forward to starting the year of 2016 off with confidence that our efforts to create affordable housing are supported and appreciated in the community!