KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Thirteen not-for-profit organizations in and around Duplin County are getting over $95,000 dollars in grants. 

This money is coming from the Foundation of ECU Health Duplin Hospital as a part of their “Community Benefit Grants Program”. The program has distributed over $1 million throughout Duplin County and its surrounding areas. It’s also funded over 100 different projects.  

This year, two of the recipients tell 9OYS they hope to continue making a difference in the community after receiving their grants.  

“It is extremely humbling because when you’re a small organization, you can still do big things,” said Harry Sutton from 4Brothers Community Outreach. 

4Brothers Community Outreach is one of the recipients of the grant. With this new funding, they plan to provide summer meals and a basketball program for youth in the community.  

“We had another friend that we grew up with in high school, who does a basketball camp. So, another light bulb went off, hey, that could be the physical activity part of the grant,” said Sutton. 

Diversity Nurtures Achievement Community Youth Center is another organization receiving part of the money. They plan to use their funds to continue providing after-school care and summer learning camps for the children they serve. 

“Some of our parents cannot afford for the kids to attend, so we try to help them with a stipend to afford the childcare that we provide for gardening,” said Executive Director Earlean Rivers. 

Teaching children how to garden is one of their main focuses, and they’ll continue to do just that with their portion of the money. 

“They are learning the skills needed to survive, you know, when we were faced with the pandemic and even the storms, everyone couldn’t go to the grocery store. But one day one youth said, even if we can’t go to the grocery store, we can eat,” said Rivers.  

The Foundation Director at ECU Health Duplin Hospital explained that their overall mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve.  

“We feel that this program really connects us to our communities, connects us to the people that we serve,” said Tom Fife. “We have evidence from these programs, that it does help us achieve our mission. So, we feel really good about it.” 

To read more about the program, click here.