2013 Grant Award Recipient Organizations are represented by the following: (Front, from Left)-Franca Liburdi, Professional Development Coordinator, Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center, Inc.; Lisa Schneider, Clinical Program Director, Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center; Donna Fedosenko, Executive Director, Center for Correctional Concerns; (Back, from Left) Rita Facchina, Executive Director, CASA of Will County; Deborah Summers, President, National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc.; Sue Knaperek, Director of School Services, United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois Prairieland; Jerry Basel, Executive Director, Power Connection; Julie Yurko, Vice President of Philanthropy & Communication, Northern Illinois Food Bank; April Balzhiser, Chief Operating Officer, Guardian Angel Community Services.

WILL COUNTY, IL(October 17, 2013) – The Will County Community Foundation awarded and presented $54,500 in grants to local nonprofit organizations working in the Foundation’s priority areas of health, human services and education during the 2013 Grant Awards Reception. “This year we were pleased to include a grant for the arts made from the Wadsworth Family Cultural Arts Endowment at The Will County Community Foundation.” noted Grant Committee Chairman, Larry Lorimor.

“As the Foundation continues to connect donors to community needs the nonprofit community is benefiting. During this year’s competitive grant program a $6,000 grant was matched by an anonymous grant from one of our Donor Advised Funds. In addition, a Foundation board member directed additional funding towards another project, together directing $8,500 in additional funding to our grantees this year,” said Executive Director, Michael Trench.

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 $370,000 of funding requests received from 31 organizations, the Board of Directors had difficult decisions to make.

Community Leaders, Foundation donors, Trustees and other friends joined representatives from the recipient organizations at the reception on Wednesday, October 9th to celebrate the distribution of the grants and learn more about how they will be used to support the projects and initiatives of the various recipient organizations. Lewis University and Br. James Gaffney, FSC, WCCF Board Chairman and President of Lewis University, graciously sponsored and hosted the event.

The following is a list of the 2013 grant recipients:

Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center, Inc. – $2,100 to establish a Reading for Life Corner to encourage literacy enhancement. This project was done in collaboration with the Joliet Chapter of the National Hook-Up of Black Women and will be located at Aunt Martha’s new Joliet Community Health Center on the old Silver Cross Hospital property.

CASA of Will County – $5,000 to purchase computers and related technology to better serve their volunteer base, which is critical to CASA’s work and requires high levels of training and reporting.

Center for Correctional Concerns – $6,000 to purchase computers to allow inmates to continue to take the GED test in 2014 and beyond, when the paper version of the test is eliminated. Passing the GED helps inmates reintegrate into society with a more productive life and avoid reoffending

Guardian Angel Community Services- $4,000 to create digital stories told by clients as a means to raise awareness, start conversations, and share resources for help for victims of domestic violence. The videos will include special outreach to the growing Latino population in Will County.

Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center – $4,500 to pilot the Expressive Arts Program in Will County. This program provides a medium for expression to help people of all ages process their cancer experience. This grant was funded by the Wadsworth Family Cultural Arts Endowment at The Will County Community Foundation.

Northern Illinois Food Bank – $14,600 to purchase various refrigeration and storage equipment for the following network partners: Good Shepherd Food Pantry (Romeoville), St. John Lutheran Food Pantry (Joliet), Morning Star Mission Soup Kitchen (Joliet), Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen (Joliet), Life Line Food Pantry (Joliet), Family Outreach Program, Inc. (Crest Hill). In addition, provide two Mobile Pantry distributions at Kuzma Care Cottage in Wilmington and Second Place Pantry in Monee.

Power Connection – $11,000 to purchase a refrigerated box truck with a lift gate to pick up and deliver food donations from local merchants to the warehouse. Power Connection is located in Bolingbrook and serves the “working poor” with education, training and assistance that includes a very busy food pantry.

United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois Prairieland – $7,300 to purchase a Youth Symmetry and a 51” Supine Stander. These standers will be used during classes to physically help students improve bone growth and digestive health. In addition, they prevent soft tissue contractures and bone deformities. Socially, they improve student communication and interaction with fellow classmates and teaching personnel.

In addition to the grants from the Competitive Grant Program, the Foundation awards grants from its donor advised funds throughout the year. It has granted more than $1.14 million since its inception.

To view additional photos for the 2013 Grant Award Reception, please visit The Will County Community Foundation Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheWillCountyCommunityFoundation.