2012 Grant Award Recipient Organizations are represented by the following: Front-Rita Facchina, Executive Director, CASA of Will County; Pat Hensley, Executive Director, Senior Services Center of Will County; Pat Claar, Executive Director, Heart Haven OutReach; Kay Bolden, Executive Director, Warren-Sharpe Community Center; April Balzhiser, Senior Program Director, Guardian Angel Community Services; Paige Vanderhyden, Director, Workforce Development, Joliet Junior College; Back- Bob Sandidge, Executive Director, SafeNow; Ray Carmody, Associate Director, Trinity Services. Inc; Dr. Dorene Huvaere, Chair, Secondary Education, Lewis University; Ines Kutlesa, CEO, Guardian Angel Community Services.

WILL COUNTY, IL (October 22, 2012) – The Will County Community Foundation awarded and presented $107,400 in grants to local nonprofit organizations working in the Foundation’s priority areas of health, human services and education during the 2012 Grant Awards Reception. Community Leaders, Foundation Trustees, benefactors and other stakeholders joined the recipient organizations at the reception on Wednesday, October 17th. Lewis University and Br. James Gaffney, FSC, WCCF Board Chairman and President of Lewis University, graciously sponsored and hosted the event.

Nonprofit organizations from around Will County apply for the grants through our competitive grant program. The applications are reviewed by a committee of volunteers and the decisions are made on the basis of community needs. With more than $343,000 of funding requests received from 18 organizations, the Board of Directors had difficult decisions to make. “In our decision-making process, we held to our focus of not funding general operating support. We looked for proposals that had no other strong source of potential funding, were collaborative in nature, and had a well-thought-out plan to sustain the program after the grant was completed or that was a one-time capital request. Strong consideration was also given where the nonprofit’s Board was committed to raising additional matching funds,” noted Grant Committee Chair, Larry Lorimor.

The following is a list of the 2012 grant recipients:

CASA of Will County – $8,000 to transition to a peer coordinator model for managing their advocacy work with an additional 30-50 abused and neglected children through the court system.

Guardian Angel Community Services – $4,000 to help furnish a donated home that will be used to provide housing for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.

Heart Haven OutReach – $20,000 to purchase a van for transporting high school age teens in greater Bolingbrook to various weeknight and weekend mentoring and support programs when they are facing challenging times.

Joliet Junior College Foundation- $10,000 to help Veterans and GED graduates access training, curriculum, and assessments to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) enhancing their employment opportunities.

Lewis University – $25,000 to implement a new initiative in partnership with area schools to give teachers the tools and training needed to integrate technology into reading and writing lessons to enhance literacy instruction. Under the “train the trainer model”, participating teachers have committed to replicating the model.

Senior Services Center of Will County – $10,400 to replace two air conditioning units that failed during the recent hot summer. As a designated cooling center, this benefits thousands of area seniors.

Trinity Services, Inc. – SafeNow – $20,000 to purchase a box truck with a lift gate to expand product distribution of non-toxic SafeNow products. This program provides employment to persons with disabilities, and increased product sales will expand funding to area services.

Warren-Sharpe Community Center – $10,000 a true “community” garden will be built on land donated by the City of Joliet, with help from area college staff and local ‘master gardener.’ This community collaboration will not only provide much needed food products to address hunger issues, but will educate on the use of these foods and facilitate self-sufficiency.