Community Pulse: ‘A year of starting over, revisiting past ideas, and getting back to in-person programs’

2022 has been a year of starting over, revisiting past ideas, and getting back to in-person programs for Community Foundation of Grundy County and many of the organizations we partner with. We at CFGC have had a front row seat to watch our donor funds impact local not-for-profits who in turn make a huge impact on the community! While many of our funds have provided wonderful opportunities for the community this year, I want to highlight a very specific funds.

The Sanford Enrichment Fund was established to provide enriching activities for school aged children within the Morris school districts. In past years, this fund has been used to bring activities into the schools; however, this year the committee decided to do something a little bit different. After two years of many youth programs on hold or restricted, our local youth haven’t received the opportunity to experience field trips, recreation activities, or camps. Therefore, the committee chose to provide scholarships to youth, so they could attend an overnight summer camp. Because of the Sanford Enrichment Fund, 34 kids third through eighth grades were able to attend an overnight camp!

The Sanford Teen Fund was established to provide opportunities for adolescents within the Morris school districts. Since the inception, the committee has chosen to use these funds to provide grants that will improve or create opportunities around the general topic of mental health. Through this fund just under $50,000 was granted out as follows:

  • To We Care of Grundy County for summer sessions of a Girls Empowerment Group and a fall Teen Group
  • For two youth therapists at Grundy County Health Department to be trained in EMDR Therapy, as well as providing summer therapy groups for teens
  • To provide social-emotional groups at Morris YMCA summer camps in addition to providing additional youth fitness/educational programing through the rest of 2022 and into 2023

The Gerald D. Abel Endowment is another avenue used to get funds out to organizations serving Grundy County. This fund was created to benefit children, veterans and people in need. Because of the flexibility of this fund, the committee is able to provide grants to a diverse group of nonprofits. This year, about $60,000 was granted out as follows:

  • To Grundy Area PADS to continue providing case management, supportive services, and shelter for clients
  • To We Care of Grundy County to provide an Adverse Childhood Experiences Trauma series for parents in partnership with Crossroads Counseling and Jump Start
  • To each of the four libraries serving Grundy County to provide programs or services for children or veterans

This year, CFGC has worked with several donors to create new funds to fit their charitable goals.

  • The Energy Efficiency Fund was created to provide grants to nonprofit organizations and/or churches to 1) help low income residences become more energy efficient or 2) help the nonprofit/church buildings to become more energy efficient. This year Immaculate Conception School and Grundy County Association of the Handicapped benefited from this fund!
  • The Ecumenical Education Fund was established to assist churches in Grundy County with specific expenses associated with outreach and mission. Immaculate Conception Church was the sole grantee of these funds.
  • Jacob R. Perry Memorial Scholarship was created to provide a scholarship(s) to a graduating senior(s) at Morris Community High School who plan to major in, or participate in, the arts including music and theatre. This fund was established by the family of Jacob Perry to keep his memory alive while helping other students reach their goals. This year Kenzie Pucket and Evalyn Mateski each received a $1,000 scholarship.

With over four months left in the calendar year, there is still plenty of time for good things to happen! We look forward to continuing to partner with our donors and local organizations to improve the quality of life in Grundy County. If you have questions on starting a fund or how your organization may benefit from one of our existing funds please contact us at 815-941-0852.