The Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama on Thursday will hold a reception to recognize 14 organizations who will share more than $250,000 from a local grant fund.

The money will go to projects such as the one-on-one mentoring program for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama and a walk-in freezer for Community Enabler Developer, an Anniston nonprofit providing food assistance to the community.

“These organizations are truly making an impact on our community,” said Susan Williamson, vice president of advancement for the Community Foundation. “They are improving the lives of the clients they serve and providing such a high level of service to them. It's just an honor for us to be a part of that.”

The money, $255,319, comes from the Stringfellow Health Fund, which gives to organizations in the Community Foundation’s nine-county coverage area. The fund focuses its donations on programs benefiting healthcare and wellness projects as well as initiatives that benefit the overall health of a community.

The fund awards grants twice a year.

The reception for the grant recipients will be at 2 p.m. at the Community Foundation’s offices at 1130 Quintard Ave., Suite 100.

Community theater group gets nonprofit accreditation

Community Foundation officials on Thursday also will recognize Anniston’s Community Actors Studio Theatre, often called CAST.

The group recently received accreditation by the Standards of Excellence program. To be approved for the national distinction, an organization must open itself up to a peer review process that looks at the group’s staff engagement, sound fiscal health and mission-driven operations, according to a news release from the Community Foundation.

“It is imperative that not-for-profits of all sizes be effective, efficient, credible and transparent as they strive to meet critical community needs,” Jennifer S. Maddox, president and CEO of the foundation, was quoted as saying in the release. “Standards for Excellence provides the tools and templates that enable not-for-profit organizations to improve their policies and practices while maintaining a focus on meeting their mission.”

The YMCA of Calhoun County also will receive a $2,275 Standards for Excellence grant for operations.

Each year the foundation offers training for organizations hoping to get Standards of Excellence accreditation. The next training session will be in February in Etowah County. For more information, contact Heather Lamey at 256-231-5160 Ext. 18.

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

I'm the assistant metro editor for The Anniston Star. I edit, post online stories and write the occasional story. I also run the Business as Usual column.