Junior League of Sarasota Awards Community Grants
During the Junior League of Sarasota’s October General Membership Meeting, the group gave back to the community by awarding a total of 10 grants to area community organizations. The League received and reviewed over 109 applications for community grants, which were put through a comprehensive review process. During 2016-2017, the League awarded a total of $33,000 in community grants, but this year the League increased grants awarded to a total of $53,000! Britt Riner, Co-Chair of Community Grants for the League stated: “At a time when many people understandably want to run away from the trials and sorrows of this world, The Junior League of Sarasota runs to them. We have strategically awarded $53,000 to non-profits that address a range of needs in our county, including the arts, education, foster care, and health and human services. We received many worthy grant proposals, but only 9% were chosen for grant funding — a smaller percentage than that of elite university acceptance rates! We eagerly anticipate the fruit that will be borne from the thoughtful projects in which we are investing. These projects range from empowering women and children to heal from abuse and neglect, to preparing kids for college, to providing an additional preschool classroom for children with disabilities, to giving a foster child the opportunity to learn an instrument.”
Grant recipients were:
- Ringling College of Art & Design – Grant: $10,000.00
Founded in 1931, Ringling’s primary mission is to provide programs leading students to become discerning visual thinkers and ethical practitioners in their chosen field of art and design. The League grant will support the Youth Experiencing Art Project, which will provide art experiences to young students with the goal of gaining life lessons, enhanced self-confidence, and the opportunity to develop a life vision beyond normal opportunities available.
- Education Foundation of Sarasota County – Grant: $8,000.00
Established in 1988 as a not-for-profit organization in support of public education and independent of the Sarasota County School System, the Education Foundation operates for the benefits of students, teachers and families in the community. This grant will support the Foundation’s Powering Innovation in Sarasota County Students project, which will elevate and upgrade the current Learning Lab locations of Janie’s Garden and Laurel Civic Association to innovative hubs providing hands-on courses. The innovative hubs additionally will include advanced technology equipment and opportunities for students, such as 3-D printers.
- Centerstone of Florida, Inc. – Grant: $7,500.00
The grant awarded will support the Children’s Outpatient Renovation helping further Centerstone’s mission in delivering care that changes people’s lives by offering a full range of mental health and substance abuse services. The League’s grant will assist in creating a child-friendly atmosphere in the designated children’s lobby, and group / play therapy areas of Centerstone’s recently expanded Sarasota office.
- Safe Place Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) – Grant: $6,000.00
Founded in 1979, SPARCC’s mission is to stop domestic and sexual violence in our communities. This grant will support childcare services for SPARCC Support groups provided to survivor parents. This additional support will provide planned, guided and age-appropriate activities for minor children (secondary survivors) while their parent receives help and assistance from SPARCC.
- Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities, Inc. – Grant: $5,000.00
Established in 1954, the Haven exists as a resource for independence and a champion for inclusion in all aspects of life for people with disabilities. The League grant will assist The Haven in outfitting an additional classroom for the Selby Preschool, which will accommodate toddlers, ages 3 to 5 years. This new additional classroom will accommodate children that are currently on a wait list and the League’s support will assist in providing classroom equipment.
- Tidewell Hospice, Inc. – Grant: $5,000.00
Tidewell helps people live well by providing care and comfort to those with advanced illness and also provides a full array of programs to address psychosocial and spiritual needs. The grant awarded will support In-School Grief Counseling and bereavement services to be held by Tidewell Hospice in the event that their services are requested by a school and when needed such as at times of the death of a student or teacher.
- Children’s Guardian Fund – Grant: $5,000.00
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Guardian Fund immediately responds to the needs of children removed from abusive and neglectful homes. The League grant will support the Fund’s Normalcy and Enrichment project, which will meet tailored needs of each child by providing items such as a prom dress, academic tutoring, school uniforms, soccer lessons or music lessons; all of the normal childhood support items that these children may lack.
- Children First – Grant: $4,500.00
Founded in 1961 by the Junior League, Children First now serves over 600 children and their families at 13 sites. This grant will support the Families First Institute by providing a Career Readiness for Women class free of charge, matching each participant with a mentor and preparing them to enter the workforce for the first time, or to strengthen their existing career skills.
- Heart Gallery of Sarasota – Grant: $1,000.00
The Heart Gallery’s mission is to raise awareness of Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties waiting foster children, engaging the community in their welfare, and securing permanent and loving adoptive families. This grant will support the Gallery’s Birthday Buddies project, which will ensure that four young foster children have their dream birthday party complete with gifts, cake and their friends in attendance.
- Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County – Grant: $1,000.00
Take Stock in Children of Sarasota’s (TSIC) mission is to break the cycle of poverty through achievement of higher education for at-risk, low-income students in Sarasota County. This grant will assist in supporting TSIC’s funding for one college-planning workshop for middle school students in the 2017-2018 school year provided by My College Resource.