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Vernon L. Odom Fund awards over $9,000 in annual grants

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Good Samaritan Hunger Center volunteers load food into a car in the North Hill community.
Funding from the Vernon L. Odom Fund will allow the Good Samaritan Hunger Center to continue their work to alleviate food insecurity in the North Hill community.

On Friday, March 4, the Vernon L. Odom Fund of Akron Community Foundation awarded $9,300 in grants to programs dedicated to enriching the quality of life among local minority communities.

One of this year's recipients is the Good Samaritan Hunger Center. A $900 grant will help the organization alleviate food insecurity in the North Hill community.

Other grants will help prepare students for higher education. The University of Akron Foundation's program will introduce Black middle school students to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). For older students, the Law and Leadership Institute prepares promising high schoolers with a four-year, tuition-free college preparatory program. Local children can also receive additional support outside of the classroom through an after-school soccer program from the Akron Inner City Soccer Club.

Other organizations, like Williams Challenge and Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio, will strengthen families through fatherhood education programs.

The following is a full list of the 10 organizations that received a grant from the Vernon L. Odom Fund:

  • Akron Civic Theatre, to support four free public performances of the Millennial Theatre Project’s Say It Loud, $500
  • Akron Inner City Soccer Club, to support an after-school soccer program for low-income families in Akron, $1,000
  • Akron Soul Train, for an artist-in-residence program featuring poet and performer Latecia Delores Wilson, $1,000
  • Fathers and Sons of Northeast Ohio, to fund fatherhood education programs that provide low-income, single fathers with the tools needed to become active, positive role models in their children's lives, $1,000
  • Good Samaritan Hunger Center, to alleviate food insecurity in the North Hill community, $900
  • Law and Leadership Institute, to support a tuition-free, four-year college preparatory program for promising high school students who are at risk of not graduating high school or attending college, $1,000
  • Limitless Ambition, to equip parents from low-income families with the tools needed to empower teens to thrive, $1,000
  • South Street Ministries, to assist and empower Black women to overcome obstacles to their re-entry in the community, $900
  • University of Akron Foundation, to support workshops through the National Society of Black Engineers that introduce Black middle school students to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, $1,000
  • Williams Challenge, to strengthen families by providing a six-week fatherhood mentoring program at no cost to approximately 90 low-income fathers, $1,000

About the Vernon L. Odom Fund
The Vernon L. Odom Fund was established in 1993 in honor of the late Vernon L. Odom Sr., respected longtime leader of the Akron Urban League. Since its inception, the fund has grown to more than $275,000 and awarded nearly $215,000 in grants to innovative programs that promote ethnic and racial harmony and improve the quality of life within Greater Akron’s minority communities. For more information about the Vernon L. Odom Fund or to contribute, visit www.akroncf.org/Odom or call 330-376-8522.

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 66 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. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $300 million with a growing family of more than 780 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 $206 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.

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