2024 Community Grant Awards
The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) is pleased to announce it will award grants amounting to more than $918,000 to support 56 critical nonprofit programs and services in the new year. Since 1997, community partners, most notably the Masters Tournament, have contributed to the Community Grants Fund, supporting the Foundation in investing more than $12.9 million back into the community.
Today, we are celebrating our signature grantmaking effort – the Community Grants Program – which provides up to $15,000 to nonprofit organizations whose programs and services directly benefit individuals living in Burke, Columbia, McDuffie and Richmond counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina. This program is designed to respond to the changing needs of our community through an open application process, while also empowering a large group of community volunteers who make decisions regarding which applications should receive funding. Grants are awarded to a wide range of local organizations and programs supporting arts, culture and history, health and the environment, enrichment and educational opportunities for disadvantaged children, youth and adults, and services for people in need. This year’s Community Grants recipients will receive more than $638,000.
In addition, the Community Foundation for the CSRA is pleased to announce the continued funding of our Literacy Initiative. Now in its fifth year, this program has significantly improved literacy outcomes in our targeted schools in the urban core. Ten partner agencies will receive $280,000 over the 2024-25 school year to support this outstanding effort.
The 2024 Community Grant Award recipients are as follows:
100 Black Men of Augusta, Inc. – $13,500
The mission of the 100 Black Men of Augusta, Inc. is to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. 100 Black Men of America, Inc. implements STEAM and robotics programs intended to create opportunities for African American children to gain exposure to and consider STEAM careers. Funds will be used to purchase kits and program software for participants to gain skills needed for careers in computer programming, robotics and culinary arts.
Aiken Technical College Foundation – $13,500
Aiken Technical College Foundation provides support to meet the needs of the students and the college. Aiken Technical College (ATC) is establishing a student-centered food pantry on campus in partnership with Golden Harvest Food Bank to provide free, nutritious meals and essential food items to students. Funds will be used to equip and stock the ATC food pantry space and will serve as a crucial resource to ensure that no student goes hungry while pursuing their education in Aiken County.
Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta – $15,000
The mission of the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta is to provide a venue to showcase and promote the arts and history of our region. They assist in the preservation of local historical materials and seek to increase awareness of the arts and history by providing educational opportunities for citizens of all ages and cultural backgrounds. This grant will provide community arts events, educational lectures, art classes and general support to promote our area’s vibrant arts community and showcase the rich heritage of our area.
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, Inc. – $15,000
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, Inc. supports the work of the Augusta Canal Authority providing for the preservation, education, conservation, recreation and economic development activities that protect over 2,000 acres and 25 miles of land and water trails. The park ranger has constructed an operational turbine that visitors can use to see how the water in the canal spins the turbines to generate electricity. This grant will be used to provide a public, hands-on, interactive hydropower display for all visitors to experience the wonder of creating electricity.
Augusta Jewish Museum, Inc. – $13,500
The Augusta Jewish Museum (AJM) is a center for learning that collects, preserves and interprets the rich evidence of the Jewish experience in Augusta and will educate, challenge and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds. AJM will rejuvenate and erect a Holocaust Memorial, which will include a monument that honors the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust. AJM will also design a garden of reflection that provides museum guests and the general public a place to reflect on the tumultuous history of the Jewish people, learn from this history and be inspired for personal growth. Funding will offset costs associated with the Holocaust Memorial.
Augusta Locally Grown – $15,000
Augusta Locally Grown is dedicated to growing the local foods community throughout the CSRA. They are committed to the idea that a community is healthiest when it feeds itself, which they accomplish through farmers markets and educational programming. This grant will offset costs associated with increasing the number of classes offered, where participants learn healthy methods for fresh food preparation, to implement healthy eating habits and break generational cycles of diet-related diseases.
Augusta Mini Theatre, Inc. – $13,500
Augusta Mini Theatre (AMT) aspires to enrich the educational and ethical development of local youth by fostering critical thinking, social consciousness and personal development through affordable fine arts instruction, performances and workshops. The instruction provided at AMT is infused with life skills training which includes important social-emotional skills like determination, dependability, accepting critique, positive risk-taking and the importance of education. Funding will support program expenses to ensure artistic instruction is accessible for all area youth (grades 1-12) regardless of talent, ability to pay, academic standing or residence.
Augusta Symphony, Inc. – $13,500
The mission of the Augusta Symphony is “to share the joy of great musical performance with their community – together, we are music.” The Augusta Symphony serves as the premier professional orchestra for Augusta’s River Region in Georgia and South Carolina. This grant will be used to support the commissioning and premieres of new orchestral works throughout its Symphony Series, the presentation of its free Children’s Discovery Concert and to support the Symphony’s overall artistic operating expenses.
Barefoot Productions, Inc. – $13,500
Barefoot Productions, Inc., also known as Creative Impressions, is a community arts organization dedicated to the empowerment of youth through quality choral programming, civic engagement and cultural experiences. They strive to empower youth ages 8-18 from low to moderate-income households that may not otherwise have access to explore their innate creativity. Funding will play a vital role in enhancing the organization’s resources, offering scholarships to students, enabling professional growth for instructors and supporting outreach programs that reach a wider community.
Broad Street Ministry Center – $13,500
Broad Street Ministry Center provides opportunities for groups and individuals to serve in local missions by meeting the needs of others in the community through the food pantry and other programs. They hope that providing these basic needs will help families put their money towards other expenses and help them find other resources to assist them with their needs. This grant will be used to purchase food and hygiene items from local stores and Golden Harvest to help meet the needs of the community.
Cancer Support Services – $15,000
The mission of Cancer Support Services (formerly The Lydia Project) is to provide cancer patients with support for their financial and emotional needs, including lodging and transportation services, to facilitate their treatment and healing. Routinely, decisions are made for same-day care for oncology patients needing lodging near cancer treatment, transport to appointments, prescriptions, medical supplies, utility assistance and diverse encouraging services. Funding will provide patients with transportation to oncology appointments to reduce geographical barriers to getting or starting cancer treatment.
Catholic Charities of South Carolina, Inc. – $15,000
Catholic Charities of South Carolina’s food assistance program supports individuals and households experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity and the lack of access to affordable nutritious food are associated with increased risk for multiple chronic health conditions and diseases. Funding will be used to repair and upgrade the food pantry and purchase nutritious foods to better serve the community.
Challenge Preparatory Academy – $13,500
Challenge Preparatory Academy operates to meet the growing academic needs of parents seeking a school option for economically disadvantaged students. Through the academic program, they seek to meet the needs of the whole child through the Parent and Student Success (PASS) Program, an approach designed to meet the students’ academic needs while in school, as well as provide parental support for family unity and economic empowerment. These funds will finance scholarships for students in low-income families.
Child Enrichment, Inc. – $13,500
Child Enrichment’s mission is to provide and coordinate comprehensive intervention, stabilization, advocacy, and prevention in the best interests of abandoned, abused, neglected, sexually abused and sex-trafficked children. Annually, Child Enrichment provides a voice and a path forward for over 1,200 local children. Funding will allow Child Enrichment to continue to provide necessary services to local children, train community members in evidence-based child abuse prevention and partner with other child-serving agencies and school systems. This will allow Child Enrichment to keep more children safe and reduce the number of children who need help.
Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County – $13,500
The Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County (CMAC) is dedicated to improving the quality of life of those in Aiken County without access to medical care by providing ongoing healthcare and guidance in a professional setting. The Pharmacy Program provides access to an in-house pharmacy that provides free medications, individualized one-on-one pharmacist consultations, medication education and medication management assistance for CMCAC patients. This grant will pay for essential pharmacy management software, medications not provided by other programs, a new pharmacy refrigerator and an annual membership to the Dispensary of Hope, which provides unlimited access to insulin, antibiotics and other non-narcotic medications essential to managing different chronic diseases.
Cooper Ridge, Inc. – $10,800
The mission of Cooper Ridge Farm is to connect, nurture and heal people with disabilities through the powerful human-animal bond. Utilizing Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), Cooper Ridge provides developmental, educational and emotional support through structured farm activities to improve the mental, physical and emotional well-being of participants. Grant funds will be used to offset costs associated with providing individualized AAT services not covered by insurance, professional training and therapy materials.
Family Counseling Center of the CSRA, Inc. – $15,000
The Family Counseling Center of the CSRA (FCC) provides access to comprehensive mental health care to anyone in the community, regardless of their ability to pay. They offer holistic, community-oriented and trauma-informed services to improve the overall health and wellness of the community. FCC is working to bridge the gap for residents of the CSRA who are living in poverty and are unable to afford the cost of care. Funds will be used to ensure that no one is turned away from the care that they need for their mental health.
Fighting to Win, Inc. – $15,000
Better known as Day One Fitness, their goal is to help improve the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, other Dementias, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Multiple Sclerosis, post stroke recovery and other neurological conditions. They partner with those fighting neurological conditions by equipping, challenging and empowering individuals to lead their best life possible. This grant will be used to provide instructor support for programs, as well as costs associated with continuing education for the specialized training required when working with the populations served.
Foundation of Wesley Woods, Inc. – $13,500
The mission of Wesley Woods is to create communities of connection, well-being and promise for older adults. This begins with enabling residents to live independently longer, delaying or eliminating the need for them to move to higher, more restrictive and more expensive levels of care. The St. John Towers wellness nurse enables older adult residents to maximize their health outcomes by providing them with health monitoring, education about chronic diseases, help with medication management and strategies for decreasing falls. Funds will be used to help pay the contract fee for the wellness nurse, giving low-income senior residents a consistent source of healthcare guidance.
Georgia Justice Project – $15,000
Georgia Justice Project (GJP) strengthens the community by demonstrating a better way to represent and support individuals in the criminal justice system and reduce barriers to reentry. Through the Second Chance record-clearing desk, GJP will be able to serve 135 to 165 residents of Richmond and Burke Counties who are facing barriers to employment, housing and educational opportunities due to a criminal history. This grant will be used to offset costs associated with establishing and operating the Second Chance desk to help reduce poverty, improve economic outcomes and increase the wealth-building potential of Augusta residents with a criminal history.
Georgia Society to Prevent Blindness – $15,000
Also known as Prevent Blindness Georgia, the Georgia Society to Prevent Blindness serves Georgians and their communities who are facing barriers to accessing quality eye health and vision care. The Star Pupil Circle of Vision Care Initiative provides certified vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, prescription eyeglasses and referrals to eye care professionals for vision disorders/conditions at no cost to families for children in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades at the following elementary schools: Tobacco Road, Diamond Lakes, A. Brian Merry, W.S. Hornsby, Lake Forest Hill, and Lamar-Milledge. This grant will provide services during regular school hours to reduce placing any undue burden on families and will prevent any children from falling through the cracks.
Golden Harvest Food Bank, Inc. – $13,400
Golden Harvest Food Bank’s mission is to transform lives by feeding our hungry neighbors today and building a healthy, hunger-free tomorrow. Hunger is a reality for more than 11,800 children in Richmond County. Golden Harvest Food Bank provides hungry children with a “BackPack” – a 3.5-pound pack of easy open, child-friendly food on Friday afternoon before they go home for the weekend. Funding will provide 118 children with BackPacks each weekend for one 18-week spring semester.
Great Oak Equine Assisted Program – $14,000
Great Oak Equine Assisted Program provides equine-assisted activities that promote the physical, emotional and psychological health of individuals with disabilities. Programs change lives and foster unbridled personal growth, independence and confidence for students ranging in age from four years to seniors. Those served have a range of physical, intellectual and emotional challenges including Autism Spectrum, Cerebral Palsy, Anxiety, PTSD, stroke recovery, and intellectual disability. This grant will fund the purchase of an all-terrain wheelchair to broaden the ability of the students who use a wheelchair to experience groundwork with the horses as well as engage with nature through outdoor activities.
Harrisburg Family Health Care, Inc. – $13,500
The mission of Harrisburg Family Health Care (HFHC) is to honor individuals and families by providing holistic health care and promoting optimal wellness by connecting them to needed resources. HFHC will implement a monthly Lunch, Learn and Laugh Initiative for 40 Residents living in seven downtown Augusta Senior Public Housing Units, where speakers will present on various health-related topics. Funds will be used to provide warm meals and small prizes or gift certificates for participants and offset costs for the Community Health Worker who will develop relationships with the participants so they can better understand and address their medical, emotional or physical needs.
Hope House, Inc. – $15,000
Hope House strives to instill self-sufficiency in individuals and families through comprehensive treatment to end the cycle of substance misuse, untreated mental illness and poverty. Research shows that children of parents who misuse drugs are at a higher risk than their peers for depression, delinquency, poor school performance and alcohol and drug use. Funds will offset costs for the Therapeutic Childcare Program, which aims to address the unique needs of these children.
Kids Restart, Inc. – $15,000
The mission of Kids Restart, Inc. is that “Every child will be secure from abuse and neglect and will become a healthy, self-sustaining citizen within a nurturing, caring home environment.” Services are designed to help children remain bonded with their parents, teach parents how to positively interact with their children, learn non-harmful discipline techniques, provide children a safe place to thrive and help parents remain drug and alcohol-free. The grant will cover costs associated with the provision of supervised visitation, parenting classes, drug screens, behavior management classes, life skill classes and support groups and classes that increase the parents’ skills and help with the overall family bond.
MACH Academy, Inc. – $15,000
MACH Academy uses tennis and education sessions as tools to promote character and offer opportunities for young people to become successful adults. They believe that mentoring and encouragement of the youth they serve will help them to become better people, look to help others and ultimately help them stay on course for a better life for themselves. This grant will provide tuition assistance and program scholarships to ensure the inclusion of all participants and support efforts to provide quality programming to youth through recreational tennis and fitness training, competitive tennis and development, computer coding and information technology, STEAM events and other educational enrichment activities.
Miracle Making Ministries, Inc. – $15,000
Miracle Making Ministries’ (MMM) mission is to be “a vehicle” that moves people from their desire – to volunteer, serve, and give back to the community – to an actual person or place in the inner city. Miracle Making Ministries Emergency Financial Assistance program provides relief for residents of the CSRA whose incomes fall below the poverty line and who find themselves unable to pay rent and facing eviction, potentially having electricity turned off, or going without food. Funding will help to cover one or more of these needs for 690 households.
Murphy-Harpst Children’s Centers, Inc. – $13,500
Murphy-Harpst Children’s Centers provide a safe and nurturing environment where severely abused and neglected children and teenagers can thrive and heal. The Evolve Project is a new, community-based replicable model of care to provide safety, security and evidenced-based therapeutic services for the hardest-to-serve children in state custody. The program aims to stabilize children’s behaviors and transition them to a lower level of care in the local community. This grant will help provide clinical services, clothing, furniture and recreational outings for children at two Augusta Evolve Project sites.
New Bethlehem Community Center, Inc. – $15,000
New Bethlehem Community Center (NBCC) meets the growing demands of the aging population, ensuring seniors remain connected, nourished and cognitively stimulated so they can age gracefully in place. Through the Senior Citizens program, individuals have the opportunity to create friendships while enjoying guest speakers, crafts, stimulating games and educational opportunities in addition to a hot meal twice per week. These funds will offset costs associated with programs and services to at-risk and underserved senior residents in the Bethlehem community.
Phinizy Center for Water Sciences – $13,500
Phinizy Center for Water Sciences’ mission is to provide leadership for sustainable watersheds and economic vitality through research, education and by connecting people with nature. At Phinizy Center’s Nature Park, visitors can connect with nature 365 days a year without an admission charge. This grant will provide a new information kiosk to encourage more outdoor recreation time for local youth and families and create a welcoming environment for visitors. It will provide updated information, available activities and programs and important safety messages that will lead to better health and a stronger connection to nature in our community.
ReNforce – $13,500
ReNforce assists system-impacted individuals in successfully reentering the community and the workforce through training, coaching and professional development. In addition, the agency engages employers willing to learn about the benefits of hiring qualified job candidates with convictions on their records. This grant will offset costs associated with a wide range of support services aimed at helping residents heal from trauma, achieve self-sufficiency and thrive in their new lives, including securing and maintaining career-track employment.
ReStart Augusta, Inc. – $13,500
ReStart Augusta provides beds to facilitate good sleep that improves individual learning ability, job productivity and long-term health helping to break the generational cycle of poverty. Through partnering with other social service organizations who can identify and help vet the clients, they build and deliver beds to low-income households who do not have beds and cannot afford them. The grant will purchase lumber, hardware, paint, mattresses and bedding for 250 beds, built and delivered directly to clients by the all-volunteer team.
RISE Augusta – $15,000
RISE Augusta believes in the potential of all children to rise above adversity, stay in school and achieve in life. RISE Augusta strives to create a culture of success and expectation that every student – no matter the personal circumstance – deserves the opportunity to be engaged, motivated and prepared to have a viable 21st century career path. With multiple programs including tutoring remediation and workforce development, RISE is centrally located at the HUB for Community Innovation Augusta and provides services inside the school building during the school day. Funds will help expand the tutoring and remediation services to additional schools in the Richmond County School District.
SafeHomes of Augusta, Inc. – $10,800
The mission of SafeHomes is to transform victims of domestic violence into survivors. They strongly believe that effective counseling services can help survivors of domestic violence heal from current and past traumas and prevent future victimization. This grant will fund the telehealth program which reduces barriers for those who do not have their own transportation, readily available childcare or are experiencing serious health issues that make it difficult for them to attend counseling in person. Additionally, it will support the daily operation and provision of high-quality services of the Counseling Program, which is essential in creating a community of professionals and peers that improves the survivors’ stability and engagement with services.
Savannah River Academy – $12,600
The mission of Savannah River Academy (SRA) is to provide a unique educational experience that is tailored for each individual student to succeed in life. The Successfully Orchestrating Amazing Readers (SOAR) Dyslexia Program provides appropriate, research-based multisensory instruction to help students with learning disabilities improve their reading and spelling abilities so that they can function independently in the classroom. Funds will allow two SRA dyslexia specialists to orient and certify three RISE Augusta tutors in the Barton Method of dyslexia instruction so that students attending Richmond County schools can benefit from these interventions.
Successteam – $15,000
Successteam has created a safe space for youth to become leaders with principles, direction and an optimistic outlook on life. They aim to help youth overcome hurdles such as depression, financial disadvantages, first-generation confusion and lack of exposure. Through Successteam’s Youth Council, the organization continuously provides mentorship and outreach geared toward Career Readiness, College Prep, Soft Skill Development, Community Service and Leadership Development for youth ages 14-18 impacting area students in grades 9-12. Funds will be used to offset program costs to continue providing comprehensive support services to youth who aspire to exercise leadership skills toward their desired outcomes and goals.
The Augusta Players – $15,000
The Augusta Players’ summer arts camp, Camp Wonderland, is designed specifically for the unique needs of children ages 7-21 who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Programming offers children an outlet of expression on their terms by offering an enriching, sensory-friendly theatre experience through music, movement, art and drama. This grant will support tuition assistance, student camp materials, and staff stipends for The Augusta Players Camp Wonderland for Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, allowing these young people to explore their gifts, meet friends and most importantly, improve their communication, social and behavioral skills.
The Center for New Beginnings – $13,500
The Center for New Beginnings (CFNB), a behavioral therapy provider based in Waynesboro, offers healing and hope to children and young adults with developmental delays like autism. Behavioral therapy is proven to make a significant difference in the quality of life for children and families facing the world of autism. By providing a variety of services at a significantly reduced cost, they make therapy both possible and accessible. Funding will allow CFNB to continue providing direct therapy services by offsetting costs for families who cannot afford ongoing treatment for their child.
The Jessye Norman School of the Arts – $15,000
The Mission of The Jessye Norman School of the Arts is to improve the quality of life for the communities they serve through the transformative power of the arts. The broad-ranged fine arts program challenges students academically, integrates technology, critical thinking and responsibility and lays the foundation for extraordinary life experiences. Funds will support the after-school arts program and two summer arts camps where children will receive professional quality fine arts instruction, regardless of their economic or societal circumstances.
The Jo-Nathan Foundation – $13,500
The Jo-Nathan Foundation focuses on empowering the youth through dedicated investments in education, experiences and exposure. The Be the Change Leadership Camp curriculum focuses on cultivating critical thinking skills, leadership abilities, healthy living, outdoor exploration, nurturing team building and communication skills. This grant will provide funding for camp essentials and instructors that support the healthy living theme. Additionally, funds will support financially disadvantaged campers to partake in the camp at no financial burden.
The Mosaic Center – $8,800
The Mosaic Center’s LIFE (Learning, Independence, Fun, Employment) on the Spectrum is a social group for young adults with developmental delays and disabilities, run almost entirely by volunteers and in partnership with Easterseals East GA. The group meets twice a month, first for a community outing, such as bowling, watching a play or horse riding. Then, on the last Friday of every month, a free dinner and activities are provided at The Mosaic Center. This grant will be used to offset costs associated with community outings as well as provide meals and supplies for monthly meetups ensuring participation is completely free for the young adults and their caregivers.
The RECing Crew – $15,000
The RECing Crew’s programs focus on providing leisure and recreation choices for individuals within the community with visual, hearing, intellectual and/or physical disabilities. The AlleyCats program, an adaptive bowling program for those 6 years of age and older, is structured for individual ability levels and encourages the development of skills as well as personal enjoyment. Grant funds will be applied towards bowling alley fees to make the program accessible and affordable for all individuals, regardless of income.
The Salvation Army Augusta Area Command – $11,520
The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope homeless shelter provides shelter and daily meals to the homeless community. Services are given freely to alleviate the immediate needs of the homeless and low-income, to enable them to focus on long-term goals of housing stability. Funds will be used to update and modify security features at the shelter and improve the functionality and safety of the clients and staff.
University of South Carolina Aiken – $15,000
The University of South Carolina Aiken’s Pacer LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) is a two-year, postsecondary program on USC Aiken’s campus that helps college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities develop the skills needed to attain and maintain employment and live independently. Students complete both USC Aiken and Pacer LIFE coursework to gain academic knowledge through college studies. Funding will support program expenses to help bridge the gap for students and provide them with the skills and opportunities to make their dreams a reality.
Veterans K9 Solutions – $13,500
Veterans K9 Solutions brings canine and disabled veterans together in five counties in and around Augusta, GA, with the simple goal: rehabilitate a canine to rehabilitate a veteran. Training disabled veterans to rehabilitate rescued shelter dogs enables the dog to bond emotionally and physically with the veteran. This grant will support the Service Dog Training program where veterans suffering from service-related trauma and rescued canines become a team.