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Press Release

ESA Awards Community Grants

August 4, 2023

Augusta County, VA – ESA’s Fishersville Road Solar Farm Community Grant Program has awarded funding to three community-based organizations who are making positive impacts locally in community revitalization, environmental sustainability, education support or healthy living.

The organizations awarded were Blue Ridge CASA for Children, Magnolia Rose, and Arc of Augusta.

“Cultivating relationships with local organizations and amplifying their impact is core to our ethos as a company. We are humbled to support such phenomenal organizations who work tirelessly every day to make Augusta County an even better place,” said Justin Vandenbroeck, Chief Operating Officer at ESA. “We are inspired by their work and look forward to doing our part to ensure that low-to-moderate income community members have pathways to economic relief from rising electricity costs.”

The first recipient of the Fishersville Road Solar Farm Community Grant is Blue Ridge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit organization that recruits, trains, and empowers volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children who cannot safely remain in their homes. CASA Advocates build relationships, review records, and provide detailed court reports based on the child's best interests. Supported by knowledgeable Advocate Managers, these volunteers improve the children's physical and mental health, address trauma, and increase their chances of a healthy life.

CEO of the Blue Ridge CASA for Children said “ESA's $2,500 grant enables Blue Ridge CASA for Children to expand its services and support additional children in the foster care system, providing them with crucial advocacy and resources to ensure their safety and well-being during challenging times. With this funding, the organization can recruit and train more volunteer advocates, conduct outreach efforts, and offer essential services to a greater number of vulnerable children in need.”

Magnolia Rose, another grant recipient, is a non-profit organization in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia dedicated to providing hope and healing to victims of human trafficking. They offer an emergency shelter with fully furnished apartments, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for survivors to begin their transformative journey. Through a partnership with Augusta Health's medical mobile unit, they provide on-site detox recovery and comprehensive healthcare services. With a storefront in downtown Waynesboro, they generate funds to sustain their impactful programs. Their commitment extends to street outreach and the future establishment of a Healing Center for at-risk teen girls, offering counseling, tutoring, and mentorship. Magnolia Rose is deeply committed to empowering survivors and making a lasting impact on their lives.

Jessica Garcia, secretary of Magnolia Rose, said “This grant will have a great impact on our local community by ensuring Magnolia Rose can continue our mission of bringing hope and healing to women and girls that have survived human trafficking in the Shenandoah Valley. Thanks to ESA and their generous grant, we are able to provide safe housing, detox and recovery services, advocacy, and a neighborly support system for vulnerable women and their families.” 

The final recipient of the Fishersville Road Solar Farm Community Grant Program is Arc of Augusta, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving individuals with developmental disabilities in the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County areas. Established in 1960 by a group of parents who wanted their children to have access to education, the organization has since provided a range of services including summer camps, holiday parties, day programs, and legal advocacy. Currently, the focus is on promoting socialization and providing education on healthy living for individuals with developmental disabilities.

“With the grant, we can plan fun community events and workshops that bring everyone together, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment. It'll open up opportunities for people of all abilities to make meaningful friendships and community connections,” said Tosha Berry, Executive Director for the Arc of Augusta.

ESA is in the process of developing a small community solar farm on approximately 8 acres of land in Augusta for low-to-moderate income residents who are currently Dominion Energy customers. They will be able to “subscribe” to the Fishersville Road Solar Farm as part of the Virginia Shared Solar Program and save money on their electric bill.

ESA Awards Community Grants to Three Augusta County Organizations

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