Akron Community Foundation's Millennium Fund for Children surpasses $1 million grant milestone
Fund awards record-breaking $61,000 in grants
Akron Community Foundation's Millennium Fund for Children recently awarded 36 grants totaling $61,000 to children's programs throughout the Greater Akron area. The community foundation's board of directors ratified the grants at its recent meeting, bringing the Millennium Fund's cumulative grantmaking to more than $1 million.
This latest round of grantmaking also represents the largest amount awarded and the highest number of grant recipients in the fund's 24-year history.
Shaun Schweitzer, chair of the Millenium Fund's grants committee for the past eight years, explained the significance of this year's grantmaking, saying, "The idea of the Millennium Fund for Children has always been that any amount makes a difference. For us to have grown our endowment to $1.2 million and awarded more than $1 million in just 24 years is a testament to the power of what collective giving can do. Whether you've consistently given $25 to the fund each December or you're a first time donor, thank you for contributing to make Greater Akron a better place for children."
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 $1.2 million and awarded more than 650 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.
Several organizations received grants this year to support mentorship and after-school programs. A new grant recipient, First Glance Student Center in Kenmore, offers 11 programs addressing children's physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs, with the ultimate goal of combating generational poverty.
"We serve about 800 individuals a year and over 100 free meals a week," said Jessica Swiger, executive director of First Glance Student Center. "Our students receive academic support, spiritual guidance, and meaningful connections with mentors. Our volunteer mentors empower the youth to reach their full potential; they walk through life with them and offer support. These relationships extend beyond programming hours into students' daily lives, encouraging success wherever life may lead them."
To donate to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit akroncf.org/give/millennium. 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 in 2023:
- Akron Public Schools, to support an artists-in-residence program at schools in the East Cluster, wherein students will work with artists to tell their own stories and create books, $1,000
- Akron Youth Mentorship, to provide healthy meals to students participating in group mentoring sessions, $1,000
- Autism Society of Greater Akron, to support a camp at Copley High School where individuals with autism will learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently, $2,000
- Battered Women's Shelter, to implement enhanced STEM Camp Invention curricula into the shelter's after-school youth programming, $2,000
- Caring for Kids, to support the STARS (Special Thanks, Accolades and Recognitions) program to provide children in the foster care system with personalized recognition on their birthdays and for special achievements, $1,000
- CASA Board Volunteer Association, to provide warm winter clothes to at least 80 children in Summit County who have experienced abuse or neglect, $2,000
- Cast It Forward, to provide inclusive fishing excursions on Lake Erie for children with special needs, children of single parents, and children who have suffered a loss, $2,000
- Child Guidance & Family Solutions, to provide translation services to children, especially refugees, during mental and behavioral health counseling sessions, $1,000
- Christ Child Society of Akron, to provide new mothers with educational materials and necessities for newborn care, $1,000
- Cuyahoga Falls Library, to support accessibility in the Children's Department of the library by providing books and other materials for English language learners and children with learning or sensory needs, $1,250
- The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, to support a workshop series in Akron Public Schools where students will learn about diversity, equity and inclusion, $2,000
- Family Promise of Summit County, to provide essential supplies for children and families experiencing homelessness in Family Promise's Glendora House, $2,000
- First Glance Student Center, to provide mentorship and educational programs to children in the Kenmore neighborhood, $2,000
- Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to support a running-based youth enrichment program for girls in the Akron community, $2,000
- Good Neighbors, to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other dental hygiene necessities to the children of families who visit the food pantry, $1,000
- Good Samaritan Hunger Center, to provide Akron Public Schools students with weekend bags of food, $2,000
- Grace Academy of Small Wonders, to support a program that will teach elementary school girls about social skills, self-care strategies, personal hygiene and more, $2,000
- Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection (GASP), to provide supplies for Child ID kits, including computer drives and DNA kits, $1,000
- Hope Meadows Foundation, to support the Mind Times with Horses program, which increases the social and emotional skills of children with mental illness, $2,000
- Integrated Community Solutions, to support a social enrichment art group for children with developmental disabilities, $1,500
- Leadership Influencing Teen Empowerment, to provide classes on leadership and social-emotional learning to high school students in Summit County and neighboring communities, $1,000
- Limitless Ambition, to provide girls in Summit County, especially those recovering from trauma or living in foster care, with "Dream Kit" care packages, $2,000
- Live Inspired, to provide early learning specialists for children and parents in Medina County, $2,000
- Kenmore Wrestling Club, to support the 2023-24 season of the Kenmore Wrestling Club, $2,000
- Rape Crisis Center, to furnish the youth therapy room and to secure supplies and equipment for therapy sessions, $2,000
- Red Oak Behavioral Health, to provide mental health treatment to underinsured and uninsured children in Greater Akron, $2,000
- RePlay for Kids, to support a partnership with Litchfield CLC that will educate middle school students about nonprofit careers and STEM fields, $2,000
- South Street Ministries, to provide after-school programs for youth in Summit Lake and South Akron, $2,000
- Stewart's Caring Place, to provide support services for children and teens experiencing cancer, $2,000
- Students With a Goal (SWAG), to support personalized academic mentoring services for middle and high school students at Summit Lake Community Center, $2,000
- United Disability Services, to support the early childhood development resource center, $1,000
- Victim Assistance Program, to support the Children Who Witness Violence Drop-In Center and to provide free child care for families during court proceedings, $2,000
- Victory Gallop, to support a winter fitness program for children with special needs, $2,000
- Wayne Center for the Arts, to support family-friendly art workshops and studio sessions taught by an art instructor, $1,250
- Weathervane Playhouse, to provide theater class scholarships for students in need, $2,000
- The Well CDC, to provide year-round holistic support services for families, students and staff at Mason CLC, $2,000
About the Millennium Fund for Children
The Millennium Fund for Children is a permanent endowment that was founded in 1999 as a partnership between Akron Community Foundation and the Akron Beacon Journal. It supports arts, civic, education, and health and human services programs for children living in the Akron Beacon Journal/Beaconjournal.com's audience coverage area. Its mission is to make grants where even a small amount can make a difference. Since its establishment, the Millennium Fund has grown to $1.2 million and awarded more than $1 million in grants. Last year, contributions totaling nearly $40,000 from nearly 150 generous donors added to the fund. For more information, or to contribute to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit akroncf.org/Millennium or call 330-376-8522.
About Akron Community Foundation
For 68 years, Akron Community Foundation has been our community's champion and generator of enduring philanthropy. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of $260 million with a growing family of nearly 860 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 more than $231 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 akroncf.org.