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Millennium Fund celebrates 20 years of helping children

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Akron Community Foundation's Millennium Fund for Children recently awarded 26 grants totaling $49,000 to children's programs throughout Greater Akron. The community foundation's board of directors ratified the grants at its Dec. 6 meeting, bringing the Millennium Fund's cumulative grantmaking to nearly $800,000.

Family sitting around table
A grant to Ronald McDonald House Akron will provide a home away from home for families with children receiving care at Akron Children's Hospital.

A partnership of the Akron Beacon Journal and Akron Community Foundation, the Millennium Fund for Children began in 1999 when local residents donated their last hour's pay of the millennium to support children's causes in the next century and beyond. Since then, thanks to gifts of all kinds and sizes, the endowment has grown to almost $1.1 million and awarded 530 grants to programs that meet children's basic needs, teach important life skills, enrich students' lives through visual and performing arts, and much more. Grants support children's programs throughout the Beacon Journal/Beaconjournal.com's audience coverage area, which includes Summit, Portage, Medina, Stark, Wayne and Cuyahoga counties.

Now in its 20th anniversary year, the fund continues to seek gifts both large and small from individual residents and corporations alike.

"From IRA rollovers to gifts of stock or cash, every single gift makes a difference for kids in our community," said Akron Community Foundation President & CEO John T. Petures Jr. "By joining with the thousands of gifts made to the fund in its 20-year history, each donor helps the fund grow over time to make a larger impact than could ever be accomplished individually."

To donate to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit www.akroncf.org/give/millennium or text Millennium to 41444. Or, for information about making gifts of appreciated securities, real estate, retirement assets or life insurance, call Akron Community Foundation at 330-376-8522.

The following grants were awarded from the fund this year:

  • A Special Wish Foundation, to support the Sparkles of Joy program in Summit and Medina counties, which grants wishes to immunocompromised children, $1,000
  • ACCESS, to provide meals, clothing, health assessments and academic support for children living at the shelter, $2,000
  • Akron Children's Museum, to provide free tickets to the museum for disadvantaged children in Greater Akron, $2,000
  • Akron Interfaith Immigration Advocates, to support programs and activities for Akron's immigrant youth, regardless of their immigration status, $2,000
  • Art Sparks, for Dynamite Duos, an inclusive dance and music curriculum in Akron Public Schools that celebrates students with developmental disabilities while fostering acceptance by their nondisabled peers, $2,000
  • Autism Society of Greater Akron, to support the iCan Bike camp, which teaches individuals with developmental disabilities to ride a two-wheel bicycle, $2,000
  • Battered Women's Shelter, to support enrichment activities for children living at the shelter, $2,000
  • Caring for Kids, to give children in foster care personal recognition and special attention, like a present on their birthday, that they otherwise may not receive, $2,000
  • CASA Board Volunteer Association, to provide warm winter pajamas for abused and neglected children in foster care, $2,000
  • Christ Child Society of Akron, to provide essential newborn items and child safety literature to mothers of at-risk babies, $1,000
  • City of Akron Police Department, to support the expansion of Safety Town Year-Round to all kindergarten students in Akron Public Schools, $2,000
  • Fallen Fathers Foundation, for the after-school program, which provides a safe environment for youth from kindergarten through 12th grade, $2,000
  • Family Promise of Summit County, to purchase linens, toiletries and diapers for homeless babies and children, $2,000
  • First Congregational Church of Akron, for the Peanut Butter & Jelly Program at Mason Community Learning Center, which provides students in need with healthy food for the weekend, $2,000
  • Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to provide running apparel and supplies for girls in need so they can train for the program's signature 5k event, $2,000
  • Good Samaritan Hunger Center, to provide semimonthly bags of nutritious food for each student at Findley Community Learning Center, $2,000
  • Limitless Ambition, to empower teen girls in the Summit County Juvenile Court system who have been impacted by abuse or neglect to improve their self-esteem, achieve their academic goals, and develop leadership skills, $2,000
  • OPEN M, to provide gifts, school supplies and food to children during the holiday season, $2,000
  • Rape Crisis Center, to support trauma therapy for youth impacted by sexual violence, $2,000
  • Ronald McDonald House Akron, to provide a home away from home for families with children receiving care at Akron Children's Hospital, $2,000
  • Shelter Care, to provide activities for youth in short-term residential crisis shelters that teach healthy coping strategies and independent living skills, $2,000
  • South Street Ministries, to support an after-school enrichment program for elementary school students in the Summit Lake neighborhood, $2,000
  • Stewart's Caring Place, to provide social events and support services for children who are undergoing cancer treatments or have a loved one who has experienced cancer, $2,000
  • Summit Choral Society, to provide free concert tickets to underserved youth, $2,000
  • Victory Gallop, to purchase recognition items for children with special needs and life-threatening illnesses who complete the therapeutic riding program, $1,000
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse, to provide theater class scholarships for children from low-income families, $2,000
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