PHCC Foundation starts aid fund

The Patrick Henry Community College Foundation announced Thursday that it has established an emergency student aid fund to help students facing economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PHCC COVID-19 Student Emergency Response Fund aims to raise funds to cover emergency needs related to food and materials for course work, transportation and childcare, a release from the school said.

“A number of our Patriots may be facing these hardships while trying to keep up with classwork,” Tiffani Underwood, director of PHCC’s foundation, said in the release. “We want to do everything we can to ease their burdens so they can continue to be successful.”

PHCC students report housing insecurities, care for young children, and work multiple jobs, the release said. They also sometimes use the school’s food pantry.

Said PHCC President Angeline Godwin: “In a time like this, our community must rally together to protect each other and to look out for our most vulnerable. This emergency fund will provide a simple, easily accessible portal so those who are willing to give can reach those who need the help.”

The foundation said it welcomes donations of all sizes to the PHCC COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund. Donors can visit or call 276-656-0250.

Facilities at state parks to close

Overnight facilities and restrooms at Virginia State Parks – including Fairy Stone State Park in Henry County – will close Friday and remain closed through April 30, state officials announced.

This includes all overnight facilities such as cabins, campgrounds, camping cabins and yurts, as well as restrooms and bathhouses. Reservations will be canceled, and reservation holders will automatically receive refunds.

The parks remain open as an essential good to the general public for day-use activities such as hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and exercise. Staff will be available by phone if assistance is needed.

Library closed for foreseeable future

Blue Ridge Regional Library announced Wednesday that all branches will remain closed and all events will be canceled until it is deemed safe to open again. The library had said it would be closed until March 31.

Items no longer will be collected, but no fines will be accrued. External digital services remain active.

Library staff is working on a modified schedule and will be available to answer the phones and pull holds at 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday,

MHC Coalition earns federal grant

Martinsville Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness has been awarded $58,052 as one of seven community health centers located in Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District to receive grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that can be used to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

A total of $418,976 was distributed, the office of U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Abingdon) announced, and the funds may be used for screening and testing, acquiring medical supplies and boosting telehealth capacity.

Staff reports

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