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Donors include individuals and businesses who wish to contribute to an array of non-profit organizations serving Nelson County humanitarian needs. Donations replenish NCCF coffers, under the charter of the non-profit Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, to fund approximately 14 grants per year totaling more than $100,000. Nelson County residents are truly grateful for donors’ support.


Take a look at what some of our donors have to say:

Joe Steele—A Cornerstone of the NCCF

Photo of Joe Steel
NCCF board member Donna McCurdy recently met to interview long-time Nelson County Community Fund member Joe Steele. Joe is a founding member of the Community Fund and has actively supported the organization for almost 20 years.

Joe’s business career as a sales executive includes more than 40 years with Western Union and 5 years with AT & T in New Jersey. Since moving to Virginia, Joe has been involved in working with several additional non-profit organizations including Wintergreen Music as a board member. Joe also worked with Wintergreen Fire and Rescue Squad, first as a driver and board member. He continues to assist with its mail solicitations to the community.

Joe is also very proud of his work refurbishing computers out of his home to supply Nelson students and their families who otherwise would not have the means to purchase equipment. This computer donation program is operated in Lovingston through MACAA, Monticello Area Community Action Agency. Joe has just delivered his 170th computer system. If you have computer hardware you no longer use, contact Joe at 434-361-1597 to support this ongoing worthwhile project!
What attracted you to Nelson County?

Why did you and your wife decide to relocate here from New Jersey?
After a long career in business, Ilse and I were looking for a community in which to retire. We had made several trips to Virginia to visit our close friends, John and Ila Porter, and fell in love with the beauty of the mountains and countryside in Nelson County. We bought property in Stoney Creek and then built and moved into our current home.

How did you become involved with the Nelson County Community Fund?
In 1999, members of the Board of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, which was formerly known as the SAW Foundation, met with a few residents in Nelson County, including me, to begin talking about creating a community fund specifically dedicated to tackling the many challenges confronting the people of Nelson County and the agencies providing services to them. And due to the generosity of a few key donors, including Gordon Smythe, myself, and several others, seed money was provided to initiate the fund. Other major participants in the early years, including Dr. Ed Stemmler, Dr. Andrew Hodson and his wife, Patricia, as well as Barbara and Hank Gibb, to name just a few, embraced the idea of keeping local money local to help with the many needs right here in our county. And the Nelson County Community Fund was off and running.

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing Nelson County residents now and in the future?
Poverty is clearly a continuing issue within our county, as is substance abuse. Programs to help our neighbors who need it most is an important function of the Community Fund, whether it be to help with health care availability through Blue Ridge Medical, or to supply emergency funds to pay the electric or heating bill through MACAA. Georgia’s Healing House is an important newer organization, designed to assist those Nelson residents recovering from substance abuse. The importance of continuing to support education is also of utmost importance, including college scholarships to Nelson County High School seniors, often to those who are the first in their families to attend college.

What are you most proud of in terms of the support the Nelson County Community Fund has been able to provide organizations that help Nelson residents?
I am proud of the message we have been able to spread to the residents of Nelson and the funds we have been able to raise from the generosity of so many in Nelson. The fund has operated with very low overhead, thanks to the work of its all-volunteer leadership, so that more than 98% of the funds raised are distributed to the many charitable organizations NCCF has been able to support over the years.

What would you say to encourage others to volunteer as you have done for so long in Nelson County?
It’s so important to think about your neighbors and what you can do personally to improve the quality of life for the residents of Nelson County.



Click this link to read other interviews with founders and other key donors to the NCCF.


Donate Now

Join the hundreds of your neighbors who are supporting the Nelson County Community Fund. Click here to go to our Donate page.

Thank you!

NCCF Receives Proceeds from the Be Thankful 5 K – 2018

Pictured are (left to right) Neil Ripani (Wintergreen Resort), Jane Francis (NCCF Advisory Committee), Sarah Jane Stewart (Co-chair, NCCF Advisory Committee), Art Thorn (NCCF Advisory Committee), Donna McCurdy (Co-chair, NCCF Advisory Committee), Lindsay Dorrier (Bold Rock Hard Cider), Lou Siegel (Rockfish Valley Foundation)

NCCF received a contribution of $1,500 from Wintergreen Resort and $500 from Bold Rock Hard Cider as proceeds from the Be Thankful 5K at Thanksgiving 2018. The course followed the trails of Rockfish Valley Foundation. Wintergreen Resort has supported NCCF since 2011 by donating a total of over $15,000 in proceeds from the 5K. Bold Rock has contributed a total of $1,000 over the past two years. NCCF is grateful to these Nelson County businesses and nonprofits for this support.

Contact Us

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more about the Nelson County Community Fund. We also welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions.

Nelson County Community Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 253
Nellysford, VA 22958

(434) 260-1843

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