Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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Spring 2016

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana: $50,000
Grant funds will be used to help expand Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana's existing 3-bedroom Family Room model to a 20-bedroom Ronald McDonald House.  In turn, supporting more families by keeping them close to their hospitalized child and physicians during treatment.

Unity Gardens, Inc.: $22,000
Funding will help support Unity Gardens purchase a booth at the South Bend Farmers' Market to enhance sales revenue by adding depth and breadth to products, while reducing ongoing expenses associated with renting their space. 
Green Bridge Growers: $17,000
Funds will assist with the Greenhouse Commercialization Project, which provides job training and employment for young autistic adults, who face a 90% unemployment rate. Green Bridge Growers' (GBG) venture grows healthy, local food using innovations such as aquaponics which are a great match for the skills of those on the autism spectrum. Through this project, GBG will expand their greenhouse space at a new location to utilize unique abilities of their employees to strong advantage, initially creating jobs while educating community partners on the many gifts and abilities of adults with autism. 
Beacon Resource Center: $15,000
Funds will help the Beacon Resource Center purchase a new playing surface for their gym area. The gym is home to the Police Athletic League (PAL) Boxing Club, which provides opportunities for children, youth, and ultimately families to gain athletic coaching as well as life and academic mentoring. On an average night PAL has over 100 youth and five police officers using the facility.  The gym is also used for several other activities, such as basketball, table tennis, tennis, and pickle ball programming.
Junior Achievement Serving Michiana: $13,475                                                                    
Grant funds will assist with further program expansion to provide 4-6 hours of economic education to more than 1,200 students in 49 classrooms across St. Joseph County, whose teachers have requested JA.  JA empowers young people to own their economic futures by providing vital workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy lessons to students from kindergarten through high school.
IMANI and UNIDAD: $13,000
Funds will help IMANI UNIDAD implement and expand an outreach, education and support prevention program targeting ex-offenders. The goal is to enroll them in individual and group level services and provide peer support and mentoring. They plan to hire two senior members of the current peer-to-peer group as leaders of the program.
United Way of St. Joseph County: $8,500
Grant funds will help support the United Way of St. Joseph County's Born Learning Academy, a structured workshop series inspired by the Harlem Children Zone's "Baby College," which focuses on teaching parents and caregivers of children (ages 0-5) how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. The purpose of the Academy is to make parents and caregivers aware of how young children learn, as well as teach easy, fun action steps that parents, grandparents and other caregivers can use every day as they interact with their children.
Ryan's Place Inc.: $8,000
Funds will help support expanded services in St. Joseph County in 2016. Program expansion will bring services to at least 58 individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one in SJC Schools, the center in Goshen and in a new 10-week grief support program for children and adults to be held at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.

Early Childhood Alliance: $3,800
Grant funds will help support two sites of Book Buddies, Early Childhood Alliance's free parent program, in St. Joseph County. The goal of this program is to teach, mentor, and support parents in high-risk situations through the process of becoming fully engaged in and understanding of their role as their child's first and most important teacher. This project will serve over 50 people (adult caregivers and their children from birth to age six) from high-risk situations including low-income, English as a second language, low education, parent incarceration, and single parent homes.