Akron Community Foundation announces record $8.5 million in Grants
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Exciting News! Akron Community Foundation Grant

Exciting News! Akron Community Foundation Grant

Akron Community Foundation announces record $8.5 million in quarterly grants

Competitive grants support health and human services needs in Summit County 

AKRON, Ohio (Dec. 4, 2020) Today, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved a record amount of quarterly grants totaling $8,579,481, including $594,500 in competitive health and human services grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee, as well as two off-cycle education and arts and culture grants. 

This quarter’s health and human services funding included a $6,000 grant to Empower Her Network (EHN)to provide support and empowerment for Akron survivors of human traffickingEHN works with survivors of human trafficking by removing housing barriers, providing financing education, and uncovering employment opportunities. The organization has nine locations across the United States, including Northeast Ohio.

The Polaris Projects U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline saw 22,326 individual human trafficking victims in 2019, a nearly 20% increase compared to 2018. The majority of these individuals are minors and immigrants. In Ohio alone, nearly 900 victims and more than 170 traffickers were identified. Though the hotline received more calls, texts and other contacts in 2019 compared to any other year of recorded data, unfortunately many cases of human trafficking go unreported.

“Survivors of human trafficking in Akron need people and organizations to invest in removing obstacles that shouldn’t be there in the first place, so survivors can accomplish their goals and be on their own,” said Kristy Norbert, co-founder and executive director of EHN. With EHN and Akron Community Foundation collaborating, we will be able to break generational cycles of poverty and exploitation for survivors in the Akron community.”

In addition, Akron Community Foundation’s board approved a $12,500 grant to support Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy to expand food access programs at Summit County farmers markets and help alleviate increased food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our mission is to build a vibrant food community by connecting people, food and land. That means all people, said Tracy Emrick, CEO of Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy. “Never in our society should ensuring health and dignity be defined by someone’s financial capacity. Our programs are empowering families who want to choose fresh, healthy food. The rate of poverty and hunger in our community is staggering and now with COVID-19, it’s even more devastating. The demand for assistance programs like ours is growing significantly, and Akron Community Foundation’s grant means that Countryside can reach more people in need.  We will continue to do all we can to serve our community until lasting change arrives.”

An additional $37,000 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, Rita & David George Family Fund, Eleanor and Roger Lindway Family Fund, Summit Portage Area Health Education Fund, and The Alan and Janice Woll Family Fund.

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

A Kid Again Northern Ohio, to offer destination adventures for families of children with life-threatening illnesses, $5,500

ACCESSto provide services to women facing homelessness, including short-term secure housing, case management, health counseling and job readiness training$21,500

Akron Art Museum, to enrich lives through modern and contemporary art, $22,500 (off-cycle arts and culture grant)

Akron Blind Centerto offer programs, resources and classes for blind and visually impaired individuals in Summit County, including Braille, computer literacy, physical fitness, crafts and volunteerism, $9,000

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbankto support food distribution in Summit County, as well as the 2021 Feeding Kids Initiative, a backpack and afterschool snack program for local children, $41,500

Akron Children’s Hospital, to expand the Reach Out and Read program to focus on infants and children with autism, ADHD, developmental delays, anxiety, behavior problems, and spina bifida, $7,500

Akron Public Schools, to support the hiring of a staff member who will work with area nonprofits to provide career exploration and service-learning opportunities for middle school students, $25,000 (off-cycle education grant)

American Red Cross of Summit & Portage Counties, to support disaster preparednessresponse and recovery services in Summit County$15,000

Autism Society of Greater Akron, to support children and adults on the autism spectrum, $5,500

Battered Women’s Shelterto support crisis intervention services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, $35,000

Birthing Beautiful Communities, to address and improve the systemic and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes through education, advocacy, support programs and community engagement, $3,500

Bobby Tripodi Foundationto provide specialized bereavement support groups and grief therapy for those in need, $1,000

Broken Chains Jail & Prison Ministryto support mentoring and workforce development programs for former offenders in Summit County to help eliminate barriers that lead to recidivism$10,000

Caring Hands Charity, to provide hot meals to vulnerable individuals living in Summit County, $2,500

Catholic Charities of Summit Countyto support the 2021 Emergency Assistance Program, which offers rent and utility assistance to residents in need$15,000

Celiac and Allergy Friendly Food Initiativeto support a food pantry serving allergy-friendly food to low-income families, $2,500

Chair-ity, Incto provide furniture and household goods to young adults who have aged out of foster care systems in Summit County, $7,500

Christ Child Society of Akronto provide clothing for low-income students, $10,500

Cleveland Clinic Akron Generalto support training to mitigate unconscious bias towards patients living in generational poverty$2,000

Community Legal Aid Servicesto support the HEAL project, a medical-legal partnership that represents patients and families when issues like education, housing and public benefits threaten their health$25,000

CORE Furniture Bankto provide donated furniture to Summit County families in need$9,000

Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancyto expand food access programs at Summit County farmers markets and help alleviate food insecurity due to increased needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, $12,500

Embracing Futures, to provide orthodontic treatment for children in underserved families, $3,500

Empower Her Networkto provide support and empowerment for Akron survivors of human trafficking, $6,000

Family & Community Services, to address senior hunger in Summit County by providing homedelivered and congregate meals through the Mobile Meals program, $20,000 

Family Promise of Summit Countyto help homeless families with children remain together and achieve lasting independence, $9,000

First Glance Student Centerto support mentoring and outreach programs for at-risk teens in Kenmore, $8,500

Forget-Me-Not Baskets, to provide bereavement items for families who have experienced a loss during pregnancy or childbirth at Akron-area hospitals, $3,000

Freedom House for Womento 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, $9,000

Grace House Akronto support access to end-of-life care for low- to moderate-income residents in Greater Akron, $6,500

GriefCare Placeto provide free support group counseling and other programs for residents grieving the loss of a loved one, $2,500

Harmony Houseto provide housing and supportive services to homeless youth in Summit County, $5,500

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 Akrontprovide mental health services and case management for refugees and immigrants with significant barriers to economic and social stability, $15,000

Jewish Family Service of Akronto support the Happy, Healthy and At Home program, which offers case management, information referrals, counseling and other critical services for Summit County senior citizens, $10,000

Let’s Grow Akronto provide affordable and locally grown healthy food for low-income residents in Greater Akron’s urban areas$12,500

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

Open Arms Adoptionsto support Keeping Siblings Together by Adoptioncommunity outreach and education program to increase the rate of sibling group adoptions, $6,000 

OPEN Mto support the organization’s free clinics and pharmacies for uninsured and underserved residents of Summit County$18,000

Pegasus Farmto support rehabilitation, mental health services and additional therapy at the Military Family Center, $4,000

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohioto provide low-income women at the Akron Health Center with long-acting reversible contraception, $20,000

Prevent Blindness Ohio, to provide vision care for at-risk individuals in Summit County, $7,500

RAHAB Ministriesto support outreach, mentoring and safe housing for victims of human trafficking, $20,000

Red Oak Behavioral Health, to expand its mental health programs through family therapy, $5,000

Ronald McDonald House Akron, to provide a home away from home for families with children receiving care at Akron Children’s Hospital or nearby medical facilities, $10,000

Second Chance Villageto lease a rest center to provide food, support and hygiene needs for unhoused adults in East Akron, $2,500

Shelter Care, Inc.to support the Safe Landing Youth Shelter Program, providing immediate assistance to youth and families in a time of crisis to prevent involvement in the juvenile court system and youth homelessness$3,500

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

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 Initiativeto provide education, legal assistance, mentoring and other support services for fathers in Summit County who have previously been incarcerated or estranged from their children, $14,000

United Disability Servicesto 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 and Medina Counties 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, $18,500

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, $6,000

Whitehawk Ranch, to provide life-skills training to promote emotional resilience, heathy lifestyles and goal setting for homeless youth, $2,500

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

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 65 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 more than $235 million with a growing family of more than 690 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 $189 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.