Several organizations will be able to help thousands in need in the community through grants provided by the United Way of Bradley County’s Health Endowment Fund.
The grants are being distributed to programs that will be meeting the needs of children, elderly and families, and only six of the 14 receiving grants are repeat recipients in 2014. These programs include two Sac Pac programs — one through The Caring Place and the other through Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church — Girls on the Run, The Refuge, the Ronald McDonald House Charities Caremobile and the Community Action Network (CAN).
A seventh program — the Karis Dental Clinic which provides dental services to adults in need — began with a grant from the Health Endowment Fund in 2013, but only provided service one day per week toward the end of the year. Now, with additional funding through a UWHEF grant, the clinic will prepare for an office which will be open multiple days per week beginning in January 2015.
“We are pleased with all of the grants we were able to distribute, but especially to the Karis Dental Clinic,” said Lisa Mantooth, United Way vice president of Partner Relations. “The most recent community needs assessments have pointed to adult dental care as the most pressing need in our community.”
A new initiative funded by a Health Endowment Fund grant will not only meet a community need, but an entire community. A grant to the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative — now titled Impact Cleveland — will help physically transform a local neighborhood in need to create pathways out of poverty, as well as build a strong, economically diverse community.
Dustin Tommey was recently hired to serve as the director for this initiative, and began his job on Jan. 1. He has already met with many different groups that will be very important in helping revitalize a neighborhood in need.
“Dustin, a native of Southeast Tennessee and Cleveland State alumnus, has come in with quite a bit of knowledge in neighborhood revitalization, having worked in that field in Philadelphia (Pa.), so we are very pleased to have him return to this community to help us with this initiative,” Mantooth said.
Six additional organizations are receiving venture grants in 2014. These are one-year grants that help build their ability to serve even more people in the community than they presently do.
These organizations, and how the grants are to be used, include:
- Durkee Road Free Medical Clinic (equipment);
- Helping Paws Healing Hearts (capacity building);
- Centerstone (school-based counseling);
- Telemedicine (equipment and personnel training);
- JOY School (speech and language therapy, curriculum and training); and
- Trousdale School (communications equipment and strategic planning).
“Our Community Impact Team looked at requests for nearly $2 million in grants for 2014, and then narrowed it down to the amount of funds we had available,” Mantooth explained. “We were able to give out $650,000 in grants for 2014.”
She added, “There is a very good possibility that, through the great work of our Investment Committee, we will be able to have even more funds available for 2015, and provide more grants for that year.”
(Editor’s Note: Individual articles on each of the venture grant recipients, along with some other grant recipients, will be featured in the Cleveland Daily Banner in the coming weeks.)