Community Foundation for the CSRA Announces Community Grants Award Recipients
Augusta, GA, December 17, 2020—
The Board of Directors of The Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) is pleased to announce the 2021 Community Grants Award recipients, comprised of 48 deserving area nonprofit agencies that will receive grants totaling more than $585,000. Each of these nonprofit agencies meets the pressing and evolving needs of our community and impacts the lives of the individuals they serve across education, youth enrichment, health, the environment, the arts, culture and history, as well as people in need. These grants are made available through the Foundation’s Community Grants Fund, which is primarily supported by the Masters Tournament. The Community Grants Fund is unrestricted, meaning the Foundation has great flexibility in awarding grants to address needs in Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie and Burke counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina.
This year’s Community Grants process included 159 dedicated community volunteers, who reviewed applications, conducted site visits and brought recommendations to the Grants Committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The volunteers ranked their reviewed organizations such that the top organization received full funding and the second organization received 70% of their grant request.
The Community Foundation for the CSRA is also pleased to announce the continuation of an initiative-based grant program, which began in January 2019. The Foundation’s Board of Directors has allocated $200,000 from our Community Grants Fund to address the challenges associated with literacy in the Harrisburg neighborhood. These dollars have been granted to eight local agencies providing literacy programming and wrap-around services to reduce barriers to learning from birth to adulthood.
In addition to the 2021 Community Grants Awards and the Literacy Initiative programs, the Community Foundation, in partnership with the United Way of the CSRA, launched the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund earlier this year. Since March 20, the fund has continued to provide assistance for immediate needs in our region. The Community Foundation and Augusta National Golf Club announced a $1 million joint contribution to the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund in March, and to date, over $1.75 million has been distributed to more than 60 local organizations, impacting the lives of over 86,000 families.
The targeted monies of this fund, along with funding provided through the 2021 Community Grants Award and Literacy Initiative, combine for a total investment of nearly $2.5 million in the community.
The 2021 Community Grant Award recipients are as follows:
100 Black Men of Augusta, Inc. – $15,000
100 Black Men of Augusta mentors primarily African-American children and youth from underserved communities. This grant will be used to relaunch the Robotics Program by purchasing laptops and robots to ensure that more African-American children are exposed to and consider STEM careers. Participants will learn various skills related to project management, data analysis and teamwork and will use these skills to build and program robots.
143 Ministries International, Inc. – $14,900
143 Ministries offers men’s and women’s addiction recovery/aftercare, employment opportunities and food distribution to the elderly, children and disabled veterans. These funds will be used to provide staff support for these programs, as well as costs associated with transportation, drug testing at intake for men’s and women’s recovery and randomly throughout the course of the year, laptops for the GED program and materials for the job placement program.
ACTS (Area Churches Together Serving) – $10,500
ACTS of Aiken provides services that meet the immediate and emergency needs of people living in poverty, the working poor and senior adults living on a fixed income. Funding will help grow the current programs (food, utility assistance medical assistance and discretionary programs) with a focus on the continued expansion of the food distribution programs and other services into rural, underserved areas of Aiken County that have high rates of individuals and families living below the poverty level.
Aiken Technical College Foundation – $10,500
The Aiken Technical College Foundation provides support to reach the needs of the students and the college. This grant will provide new equipment, resources and technology for the Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) makerspace and media room in the ATC Library. Virtual reality systems, laser cutting machines and media technologies will provide learners with a more seamless online learning experience, while enhancing virtual lab and other simulated educational experiences when in-person delivery is not an option.
Apparo Academy – $10,500
Apparo Academy assists children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, physiological disorders, muscular dystrophy, speech and language disorders and many other diagnoses. They use multiple therapy services to assist with language and motor development regardless of insurance payment or the family’s ability to pay. These funds will be used to offset costs of speech and language and physical and occupational therapy expenses following insurance billing to make services more affordable for families.
Augusta Dream Center – $15,000
The Augusta Dream Center provides emergency food assistance to low-income, homeless and under-resourced individuals and families. This grant will allow them to purchase a food truck to increase mobile food distribution and to pick up fresh produce and bread in large quantities. They will be able to decrease the number of families lacking access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
Augusta Jewish Museum, Inc. – $15,000
The Augusta Jewish Museum is a center for learning that collects, preserves and interprets the rich evidence of the Jewish experience in Augusta, GA, Aiken, SC, and the rest of the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) and inspires audiences of all ages, religions and backgrounds with displays and programming. It will be the first non-sectarian facility specifically dedicated to preserving and presenting the region’s unique Jewish heritage. These funds will be used to offset costs associated with opening the museum.
Augusta Rescue Mission – $8,400
For over 55 years, Augusta Rescue Mission has been a source of shelter for many homeless men, providing a safe haven while offering life skills classes, job skills programs and peace of mind as the men work to rebuild their lives. Funds will be used to create and establish a Computer Lab and Job Readiness Program within the Augusta Rescue Mission’s Residential Program to assist with basic computer skills, resume building, word processing, online navigating and employment training.
Augusta Symphony, Inc. – $15,000
Augusta Symphony’s mission is “to share the joy of great musical performance with our community – together we are music.” This grant will allow the symphony to continue to operate and carry out its 2020-21 season and impact the lives of the CSRA residents. It will also help the organization cover unanticipated costs to purchase protective equipment for its musicians, such as plexiglass shields, and preventive supplies for its venue, such as sanitizing stations and disinfecting materials. These additional measures also include AV/production equipment and streaming technology to safely and successfully produce its reimagined season.
Augusta Training Shop – $15,000
The Augusta Training Shop offers permanent, long-term employment for mentally and physically disabled adults who are taught to repair, strip and refinish furniture, re-cane chairs, polish metals and perform their work independently. The program introduces new skills, provides opportunities for innovation and puts employees in situations that are free of barriers and stigma. This grant will cover costs associated with program supplies and product expenses related to the Snowflake/Cross product line.
Child Enrichment, Inc. – $10,500
Child Enrichment’s Child Advocacy Center addresses the needs of sexually and severely physically abused children. It is the only resource in the service area that provides specialized therapy and services to abused children. Funds will be used for costs associated with providing individual and group counseling services, professional training and community education and awareness, therapy materials and forensic interview materials.
Chisholm Leadership Academy, Inc. – $8,400
Chisholm Leadership Academy cultivates a pipeline of middle and high school girls of color to become catalysts for change and to be inspired for bold careers in public service. This grant will be used to finance a culturally responsive civic education and public service training program for middle and high school girls of color in Richmond and Columbia counties.
Christ Community Health Services Augusta – $10,500
Christ Community Health Services (CCHS) provides affordable, quality primary health care to the underserved. Many patients require referrals for services outside of the scope of what is provided at CCHS, and the cost of needed diagnostic testing and specialist referrals is too high for patients to cover on their own. Funds will help the Specialty Referrals program serve at least 150 patients with urgently needed access to specialized medical services and diagnostic testing to best manage their unique care needs.
Communities In Schools of Augusta Richmond County, Inc. (CISARC) – $10,500
The mission of CISARC is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Funds will increase student technology access to learning and improve technological capabilities by providing hardware to students who do not have access to computers or internet modems to connect with school lessons and assignments, and to support supervisory staff.
Communities in Schools of Burke County – Family Connection, Inc. – $10,500
Communities in Schools of Burke County has a proven track record of providing tutoring, mentoring, teen pregnancy prevention and leadership training to youth. The LEGACY teens program teaches young people how to be leaders among their peers and to set a good example for younger students. Funds will help cover costs associated with providing leadership (LEGACY teens) and work skills training to the teen population.
E3 Foundation, Inc. – $10,500
E3 Foundation’s project, “Augusta’s Community Agenda,” will use some of Augusta’s most talented, emerging young leaders to seek solutions to ongoing problems in the community. With the input of government, community and religious leaders, they created a list of the community’s biggest problems to serve as a foundation for a community agenda. This grant will allow E3 to conduct research, consult experts and obtain periodicals, books and other supporting materials, giving the community a plan for improvement and development.
Family Connection of Columbia County, Inc. – $15,000
Family Connection of Columbia County provides after-school programs, drug prevention programs, homeless youth assistance programs and other classes through the juvenile court system. Their after-school program, The Dream Academy, helps students improve test scores, grades and reading level, while also helping them to overcome social anxiety, peer pressure and insecurities. Grant funds will help cover costs for materials and supplies, including PPE, for the after-school and summer programs.
Foundation for Public Schools in Edgefield County – $10,500
The Foundation for Public Schools in Edgefield County provides resources to improve and enhance the educational opportunities available to all Edgefield County students. FPSEC’s Teacher’s Vision Grants (TVG) program enhances the educational services offered within Edgefield County by providing funds for teachers to improve the classroom experience for students in K-12 grades. This grant will allow them to increase available funding for Edgefield County public school teachers.
Foundation of Wesley Woods – $15,000
The St. John Towers community of the Foundation of Wesley Woods provides safe, supportive housing for older adults in Georgia, regardless of income. Their approach focuses on integrated programs and activities directly related to overall social, mental, physical, emotional, environmental, spiritual and vocational well-being. This grant will provide support for the wellness program nurse who helps residents manage their health, reduce ER and doctor visit expenses for residents and allow them to maintain a healthier, independent lifestyle.
GAP Ministries of Augusta, Inc. – $15,000
GAP Ministries of Augusta addresses the needs of the homeless and working poor. Their core programs are designed to help people get through crisis and back on their feet, as well as those who are unable to work and need support for their daily lives. Funding will help clients obtain birth certificates and photo IDs or driver’s licenses, assist people with medications and health counseling, stock a food pantry that provides necessary items, including fresh fruit and vegetables and hygiene items, packets of diapers and storage bins for homeless persons.
Georgia Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, Inc. – $7,305
The Georgia Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities provides a wide range of career-focused High School High Tech (HSHT) activities and opportunities for high school students with disabilities to increase graduation rates and pursue post-secondary education. Funds will help cover costs associated with a College and Career Fair for students with disabilities.
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art – $15,000
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art’s mission is to provide opportunities for visual arts education and to develop visual arts awareness and appreciation throughout the greater Augusta community. This grant will help cover expenses associated with running the Institute and implement proper safety measures to protect staff and patrons from COVID-19.
Golden Harvest Food Bank, Inc. – $10,500
Golden Harvest Food Bank’s mission is feeding lives together. This grant will help feed hungry seniors by establishing a senior food pantry in three housing facilities for the elderly poor. These pantries will serve their communities by providing a consistent supply of accessible food where a large population of the elderly poor live.
Hands to Paws, Inc. – $15,000
Hands to Paws initiates and supports programs that extend and elevate the standards of compassionate care for companion animals in the CSRA. It provides educational programs and direct care services, as well as increases access to low-cost spay/neuter resources and the rescue, fostering and adoption of animals in need. This grant will cover costs associated with basic vaccinations, deworming and heartworm testing for pets of low-income and elderly animal owners.
Historic Augusta, Inc. – $10,500
The mission of Historic Augusta, Inc., is to preserve historically or architecturally significant sites in Augusta and Richmond County, Georgia. These funds will help with costs associated with yearly operating expenses related to the organization’s technical assistance support for property owners, educational programming and responsive advocacy for historic sites and structures.
Hope for Augusta – $15,000
College for Kids (CFK), a summer program of Hope for Augusta (HFA), helps to offset the educational loss that happens over the summer, particularly in children from less advantaged families. High school students who have participated in HFA also have an opportunity to develop leadership skills by serving as an intern during College for Kids. This grant will provide instruction in the areas of language arts, math and science and exposure to enriching electives for 100 elementary school students from Augusta’s downtown community.
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. They strive to empower individuals through prevention education, clinical treatment and recovery supports to create sustainable change. This grant will offset costs associated with increased childcare needs for the Therapeutic Childcare Program to break the cycle of addiction.
Imagination Station Children’s Museum of Augusta – $4,200
Imagination Station strives to provide an engaging environment that promotes early childhood learning and educates children in early literacy, STEM, social, emotional and fine/gross motor skills through play-based learning. This grant will help to purchase exhibit materials and supplies that focus learning on literacy and fine motor skill growth.
Kids Restart, Inc. – $15,000
Kids Restart provides a voice for abused and neglected children in the Augusta Judicial Circuit. Families referred will receive supervised visitations (including parent coaching, advocacy and case management), transportation (once COVID-19 allows this service to resume) and parenting classes. Parents identified will also receive substance abuse and domestic violence support group support and random drug screens. The grant money will be spent on costs to provide visitation, parenting and domestic violence classes and support groups.
Le Chat Noir, Inc. – $10,500
Le Chat Noir provides educational programs for youth and adults, and also, via professional-quality productions of award-winning theatre, improv comedy and original works of various mediums. This grant will assist with costs for programs that support their mission to provide a creative space for our community and foster exploration of art and cultivation of creativity.
MACH Academy, Inc. – $10,500
MACH Academy’s mission is connected to the late Arthur Ashe’s vision to use tennis and education as tools to promote character and offer opportunities for young people to become successful adults. This grant will support MACH Academy in its efforts to provide quality programming to the youth of the CSRA through recreational tennis and instructional development, STEM events, computer coding classes and other educational enrichment activities.
Mental Health America of Aiken County – $11,000
Mental Health America of Aiken County’s program, I.C. HOPE® “Don’t Duck Mental Health®” with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, will implement a public awareness and education campaign to dispel the negative perceptions and images associated with mental illness and mental health issues. Funds will be used to purchase grade-appropriate lessons and supplies to be placed in classrooms in different schools across the CSRA.
Miracle Making Ministries, Inc. – $10,500
Miracle Making Ministries provides a network of resources to meet the needs of vulnerable CSRA residents. Services include delivering primary medical care at no cost to patients through the Druid Park Community Health Center, maintaining limited transitional housing, providing emergency financial assistance with rent, utilities and food, and referring clients in need to community assistance organizations for housing or other basic needs. This grant will allow the emergency financial assistance program to provide emergency funds for residents in need of rent and/or utilities to individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue, Inc. – $10,500
Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue exists to improve the quality of life of abandoned companion animals by giving them medical care, food, water, shelter and love through a foster home network and through efforts to find suitable forever homes. They strive to reduce the number of homeless companions by raising community awareness about responsible pet ownership. This grant will help pay for spay/neuter, vet services and all boarding costs until animals can be transported to a sister site in the north where animals can be adopted.
Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center – $8,840
Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center identifies and responds to the unmet needs of the community in the Horse Creek Valley area of Aiken County. They provide services such as GED preparation, emergency financial assistance with medication and utilities, job training opportunities and feeding programs. This grant will help to sustain the food assistance program and provide a new English as a Second Language (ESL) program in partnership with the Aiken County School District.
Overflow Foundation – $15,000
The mission of Overflow Foundation is to pour hope into life by promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention, as well as providing mental health education. This grant will be used to support the overall mission by allowing individuals to take part in suicide prevention and support classes at no cost. The Foundation will also partner with the University of South Carolina-Aiken College of Nursing to certify students through the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) certification class at no cost to the students.
Reach Out and Read Georgia – $10,500
Reach Out and Read Georgia’s program promotes positive parent-child engagement and early literacy skills while fostering school readiness and a lifetime of healthy development. This grant will be used to support partner sites, which include five pediatric offices and the Children’s Hospital by providing technical assistance, training and evaluation, and developmental, cultural and age-appropriate children’s books.
ReStart Augusta, Inc. – $12,000
ReStart August provides beds to individuals living in low-income households, who do not have a bed and cannot afford to buy one. Good sleep improves learning ability, job productivity and long-term health helping to break the generational cycle of poverty. This grant will help purchase lumber, fasteners and paint to build and donate between 325 and 350 beds. Each delivery will include the frame, mattress, pillow, sheet and comforter.
St. Vincent de Paul Society Georgia – $10,500
The mission of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is to bring hope and help to those in need so they may find stability and move toward self-sufficiency. This grant will provide financial counseling and assistance through rent/mortgage and utilities for families who can envision future financial stability but require a deeper level of help. It will also help provide immediate shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
Successteam – $15,000
Successteam specializes in educational development for youth, ages 13-18, by providing a platform of support to accomplish their dreams and goals. This grant will support their program by inviting young men to explore their potential and experience life on a college campus, while also inspiring them to think about the man they want to become. Through this experience, they are better equipped to become leaders in their homes, communities and professional spaces with an increased awareness of personal strengths, professional aspirations and the importance of effective goal setting.
The Center for New Beginnings – $15,000
The Center for New Beginnings (CFNB) offers healing and hope to children and young adults with special needs (behavioral, educational, emotional, intellectual, physical). By providing a variety of services at a significantly reduced cost, they make therapy both possible and accessible. Inability to pay will never be a reason a family does not receive life-changing therapy from CFNB. Grant monies will support direct therapy hours to offset costs for those who cannot afford ongoing treatment.
The Imani Group, Inc. – $15,000
The Imani Group collaborates with agencies, schools, colleges and universities, businesses, civic and faith communities, and other organizations to develop and implement holistic programs to heal the SCARs of society. The grant will support the skills-based training program, EMERGE™, that has been developed with key stakeholders to help provide holistic, innovative programming to the at-risk populations they serve.
The Jessye Norman School of The Arts, Inc. – $10,500
The Jessye Norman School of the Arts is an after-school program designed to develop and nurture the artistic and creative talents of students. This grant will support the existing after-school program and two summer camps providing high-quality arts education, free of cost, to local 4th through 12th grade students from low to moderate-income households.
The Jo-Nathan Foundation – $15,000
The Jo-Nathan Foundation invests in the lives of young people by providing education, exposure, and unique experiences for at-risk youth in the CSRA. Grant funds will cover costs associated with the Be the Change Leadership Camp, providing youth with leadership skills and helping them create a plan for how to affect positive social change in their communities.
The RECing Crew – $15,000
The RECing Crew programs focus on providing social and recreational activities for children and adults with visual, hearing, intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Programs provide access to social and physical activities that promote good health, improve self-confidence, increase self-esteem, foster independence and encourage social interaction with their peers. Grant funds will be used for costs associated with the Alley Cats Program, which is an adaptive bowling program for those 6 years of age and older.
The Senior Citizens Council of Greater Augusta and the CSRA, Georgia, Inc. – $10,500
The Senior Citizens Council’s mission is to provide a diversity of services to seniors and enable them to apply their experience as a resource for meeting critical community needs. Through the Senior Companion Program, they provide caring companions for homebound seniors across the community. This grant will support the addition of two new Senior Companions, provide necessary personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies and update technology for program management.
Turn Back the Block – $10,500
The mission of Turn Back the Block is to revitalize the Harrisburg neighborhood through housing rehabilitation, new construction and the promotion of homeownership therein. Families and individuals willing to contribute sweat equity and complete housing counseling are afforded the opportunity to own a home. This grant will be used to cover the costs associated with a Turn Back the Block home.
University of South Carolina Aiken – $15,000
The University of South Carolina Aiken’s Call Me MISTER program seeks to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader, more diverse background. Many black students from low-income families encounter few college graduates who look like them and may conclude college is not something to strive for. This grant will help with the costs that allow participants to receive scholarships and costs for MISTERS to attend a professional development conference. The participants in turn are required to teach in an Aiken County school for one year in exchange for each year of participation in the program.