The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation provides an open, Annual Grant Cycle that runs from July 15 – September 15. Nonprofit organizations and charitable groups in the Greater Itasca Area are encouraged to apply online through the Foundation’s website at www.gracf.org.
The Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids and Greenway received a total of $5,000 in grants for their programs that support the health and well-being of area youth. “We join charitable intentions with community needs. Organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club tell us what they need, and we match that need with funds and donors who have a passion for supporting their programs and mission,” says Sarah Copeland, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Director of Grants and Programs.
Boys & Girls Club make a significant difference in lives of area youth
The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids and Greenway is to enable and inspire all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive caring, responsible citizens. The three priority outcomes are Academic Excellence, Healthy Lifestyles and Character/Leadership Development. The Clubs allow all youth the equitable chance to have the same social-emotional and educational learning experiences as their peers, so all youth have the chance to have a great future.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway and society worldwide is facing a growing crisis with the health and well-being of our youth. Our community is not immune to this issue. Now more than ever, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway is uniquely positioned to make a significant difference in the lives of our kids. The most effective way to build a healthier generation of young people is to focus on developing educational success, healthy habits during childhood, and the opportunity to build positive character. Research shows that when this comprehensive approach to youth well-being is taken, young people are not only physically and mentally healthier, but also more likely to do well in school and have more positive relationships with peers and adults.
The Power Hour program brings youth together and is the backbone to after-school programming. The consistency of academic support along with supplemental and experiential activities connects the school day with enrichment activities, homework help, and social-emotional growth. Between this program and collaborating with other organizations, the Clubs have been able to provide many amazing opportunities to members that they would not otherwise have. Along with providing an opportunity to learn new skills, see new places, connect with caring adults, there are many physical, emotional, and social benefits that are proven to come from being involved in out of school time programming.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway will use funds from GRACF to build upon the initial success of the out-of-school time POWER HOUR programming and take an important step forward in growing this program to create greater impact with young people in our community. The present state of our society and the many divisions that exist due to race, religion, socio-economic status and gender make this a time where we need our youth to be well rounded and prepared to help shape our future. For over two years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway has provided supportive services to over 1,000 youth, especially ages five to 18. The services provided to young people are an ongoing need, as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway continue to see growing numbers each year. The growing numbers have made it necessary to open a third site at Murphy Elementary School this fall for youth K-4th grade.
Today, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapid and Greenway are serving more youth than ever before. With increasing memberships and community outreach, our Clubs are facing the challenge of serving the increased number of youth in the greater Itasca County area. This has a direct impact on increased needs in all programming and most significantly, Power Hour.
Funding was provided with grants from the Nick and Nancy Eltgroth Fund; Mark Hawkinson and Carol Anderson Donor Advised Fund; Hawkinson Construction Company Fund; and the Greater Itasca Area Community Fund.
Anyone can donate to the Greater Itasca Area Community Fund at the Community Foundation. There are no fees to donate to any fund at the Community Foundation. Gifts to the Greater Itasca Area Community Fund will provide grants to enhance our community for generations to come.
With a Donor Advised Fund, you can support all types of local programs and projects that interest you. We invite you to become part of the good work we do, and to include us in the conversation with your financial or estate planner to answer the question “What good do you want your money to do?” For more information, stop in or call (218) 999-9100.