News Column

Foundations award $406,000 in grants to local projects

January 23, 2014

Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.

Jan. 23 --This week, the Community Foundation and the Smithville Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of the 2014 community impact grants. From an original pool of 45 applicants,16 organizations received grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for a total of $406,000 in financial support. Lettuce Works is a social enterprise inspired by a successful model from another state. Through this enterprise, South Central Community Action Program got $20,000 to help low income individuals, primarily those with disabilities, improve their job skills by employing them to work in greenhouses growing hydroponic produce year round using no pesticides or herbicides. The produce will be sold to local restaurants and stores. Bloomington Economic Development Corp. got $31,750 to work in collaboration with the Franklin Initiative in piloting a " Coding School " to provide software coding courses to help area workers and job seekers qualify for technology-based jobs. Additionally, they will offer coding training for area youth to prepare them for employment in the high-growth technology sector. Other collaborators include Envisage Technologies and WorkOne. Habitat for Humanity got $45,000 to launch a family self-sufficiency program designed to help families stay in their homes or qualify for Habitat homes. The goal is to change habits and alter long-term financial behaviors through intensive budgeting and financial training paired with peer group support. In addition, participants' children will be engaged in a mentoring program designed to encourage them to pursue post-secondary educational programs. Other grants receiving support through the initiative in 2014 address a broad range of community needs ranging from the arts and graduation coaching in the public schools, to nutrition for those facing food insecurity and capacity building support for area nonprofits. Additional recipients are: Susie's Place -- Bloomington got $25,000 to expand its capacity to provide investigation and intervention support in bullying and school harassment situations. Stone Belt received $12,200 for Project Search, a program that prepares young adults with disabilities for competitive employment through classroom experiences and total immersion in business internships. Stepping Stones got $12,500 for a year-long capacity building initiative designed to help the organization achieve the next level of operational and programmatic maturity. Roundabout Opera for Kids got $13,304 to complete the development of 12 unique operas for young audiences in local elementary, middle and high schools. Monroe County United Ministries got $22,000 to reopen and sustain a preschool room for 2 year olds in an accredited program for less advantaged youth. Monroe County Public Library received $20,000 to complete the startup and implementation of Nonprofit Central, which provides resources, expertise and training to local nonprofits. LIFEDesigns got $16,000 will merge two summer camp programs to increase educational retention over the summer months in an inclusive environment for young people with disabilities. Ivy Tech Foundation got $41,600 for an advanced manufacturing initiative that will build a regional partnership tasked with bringing advanced manufacturing training and career opportunities to the region. Training will focus on the manufacturing process, safety, maintenance and quality practices. Hoosier Hills Food Bank got $50,000 for the Garden Route on Wheels to deliver fresh produce to organizations and partner agencies serving those dealing with food insecurity. Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Foundation for $50,000 for the graduation coach initiative, which provides one-to-one focused counseling support for at-risk students to ensure they graduate from high school. First Book Monroe County received $20,000 to supply 8,000 books to low-income children ages 5 to 8 in area Title 1 schools. Ellettsville Fire Department got $15,694 for the purchase and replacement of essential fire hoses. Amethyst House got $10,000 for the transition to electronic healthcare records. In 2011, the Community Foundation shifted its grant program from smaller, project-based grants to focus on funding charitable efforts that have the potential for encouraging change and creating solutions to the issues that impact the community. Smithville Charitable Foundation joined the Community Foundation in funding the Community Impact Funding Initiative and, three grant cycles later, 57 grants have been awarded through the initiative, providing support of just over $1.1 million . Requests that include innovation, collaboration, and capacity building receive priority in the evaluation process. ___ (c)2014 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at www.heraldtimesonline.com Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN)


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