GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Six upstate non-profit organizations have been awarded a combined $517,495 in grant funding.

Local women’s organization Greenville Women Giving announced the gifts to celebrate 16 years of operations.

“It is so exciting to see that what began as a simple idea of collaboration, getting a handful of women together to make their charitable giving go farther, has turned into one of the United States’ largest and most successful women’s collective organizations in just 16 years,” said GWG Co-Chair Beverly Ward. “By working together, we are building a better quality of life for all residents of Greenville County.”

The recipients are:

Conestee Foundation: Lake Conestee Nature Preserve:  $100,000 over two years to create a Nature Playscape, a unique interactive natural outdoor environment for children to explore and enjoy.

Greenville Literacy Association: $76,000 over two years for a full-time Training and Career Counselor to support under-skilled adults.

Mental Health America of Greenville County: $76,495 to provide software licenses and laptop computers for remote suicide Lifeline volunteers and employees.  

Phillis Wheatley Association: $65,000 to fund basic improvements to the Dwight Woods Repertory Theater at the Phillis Wheatley Center.

Rebuild Upstate: $100,000 over two years to preserve and improve low-income, owner-occupied homes in Greenville County.

Thrive Upstate: $100,000 to fund two ADA vans to drive people to jobs, activities, and opportunities

A total of 70 grant applications were submitted to Greenville Women Giving for consideration.

To qualify, an application for a GWG grant must meet a need in at least one of GWG’s five focus areas: arts, environment, education, health, and human services.  In addition, the grant request must provide services in Greenville County and range from $50,000 to $100,000.  Based on a vote of all GWG members, six outstanding organizations were selected to receive grants this year.

Since its inception in 2006, GWG has awarded 140 grants to 87 non-profit organizations for a collective total of more than $7.6 million.