ACF funds award $1.74 million, concentrate on basic needs
Dec. 14 grant deadline set for early learning, education requests
AKRON — On Nov. 30, Akron Community Foundation’s (ACF) board approved $1.74 million in grants, including 203 grants totaling more than $1.33 million from designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds, and 30 grants totaling $408,000 from discretionary, or board-directed, funds.
The majority of discretionary funding targeted residents’ basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter and primary and preventive health care. Grants totaling $105,000 went to organizations that provide food to Summit County residents in need. A $50,000 grant to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank will support countywide hunger relief and enhance the capacity and coordination of related agencies in an effort to better serve the 240,000 Summit County residents who are facing food insecurity.
According to Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers, the goal is to identify new opportunities for efficiencies and collaboration.
“Akron Community Foundation was instrumental in the founding of the Foodbank, and it continues to play a vital strategic role in our vision of a thriving community — free of hunger and connected in a sustainable food system,” he said.
Another $60,000 went to support health services. A $10,000 grant to the Respecting Options of Care Collaborative aims to improve end-of-life care by encouraging residents to communicate and record their wishes before a health crisis occurs.
Skip Radwany, medical director of Summa Health System’s Palliative Care and Hospice Services, is a member of this community-wide collaborative of clergy, health professionals, hospitals and volunteers. He says such planning can prevent confusion and struggles among providers and family members.
“With advanced care planning, patients have confidence their wishes will be honored, and families have less stress and less complicated grief when faced with critical decisions,” he said. “It also builds better relationships between families and health care providers.”
The board also renewed the priority for ACF’s Dec. 14 grant-making deadline: educating and assisting in the development of young Summit County children. This is the fourth year the community foundation will prioritize funding for early childhood education programs. Previous grants helped propel First Things First, a countywide comprehensive care plan for children from birth to age 5.
The 30 board-directed grants totaling $408,000 were approved from the following field-of-interest and unrestricted funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in the community: the Adam Fund, V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund, C. Colmery Gibson Polsky Fund, Arthur Kelly Fund, William C. Krisher Fund, Helen S. Robertson Fund, Roush Memorial Fund, Sanatorium Contingent Fund, Shaw Foundation Fund, Emma Vioran Fund and the Community Fund.
The following is a list of the other discretionary grants awarded:
• ACCESS Inc., to shelter homeless women and children, $25,000;
• American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties, for medical appointment transportation services, $10,000;
• Battered Women’s Shelter, for general operating support, $25,000;
• Beacon Journal Charity Fund Inc., for oral health education for third-graders, $7,500;
• Bridges out of Poverty Summit County Collaborative, for the Getting Ahead program, in which individuals in poverty complete self-assessments, identify their goals and create a plan for moving into prosperity, $20,000;
• Catholic Charities Community Services Corp., for bilingual case management and advocacy services for Hispanic individuals in Summit County, $5,000;
• Christ Child Society of Akron, to purchase new school clothes for children from low-income families, $5,000;
• Community Legal Aid Services Inc., for the Health Education Advocacy and Law Project, which helps patients address nonmedical barriers to health, including economic instability and insecure housing, $8,000;
• Community Outreach Resources Exchange — CORE Furniture Bank, for the transport and handling of donated furniture, $5,000;
• Elves and More of Northeast Ohio, to purchase bicycles for children in low-income neighborhoods, $2,500;
• Family and Community Services of Portage County Inc., for the Senior Companion program, which provides socialization and daily living assistance to homebound senior citizens, $10,000;
• First Glance Student Center Inc., for the Teen Moms program, $10,000;
• Flashes of Hope Inc., to provide professional photography services for children with life-threatening illnesses, $3,000;
• Freedom House for Women Inc., for programming to prevent homelessness and preserve the family unit, $10,000;
• Friends of 91.3, for Rock + Recovery, a radio program that blends music therapy with supportive messaging for listeners recovering from chemical dependency, $10,000;
• H.M. Life Opportunity Services, to provide educational, developmental and social services to children transitioning from homelessness, $12,000;
• Info Line Inc., for the Summit County food pantry clearinghouse, $20,000;
• International Institute of Akron Inc., for a refugee volunteer coordinator, $18,000;
• Jewish Family Service of Akron, Ohio, for a counseling and care management program to help older adults remain independent, $5,000;
• Mental Health America of Summit County Inc., for the PEERS Project, which provides support to parents and caregivers of children with mental health diagnoses, $12,000;
• Mobile Meals Inc., for free and subsidized meals and medically prescribed supplements for children, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities, $35,000;
• National Society to Prevent Blindness Inc., to provide vision care for uninsured children and adults, $10,000;
• Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry, to provide free medical treatment to the uninsured working poor, $15,000;
• Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio (dba Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio), to help impoverished families prevent unplanned pregnancies through long-term, cost-effective contraceptives, $15,000;
• Rape Crisis Center, for general operating support, $10,000;
• United Disability Services Inc., to provide required match funding for federal funds targeting employment for individuals with severe disabilities, $15,000;
• Victim Assistance Program Inc., for victim advocacy services, $20,000; and
• Victory Gallop Inc., for the therapeutic horseback riding program, $5,000.
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