The Hamilton County Community Foundation always adheres to the three main components of its strategic plan when issuing grants.
“Almost all of our grant recommendations fall under mental health, family and youth empowerment and inclusive economic growth,” said Mackenzie Poole, HCCF community leadership officer. “We really made sure we were helping the people most vulnerable. For this March grant round, we had originally recommended a few more organizations, but with COVID-19, our board made the decision to only fund the basic needs categories, so, for instance, they are providing food or providing health care.”
The Carmel-based HCCF, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, awarded grants totaling $105,000 to seven nonprofits serving Hamilton County.
Poole said for organizations that were approved but not given grants this time, it was recommended they delay their request for the next round.
The applications came from the open application round in November 2019. Poole reviewed all the applications before the board made a determination.
Grace Care Center, which is based in Noblesville and serves Hamilton County and northern Marion County residents, received $16,000 to support the growth and effectiveness of the organization’s referral services.
“The goal of referral services is working with our Grace Care Center families and moving them toward economic self-sufficiency or achieving a new level of sustainability in their life,” GCC Foundation Executive Director Keith Carlson said. “We do that through this one-on-one coaching process over the course of 12 to 18 months.
“The last few months has been a tough time for many of them as they’ve lost jobs and (are) having a hard time paying the bills and making the mortgage and rent payments.”
Other organizations receiving grants were: Children’s Bureau, Inc. ($14,000) for programming support for children in the foster system or adoption services; Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc. ($10,000) to support school-based food pantries; Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry ($5,000) for increased access to fresh meat at food pantries; Second Helpings ($9,000) for the distribution of nutritious meals for vital county community partners; Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County ($10,000) to support Community Caring program matching homebound seniors with community volunteers; and Trinity Free Clinic ($16,000) to support medical and dental services for uninsured or underinsured, low-income residents.
In addition to the grants, the board approved the foundation’s continued support of the LINK Advisory Council ($15,000) and a contribution to the Community Scholarship Fund ($10,000).
The grants are awarded three times per year. An application round is open through May 31 for grants to be awarded in September.
“We expect this September round to be competitive from all the needs from the coronavirus,” Poole said.
For more, visit hamiltoncountycommunityfoundation.org/get-involved/not-for-profits/.