Community Foundation Awards $305,000 in Special Project Grants
As part of its 2021 spring grants cycle, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has awarded $305,000 to local nonprofit organizations through Special Project Grants.
The Special Project Grant process encourages projects in community development and urban affairs; parks, recreation, and environment; health and human services, and youth and education. All nonprofit organizations serving the citizens of St. Joseph County are eligible to apply.
These Special Project Grant recipients include:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County: $100,000
This grant will support Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County’s (BGCSJC) 2021 “No Screen” Summer Programming in at least six different locations in South Bend and Mishawaka, serving over 500 students. These funds will allow BGCSJC to maintain the necessary staff, institute COVID safety measures, purchase PPE, and provide innovative and collaborative programming for disadvantaged youth, with an emphasis in academic recovery and social and emotional support in response to COVID-19. These efforts aim to curb the summer slide and provide a safe, fun and supportive learning environment.
- Cultivate Culinary School and Catering, Inc.: $50,000
Cultivate Culinary School and Catering will use funds for its Food Procurement Program, which was created to meet a growing need for balanced and staple food items in local food pantries. The goal is to provide necessary perishable items to food pantries through food rescue work, as well as to utilize combined purchasing power to source items at a much lower cost than pantries can currently achieve. In support of this, Cultivate has hired a full-time Food Sourcing Agent to build a comprehensive network of food donors and food distributors while assessing food pantries’ needs and capacities.
- Potawatomi Zoological Society: $50,000
The Potawatomi Zoo is receiving funding for the Giraffe Feeding Adventure. This project will include a giraffe barn, exhibit, and feeding platform, as well as an indoor feeding opportunity. As the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institution within 90 miles, the Potawatomi Zoo is in the position to become a regional destination with this exhibit.
- Five Star Life: $30,000
Five Star Life (FSL) is receiving funding to provide experiential outdoor summer programs for children from kindergarten through 12th grade at Summit, FSL’s 300-acre leadership training facility in Union, MI. Students will engage in a wide variety of outdoor activities such as archery and hatchet throwing, nature education, sports, horsemanship, team-building and more. FSL enhances its programs with a social-emotional learning curriculum, adding value for children who have lost extracurricular activities, interactions, sports, and more during the ongoing pandemic. FSL is working closely with the United Way of St. Joseph County to partner with youth-serving organizations in our county that will recommend children who would benefit from this program.
- South Bend Rotary Charitable Foundation: $30,000
South Bend Rotary Charitable Foundation is receiving this grant as part of Phase II of the Habitat for Humanity/Carter Work Project in Mishawaka, just south of Byrkit and Jefferson streets, which will take place September 20–24, 2021. In partnership with Habitat, Rotary Club of South Bend will lead other area Rotary clubs in building a safe, universally-accessible and fun playground in Darnell Park for families living nearby.
- Transformation Ministries: $25,000
Transformation Ministries currently provides middle and high school students with programming focused on mentoring, academic empowerment, life skills development, and social-emotional learning. This grant will support its new after-school program for K-5 students, known as “City Light Scholars,” modeled after its successful middle and high school program. Beginning in fall 2021, the program will serve 30-40 elementary students during the first school year, with plans to increase the number the following year.
- Robinson Community Learning Center – University of Notre Dame: $20,000
The Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) is receiving funds to scale up its summer programming by increasing the ages of children served, extending weeks of operation, offering morning and afternoon sessions, and adding new programs. Instruction will address learning loss in reading and math and will incorporate Design Thinking as well as the Take Ten curriculum. RCLC will provide six weeks of summer programming, five days per week, serving a total of 116 children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.