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ACF announces $2.3M in quarterly grant cycle

Competitive grants support significant health and human services needs in Summit County

AKRON, Ohio (Dec. 7, 2018) – Today, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved grants totaling $2,358,481, including $543,000 in competitive health and human services grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee.

This quarter’s health and human services funding included a $20,000 grant to Community Legal Aid Services to provide advocacy and legal assistance for Akron’s refugee population. Community Legal Aid offers free, high-quality civil legal services to low-income residents in eight counties throughout central northeast Ohio. In 2017, the organization served nearly 10,000 clients who spoke a total of nine diverse languages, including nearly 200 immigrants and their dependents.

“We began our relationship with the refugee community through our medical-legal partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital,” said Steve McGarrity, executive director of Community Legal Aid Services. “In our work, we discovered many refugee patients who had legal issues holding them back. We’re working to address those legal issues so we can help transform their lives for the better.”

In addition, the community foundation’s board approved a $7,500 grant to support the launch of Summa Health System’s Mommy Care-Group Care, a post-birth maternity program that helps at-risk mothers transition into their new role. This 10- to 12-week program will encourage continued care for both mother and child through routine medical checkups, health education and peer support groups. The goal of this new model of care is to enhance the health outcomes of new mothers and their infants, and to empower participants with the skills to become competent and confident parents.

“Participants in the program will learn healthy family behaviors such as positive parenting skills, smoking cessation, exercise and family planning, all aimed at preventing a lifetime of chronic health conditions and decreasing infant mortality rates,” said Heather Lorenzon, MNO, senior director of development at Summa Health System. “This program will also serve as an innovative training model for both medical students and residents.”

An additional $12,500 in health and human services funding was contributed through the community foundation’s grant co-investment program, which enables donor-advised fundholders to review the board’s competitive grant applications and support initiatives that align with their charitable interests. Participating in the co-investment program this quarter were the Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund, Alice J. Caniglia Fund, Seagren Family Fund, and Summit Portage Area Health Education Fund.

Their funding joins that of the following field-of-interest and board discretionary funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund; Alcohol/Drug Abuse Prevention Partnership Program Fund; V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund; Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund; Dick and Chris Chenoweth Fund; Community Fund; Decker Endowment Fund for Families; Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund; H.A. Flannery Family and James R. Flannery Family Fund; Kathleen Joyce Fund; Arthur Kelly Fund; John S. Knight Fund; William C. Krisher Fund; John A. McAlonan Fund; Polsky Fund; Helen S. Robertson Fund; James G. Robertson Fund; Roush Memorial Fund; Sanatorium Contingent Fund; Shaw Foundation Fund; George Stevens Fund; and Ronald L. Stiles Fund.

Their grants will support the following health and human services programs:

ACCESS, to provide services to women facing homelessness, including short-term secure housing, case management, health counseling and job readiness training, $15,250

Akron Area YMCA, to teach water safety and swimming skills through the Safety Around Water program to local elementary school students who lack the resources and financial means to take lessons, $12,750

Akron Blind Center, to support collaborative programs, essential resources and educational classes for the blind and low-vision populations in Summit County, $7,500

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, to support the Direct Distribution program, which distributes food directly to agency sites, as well as the Feeding Kids Initiative, a program that supplies after-school snacks for children in Summit County, $46,500

Akron Children’s Hospital, to support an asthma outreach program in Summit County schools that will help reduce environmental triggers and encourage policies for responding to severe asthma episodes, $5,000

American Red Cross of Summit & Portage Counties, to support disaster cycle services in Summit County, including preparedness classes, disaster response and recovery assistance, $15,250

The Arc of Ohio, for civil rights advocacy on behalf of Summit County residents with disabilities, $10,000

ARC Recovery Services, to provide certified peer support to individuals in the early stages of substance abuse recovery, $7,500

Battered Women's Shelter, to support crisis intervention services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, $25,500

Better Block Foundation, to support the New Americans Safe Driving Initiative, a six-week course that prepares refugees and immigrants for their written driving exam, $7,500

Broken Chains Jail & Prison Ministry, to support mentoring and workforce development programs for former offenders in Summit County to help eliminate barriers that lead to recidivism, $5,000

Catholic Charities of Summit County, to support the 2019 Emergency Assistance Program, which offers rent and utility assistance to residents in need, $13,000

Christ Child Society of Akron, to provide school-appropriate clothing for low-income students, $10,250

Cleveland Clinic Health System, to support the 44307 Community Health Initiative, which provides medical services like vaccines and well visits to students at Helen Arnold Community Learning Center and their families, $1,500

Community Legal Aid Services, to provide critical legal services for Akron’s refugee population, combating obstacles related to health, housing, education and basic needs, $20,000

Community Pregnancy Center, to support the Strong Start Program, which provides cribs, car seats, formula and educational programs to families in need, $5,000

CORE Furniture Bank, to provide donated furniture to Summit County families in need, $7,750

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, to support and expand food access programs at Summit County farmers markets, $10,000

Donovan's Kids, to develop adaptive bicycles for children with limb amputations or spina bifida, $2,500

Embracing Futures, to provide orthodontic treatment for children in need who have been turned down by Medicaid, $5,000

Emerge Counseling Services, to provide mental health counseling for Summit County residents who are uninsured or cannot afford counseling, $5,000

Family & Community Services Inc., for the Mobile Meals program, which encourages independent living by providing home-delivered meals and supplements to low-income children, elderly and disabled residents in Summit County, $20,000

Family Promise of Summit County, to help homeless families with children remain together and achieve lasting independence, $7,500

First Glance Student Center, to support mentoring and outreach programs for at-risk teens in Kenmore, $7,500

Freedom House for Women, to decrease addiction and homelessness in Summit County women by providing substance abuse treatment, recovery housing and support services, $8,000

Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to support a physical activity-based youth development program that promotes confidence and healthy choices for girls in high-poverty neighborhoods throughout Summit County, $7,500

Good Neighbors, to support the Good Neighbors Food Pantry and Outreach Center, which provides food, toiletries and other essential items to residents in need, $5,500

Hattie Larlham Foundation, to provide pre-employment transition services, including career assessment and hands-on training, for Akron-area high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, $15,000

IBH Addiction Recovery Center, to track the long-term, post-treatment success of clients who have completed the residential substance abuse treatment program, $10,000

International Institute of Akron, to support refugee resettlement services, including housing, transportation, health screenings and social services, $15,000

Jewish Family Service of Akron, to support the Happy, Healthy and At Home program, which offers case management, information referrals, counseling and other critical services for Summit County seniors, $7,500

NAMI Summit County, to provide basic household items to residents with serious mental illness who are transitioning from homelessness, group home living or incarceration, $5,000

Northeast Ohio African American Health Network, to support the Soul Food Cooking for Diabetics program, which includes nutrition education, food samples and cookbooks for residents with diabetes, $3,500

Ohio Living Communities Rockynol, to offer assisted living for senior residents with limited financial means, $5,000

Open Arms Adoptions, to increase awareness and support for keeping adoptable siblings together when finding permanent homes, $6,000

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to provide low-income women at the Akron Health Center with long-acting reversible contraception, $20,250

Prevent Blindness Ohio, to provide vision screenings and eye care for disadvantaged, high-risk adults and children in Summit County, $7,500

RAHAB Ministries, to support a mentoring program for juvenile victims of human trafficking through a partnership with Summit County Juvenile Courts, $23,500

Ronald McDonald House Akron, to provide a home away from home for families with children receiving care at Akron Children’s Hospital, $12,500

Stewart’s Caring Place, to offer support groups and educational programs for residents affected by cancer, $5,000

Summa Health System, to support the launch of the Mommy Care-Group Care initiative, which offers support groups and educational services for new mothers, $7,500

Summit County Community Partnership, to support the Deterra Project, which reduces access to unused and expired opiates by providing drug deactivation pouches that safely neutralize prescription medicines, $10,000

Summit County Fatherhood Initiative, to provide education, legal assistance, mentoring and other support services for fathers in Summit County who have previously been incarcerated or estranged from their children, $25,000

Tri-County Independent Living Center, to provide home accessibility improvements for low-income residents with disabilities, $5,000

United Disability Services, to provide employment services, including skills assessments and interview training, for Summit County residents with severe disabilities, $15,000

United Way of Summit County, to help residents navigate health and social services available in Summit County through the 2-1-1 information and referral helpline, $15,000

VANTAGE Aging, to help older adults remain in their homes by providing in-home assistance, including personal care, cleaning, grocery shopping and other critical services, $17,500

Victim Assistance Program, to provide 24-hour support and advocacy for victims of crime and sudden trauma, $20,000

Victory Gallop, to support therapeutic horseback riding programs for children with behavioral challenges and life-threatening illnesses, $5,000

Women's Auxiliary Board, Summit County Children Services, to promote safer sleeping conditions by providing beds for kids in the care of children’s services, $6,000

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 63 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Sept. 30, 2018, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $224 million with a growing family of more than 620 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded nearly $158 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.