Honoring Nelle Ratrie Chilton

The KISRA family is saddened to hear of the death of Nelle Ratrie Chilton. We extend our condolences to the family as they journey through this difficult time. Nelle was admired by many in the community but none compares to her adoration like that of her family. Words are inadequate at a time like this; however, please know that the Chilton and Ratrie family are in our thoughts.

A “Servant of Servants” by Robert Frost is a poem which tells the tale of a woman who monologues her daily ordeals to a visitor who is camping out near her house. She grouses of her unheralded strenuous provision to laborers. The woman is delighted at the opportunity to meet another individual, especially a person

who can drop everything and come live

in the lap of nature. She gleams about

her evanescent desire to do the same.

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She was a shrewd businesswoman and shared her wealth of knowledge with many in the corporate and not for profit sectors, including KISRA’s previous CEO’s. She maintained an enduring friendship with several members of KISRA’s Board of Directors and was a close friend, advisor and confidante of the Chairman of the Board, the Rt. Rev. Dr. E. A. Heyliger.

Finally, the call of her work overwhelms her caprices and she ends the conversation with telling the visitor that she wished that he would not leave unless he had to.

Nelle was passionate about helping others. She valued education and lifelong learning. She was instrumental in guiding the vision and long-term planning for several organizations including the Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action Inc. (KISRA). In our infancy, KISRA benefitted greatly because of Nelle’s commitment to serving her community. Nelle was a faithful pecuniary supporter of KISRA’s lofty ambitions and used her influence to assist in transforming our dreams into reality.

Nelle was a fearless trailblazer in so many ways and demonstrated this by not allowing any aspiration to become impossible. Nelle showed us what happens when you set your mind to achieve anything. It seems like nothing was outside of her reach. With all of her accomplishment, her enthusiasm for social activism, advocacy and advancement always prevailed.

Nelle was a stellar example of what it means to be a “Servant to Servants.” She was a great example to us all and we honor the life that she lived.

On behalf of KISRA’s Board of Directors and personnel, we extend our deepest sympathy. We are eternally grateful for her contributions to KISRA.



Michael E. Jones

Interim CEO


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KISRA Joins BetterTogetherCWV to Support West Virginians Impacted by Economic Hardship Related to Covid19

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the world and challenged Charleston to new levels. During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, Better Together CWV is committed to putting people first by providing the support necessary to ensure our unemployed service workers and/or service workers subjected to reduced earnings due to decreased hours to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances COVID-19 has presented. 

 The COVID-19 Better Together CWV Fund will help in real ways by: 

  • Providing assistance for service workers facing unforeseen hardships by ensuring food, housing or utility assistance.​

The residents of Charleston pride themselves on neighborly love and support in times of need.  The Better Together CWV Fund is committed to being a bridge for our displaced community members now and in the immediate future. 

This initiative is led by the 10 in 10, Inc. a 501c3 charitable organization (FEIN 83-3716062), committed to showcasing the hidden jewels of our city, attracting others to call her home and participating in community initiatives such as Better Together CWV (registered trade name of 10 in 10, Inc.).  All donations are made payable to 10 in 10, Inc. and tax deductible. 


The concept for Better Together CWV originated from a simple conversation between friends (Tony Paranzino, Jennifer Pharr, Bernie Layne and Harry Bell) with a resounding theme, ‘What can we do?, How can we help?’  This conversation has grown to an initiative to help combat the economic strain from COVID19; Better Together CWV. 

The Better Together CWV Advisory Committee is comprised of local business owners from a variety of backgrounds: retail, restaurant, legal, nonprofit, technical and real estate sales. The advisory committee is committed to reviewing each application, making timely decisions; understanding the importance to assist Charlestonians during a very sudden and trying time. 


The disruption caused by COVID19 may last for several months. The Better Together CWV Advisory Committee will review applications and provide assistance as long as there is a need and funding. 


Awarded funds for displaced workers will be administered with the help of KISRA. 


The outpouring of compassion and support is greatly appreciated.

Apply for assistance >


As always,





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Reginald Jones, CEO, 304.768.8924


CHARLESTON, WV — A program in West Virginia th...

May 24, 2019

An article from The Ohio Valley Resource By Brittany PattersonLiam Niemeyer (link below).

It’s lunch hour, and Cafe Appalachia is bustling.

Located in South Charleston, West Virginia, the former church turned restaurant has a funky, yet calming vibe. Twinkle lights and m...

A unique initiative growing in the Ohio Valley is hitting at more than one issue plaguing the region with one all-encompassing goal: to hire people in recovery to grow and serve nutritious food to the community.

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March 19, 2019

The Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action will partner with another local nonprofit group, Pollen8 Inc., to create a “food hub” intended to bring dozens of jobs to the region.

KISRA received a grant of nearly $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Hu...

March 19, 2019

Charleston, WV – The Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action (KISRA) has received nearly $800,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services. The funds are being used to establish a food hub, which will promote community hea...

November 15, 2017

Dunbar, WV The Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc. (KISRA) Board of Directors have made the decision to close the Harambee Child Development Center, which is a child care center located in Dunbar, WV.  The closure will be effective as of December 29, 2...

Dunbar, WV

KISRA (Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action, Inc.), will launch an Emergency Aid Project to provide emergency needs services to low-income and working poor residents of Kanawha County. Eligible participants will receive assistance to overcome needs...

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