Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Presents Annual Grant Cycle Awards
The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation recently presented awards from their Annual Grant Cycle. “We are very happy with the projects and programs that we were able to fund. There are many great things happening in our community, and we are continuously impressed with the number of wonderful, compassionate people who make our Annual Grant Cycle possible,” says Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs for the Community Foundation.
This year, everyone was invited to participate in the online Annual Grant Cycle format. Numerous people joined in by either donating online or from their Donor Advised Funds. “We sincerely thank those individuals, because without their generous donations, we could not be a community foundation,” states Copeland.
Copeland continued her appreciation for everyone involved in the Grant Cycle, “We are able to provide grants back to the community because of caring citizens just like you. We’ve talked about the incredible generosity of people in the Greater Itasca Area before - people who have left a wonderful legacy such as Edgar and Hannah Hetteen and Gloria Sella Burich. We also have people who are building their legacy: Mimi Barzen, Mary Kosak, and the entire Gibbons Family, along with other donors, choose active participation in building their legacy by helping organizations fulfill their mission - today - in our communities.”
Fund for Women provides funding for car seats
One of the awards from the Annual Grant Cycle was to the New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center. “New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center is very thankful that we were approved to receive a grant from the Fund for Women through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation to purchase 10 car seats for our clients who go through our car seat safety program,” says Amanda Jo Grovenburg, Executive Director of New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center.
The Center started the Car Seat programming in Mid-2016 as part of Minnesota state grant evaluation project. The grant provides funding for a maximum of two years to help pregnancy centers start new programming and evaluate the need for it in the community. The car seat program has proved to be very much needed and continues to gain interest. The program includes video education about car seats and proper installation. This is followed by a hands-on car seat installation session with one of the two Certified Passenger Safety Technicians, Tammi Helmuth and Amanda Wheelock, who work in collaboration with Carl Fischer, Grand Rapids Police Department Community Service Officer.
The technician instructs clients how to properly install the car seat and then have the client demonstrate a proper install. About 30 clients have learned proper car seat installation and the Center has given out approximately 20 car seats. The state grant evaluation helped provide free infant car seats to those in need in our community.
“As the new programming state grant came to an end, we began looking for funding to continue to provide car seats to those in need who take our car seat safety classes. We were very excited that we were approved to receive a grant from the Fund for Women through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation,” says Grovenburg. “We are now able to purchase car seats that will be available for clients who attend the car seat training that we offer. We are very thankful we have been given this opportunity to continue to serve our community in this way!”
New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center now also offers sessions for Preparing to Breastfeed Your Baby. These are FREE Individual sessions with a registered nurse who is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). The Client receives a Gift Package of Supplies that are valued at $100 upon completion of a pre-survey, five breast feeding education sessions, and post-survey. Pregnant moms must be second or third trimester with enough time to complete the program. Topics Covered: Benefits of Breast Feeding, LATCH, Early Feeding Cues, Breast Feeding techniques and positions, Skin to Skin, 9 Stages in the First Hour After Birth, Safe Milk Storage Practices. If you have questions about “Preparing to Breastfeed Your Baby”, please call 218-326-0404 and ask to speak with our Nurse Manager, Amanda Wheelock, RN, CLC.
New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center (Caring for Women, Men, Teens and Families) is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1-6 pm. They are currently located at 112 NW 5th Street in Grand Rapids, across from the Grand Rapids Post office drop off mailbox. The Center offers pregnancy testing, limited ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, relationship and parenting classes. Parents can use “Parent Points” they earn at the Center to shop in the Baby Boutique through the Earn While You Learn program. All services are free and confidential. The Center is also a distributor for Cradle of Hope and can offer portable cribs as part of their safe sleep initiative to those who qualify.
The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation serves communities, organizations, and donors throughout the Greater Itasca Area with a range of services including financial management, strategic development, technical assistance, education, and training. The Community Foundation works to build relationships with community leaders, donors, and their professional advisors to join charitable intentions with community needs.