CFBMC and Smithville Charitable Foundation announce 2015 grant recipients

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County is celebrating its 25th year serving Bloomington and Monroe County.  Over the past 25 years, the Community Foundation has put nearly $22 million back into the community in the form of grants to support a diverse set of needs and opportunities.

On Monday, the Community Foundation, in partnership with the Smithville Charitable Foundation, announced the recipients of the 2015 Community Impact Grants.  Twelve agencies were awarded grants from an original field of 48 applicants.  Grants range in size from $10,000 to $40,210 for a total of $319,991.    Community Impact Grants focus on funding charitable efforts that have the potential for encouraging change and creating solutions to the issues that impact our community.   Requests that include innovation, collaboration, and capacity building receive priority in the evaluation process.  This year represents the fourth year that Smithville Charitable Foundation joined the Community Foundation in funding the Community Impact Grants Initiative.
Grants include:

Area 10 Agency of Aging

The Mobility Management Project will support the continuation of the New Freedom Taxi Voucher Program, development of a volunteer driver program and the creation of educational materials and support for riders who need assistance understanding their transportation options.

Bloomington Economic Development Corporation

The Bloomington Code School was established in 2014 by the Bloomington Technology Partnership with a goal of rapidly upskilling the existing workforce to meet the needs of local tech companies.  With assistance from the Community Foundation and in partnership with CFC Properties, Smithville Communications, and Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington Code School has trained over 60 Monroe County residents in web design and web development, PHP development and Rails development.  Grant funds will support a part-time coordinator to continue the program and to define a sustainability plan.

Bloomington Hospital Foundation

IU Health-Bloomington, in partnership with IU School of Public Health, and community partners MCCSC, Premier Healthcare, and Bloomington Hospital Foundation, will launch a Coordinated School Health Program, a comprehensive model that connects physical, emotional, and social health with education.

Catholic Charities of Bloomington

To better provide mental health services to very young children (0-8 years) and their families, Catholic Charities Bloomington will upgrade and expand its Non-Directive Play Therapy services, which will provide early intervention to children who have experienced trauma.  This project will provide professional training and ongoing supervision to CCB staff in an effort to shorten the wait time for young children and their families in need of services.

Community Kitchen of Monroe County

Community Kitchen will replace its 16 year old cargo van.  This vehicle replacement allows for food transport during the summer and for the acquisition of large quantities of food in a dependable vehicle with much improved gas mileage.

Girls Inc.

Girls, Inc. is replacing a worn out bus with a “new” used bus, enabling more girls than ever before to participate in after-school programming and summer camps.  Transportation assistance is critical in a community that spans many low-income neighborhoods.

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The Graduation Coach Initiative, using the Check and Connect training model, helps at-risk youth in Monroe County stay in school and graduate.  In the seven years since the program began, high school graduation rates in Monroe County have risen over 10 percentage points from 80.53% in 2007 to 94.90% in 2013.  Funding will support the graduation coaches and Check and Connect training for area youth workers and school counselors.  By connecting at-risk youth to a trained advocate and mentor, the Graduation Coach Initiative provides critical one-on-one time to students that need it most.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech-Bloomington will expand its successful Arts Infused Preschool (AIP) to Highland Park Elementary School’s Title 1 preschool classroom.

Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, Inc.

Lotus will upgrade their administrative facilities and achieve a long-time strategic goal to become a more effective partner, and provide a year-round base for innovative, mission-driven programs.

New Hope Family Shelter, Inc.

The New Hope Early Childhood Center will establish a high-quality care and education program for children experiencing poverty in Bloomington and Monroe County.  By meeting low-income families’ needs for excellent, reliable, affordable childcare, the program will allow families a greater chance of attaining and sustaining employment or pursuing educational opportunities to the end of achieving lasting stability, and ensuring children enter school equipped for early success.

South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP)

SCCAP Thriving Connections (formerly Circles Initiative) will offer its first sustainable employment cohort for a group of highly motivated people striving to overcome poverty.  Participants will learn invaluable skills such as workplace communication and etiquette, goal setting and resume writing.  The children of participants will receive financial literacy and life skills education from staff, volunteers, partner agencies and peers.

Sycamore Land Trust

Sycamore’s project will protect a high-quality 30-acre nature preserve within the newly created Bean Blossom Conservation Area here in Monroe County.  This parcel will be part of a larger effort to connect already protected natural areas between Lake Lemon, Griffy Lake, and the White River in order to provide landscape-scale conservation benefits-significant habitat for the area’s biodiversity, clean air and water through the filtration of our storm water and pollution, and enhanced quality of life from scenic beauty and outdoor recreation.   This grant will leverage matching funds from the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.

About the Community Foundation:  Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation has granted $21 million to more than 380 local nonprofit organizations.  Our $26 million endowment is growing and so is the difference we make by connecting caring people, important causes and community resources.

About the Smithville Charitable Foundation:  Inspired by altruism, the Foundation’s main goal is to enrich the lives of those around them by creating opportunities and bringing necessities to communities in its areas of service.  As a private foundation, they work closely with community foundations in surrounding counties and support a variety of causes related to religion, education, health, relief of poverty or distress, and various public organizations.