Program Grants

Childcare Resource and Referral

Family, Friend and Neighbor Child Care Training Program
Provided childcare development training. Program consisted of nine interactive trainings given to 45 providers serving 100 children so as to enhance the quality of early childhood programs.
Granted in 2007. Renewed in 2008.

The Fairmont Partnership

Education Service Network
Foundation funding was matched by partner members to hire a literacy wellness coordinator at Fairmont School to improve children’s reading skills and address community health issues. Coordinator’s work included working with parents to further health knowledge.
Granted in 2007 Renewed in 2008.

George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club

Power Hour Program
This afterschool program targeted disadvantaged and at-risk youth with extra academic help and regular adult supervision.
Granted in 2007. Renewed in 2008.

Harvey Brooks Foundation

Obesity Prevention, Physical Activity Program
This program combined athletic instruction and nutritional programming with the delivery of educational information aimed at reducing risk behaviors that threaten the health, social and academic advancement of at risk girls between the ages of 8 and 18.
Granted in 2007. Renewed in 2008.

Spanish Community Center in partnership with Lamb’s Fold Women’s Center

Child Care “Creative Curriculum”
This curriculum brought a professional development plan to the early childhood programs provided at the Spanish Center and Lamb’s Fold.
Granted in 2007. Renewed in 2008.

Our Lady of Angels Retirement Community

Certified Nursing Assistant Mentorship Program
A pilot mentorship program to enhance the CAN’s staff performance and effectiveness.
Granted in 2007.

Partnership between Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center, Joliet Grade School District and Joliet Park District

“Kids ‘N’ Nature”
Designed to positively address the childhood obesity this after-school program took third grade students outdoors to enjoy nature, physical activity while learning about nutrition through organic gardening. The program has grown every year adding more children, more grades, more activities and more partners.
Granted in 2007. Renewed in 2008. Expanded in 2009.

Warren Sharp Community Center

Computer and Media- Based Literacy Training
In addition to providing the literacy training to 72 low income youth, the program included on-site training to teachers and teacher-aides and provided public access to computers for community residents.
Granted in 2007. Renewed in 2008.

Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB)

The Backpack Program
A pilot program bringing together District 86 and the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Parks School was identified as having the greatest need with 90 percent of the 350 students eligible for free or reduced lunch programs. Every Friday NIFB brings food packed to go into students’ special backpacks for the weekend. In addition to providing nutrition, information on additional resources is provided to the parents. The impact on the classroom setting and achievement is being measured by the University of Saint Francis.
Granted in 2008. Renewed in 2009. Renewed in 2010.

Easter Seals Joliet Region, Inc.

Autism Program Development
Funded a consultant to assist in planning of comprehensive autism program that includes social service delivery component and an outreach strategy.
Granted in 2008.

University of St. Francis

Hearing & Vision Screening Center
One-time support to launch Hearing & Vision Screening Center at USF’s Health & Wellness Center.
Granted in 2008.

Joliet Township High School Foundation

Youth Experiencing Success in School (YESS)
A pilot truancy prevention program that is an integrated component of the YESS program. The program creates opportunities for students to become involved in school through community partners to provide mentoring (career development and life skills), field trips (higher education and trades) and service learning (Joliet Grade Schools).
Granted in 2009. Renewed in 2010. Renewed in 2011.

Community Collaboration led by Will County Health Department

Fiscal Agent is United Way of Will County
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership (MAPP)
Supported MAPP initiative that was used to improve the overall health of Will County residents and to strengthen the capacity of the local public health system.
Granted in 2009.

Joliet Will County Center for Economic Development

Will County Cares Initiative
Supported the program planning and implementation of the Will County Cares Initiative.
Granted in 2010.

Easter Seals Joliet Region, Inc.

Therapy Wind Renovation
Purchased equipment for use in newly expanded and renovated Therapy Wing.
Granted in 2011.

Joliet Area Hospice

Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care
Funded the nursing staff to bridge their expansion of much needed pediatric Hospice and palliative care services.
Granted in 2011

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Mobile Pantry Program
Provided Mobile Pantries in outlying areas of Will County. Members of The Community Foundation of Will County Board agreed to provide volunteer staff for one Mobile Pantry visit to Will County.
Granted in 2011.

CASA of Will County

Expanding our Reach to Children in Need
Helped to expand their capacity-building work by funding 50 percent of an additional case manager to handle 60-80 more children’s cases. Their Board agreed to fund the remaining 50 percent through additional fundraising efforts.
Granted in 2011.

The Miracle League of Joliet

Miracle League Baseball Program
Provided uniforms for 170+ special needs children who participate in their baseball-based program.
Granted in 2011.

Joliet Junior College Foundation

Enhancing the Simulation Experience of Nursing Students
Enhanced the training of 350 nursing students by purchasing a Pyxis Medstation. This equipment is used by all area hospitals for medication dispensing and inventory control, and will provide better trained nursed to work in a hospital setting immediately.
Granted in 2011.

George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club

Preserving the Pool
Funded the infrastructure and plumbing repair portion of a much needed renovation of their swimming pool which serves as core to many programs in the community.
Granted in 2011.

United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois Prairieland

Tap-It Monitor
Purchased a Tap-it monitor, allowing people with disability-related communication challenges to communicate more readily on-site through use of technology.
Granted in 2011.

Daybreak Center/Catholic Charities

Children’s Playground and Good Neighbor Parking Project
Took advantage of a timely opportunity to provide improvements to adjacent property that was donated by the City of Joliet, and supported with a match from the Housing Foundation of Will County. This provided a more home-like atmosphere with a playground at the Shelter, and desperately needed parking for volunteers, staff and guests.
Granted in 2011.

CASA of Will County

Transition to the Peer Coordinator Model
Funded the transition to a peer coordinator model for managing their advocacy work with an additional 30-50 abused and neglected children through the court system.
Granted in 2012.

Guardian Angel Community Services

Suzy’s Caring Place Home
Helped furnish a donated home that will be used to provide housing for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.
Granted in 2012.

Heart Haven Outreach

12 Passenger Van to Expand Transportation Services
Purchased 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 time.
Granted in 2012.

Joliet Junior College Foundation

Prepare the Workforce by Bridging Skill Gaps
Provided funding for individuals, Veterans and GED graduates to access training, curriculum, and assessment to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), enhancing their employment opportunities.
Granted in 2012.

Lewis University

TEAM (Technology Education and Academic Models)
Implementing 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 this model.
Granted in 2012.

Senior Services Center of Will County

Capital Improvements
Replaced two air conditioning units that failed during the recent hot summer. As a designated cooling center, this benefits thousands of area seniors.
Granted in 2012.

Trinity Services, Inc.- SafeNow

SafeNow Capacity-Building Project
Purchased 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 areas of service.
Granted in 2012.

Warren-Sharpe Community Center

Children’s Community Garden
A true “community” garden will be built on land donated by the City of Joliet, with help from area college staff and a 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.
Granted in 2012.

Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center, Inc.

Reading for Life Corner
In collaboration with the Joliet Chapter of the National Hook-up of Black Women, establish a Reading for Life Corner in Aunt Martha’s new Joliet Community Health Center to encourage children to read and take books home to share with their families.
Granted in 2013.

CASA of Will County

Community Volunteer Advocate Capacity Building
Purchase computers and related technology to better serve their volunteer base, that is critical to their work and requires high levels of training and reporting.
Granted in 2013.

Center for Correctional Concerns

Computers for On-line GED Testing
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
Granted in 2013.

Guardian Angel Community Services

Digital Storytelling
Create digital client stories to raise awareness of services especially in Latino community.
Granted in 2013.

Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center

Expressive Arts Program for Will County
Pilot a program in Will County that provides a medium for expression to help people of all ages process their cancer experience. Participants are challenged to explore their feelings and express them in creative ways. This grant was funded by the Wadsworth Family Cultural Arts Endowment.
Granted in 2013.

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Network Partner Capacity Building
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 Church in Monee.
Granted in 2013.

Power Connection

Refrigerated Truck with Lift
Purchase a refrigerated box truck with a lift gate to pick up and deliver food donations from local merchants to the warehouse. Power Connection serves the ‘working poor’ with education, training, and assistance that includes a very busy pantry
Granted in 2013.

United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois Prairieland

Education Center Equipment
Purchase a Youth Symmetry and 51” Supine Stander. These standers will be used during classes physically helping students to 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.
Granted in 2013.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet

Ensuring Optimal Meal Services to Daybreak Center Clients through Capital Improvements
$3,700 to replace Shepard’s Table dining room industrial dishwasher that is more than 25 years old and requires constant repairs. This dishwasher helps volunteers and staff provide meals for 200 people a day.
Granted in 2014

Center for Correctional Concerns

Computers to support new requirements for GED
$13,500 to provide updated computers to be used to teach testing skills for online GED test. In 2013 CCC received a Community Foundation of Will County grant to implement a computer testing lab which enabled CCC to continue offering the GED test to detainees when the paper test was eliminated. Inside the Will County Adult Detention Center, classrooms are located within the “pods” where detainees live. Because detainees cannot be moved outside of their pod for classes, classrooms within 16 pods need to be supported with updated computers to prepare detainees for the new online GED test.
Granted in 2014

Easter Seals Joliet Region, Inc.

Will County Inclusion Health
$10,000 to implement two identified areas to promote inclusive health for people with disabilities in Will County.

  1. training of frontline health care workers (nursing students at University of St. Francis, Lewis University, and Joliet Junior College).
  2. implementation of media messaging and photo voice toolkit. Easter Seals is acting as the lead partner in the Inclusion Health Coalition for the Will County area. The CORE partners for the coalition include: YMCA, Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, Will County Health Department MAPP, and Easter Seals Joliet Region. This project is being implemented by the Inclusion Health Coalition.

Granted in 2014

Heart Haven Outreach

Snack Track and Tutor Tablets
$3,500 to provide tablets to be used in new “Snack Attack and Tutor” program as well as new “Mentoring” program allowing the tutors and mentors flexibility while working with the high school student in Bolingbrook and Romeoville to advance their math and reading skills.
Granted in 2014

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Capacity Building for Network Partners
$7,350 to purchase various refrigeration and equipment to increase capacity and distribution of more nutritious food to Will County resident through the following network partners: New Song-Seed of Hope Food Pantry (Bolingbrook), Pilgrimage Protestant Food Pantry (University Park), Plainfield Area Interfaith Food Pantry (Plainfield).
Granted in 2014

Will-Joliet Bicentennial Park, Inc.

Will-Joliet Bicentennial Park Youth Drama Programs
$5,000 –to provide support for Youth Drama Classes that are designed to give every child a chance to succeed, including children with special needs. This grant was funded by the Wadsworth Family – Will County Community Cultural Arts Endowment Fund.
Granted in 2014

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet

Homework Help Center at Daybreak Center
$5,430 to provide a dedicated homework space for children living at the shelter. The Homework Help Center will be a quiet place for homework including laptops, printer, educational resources and assistance from volunteer tutors. (Fully funded by the Voyager Group Fund)
Granted in 2015

MorningStar Mission

Beth’s Garden
$15,000 to support a collaborative project between MorningStar Mission and Joliet Junior College’s interior design department to build a vegetable and flower garden, install playground equipment, and plant trees in the backyard of the B.E.T.H. House (A home for young women and girls who are pregnant and need a place to stay and support while striving to become self-sufficient.) (Funded in part by the Joliet Women’s Club and an anonymous donor)
Granted in 2015

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Network Partner Capacity Building
$14,000 to purchase refrigeration and freezer storage to increase capacity and distribution of more nutritious food to Will County residents through the following network partners: Kuzma Care Cottage (Wilmington), St. Patrick’s Food Pantry (Joliet), Helping Hands (Peotone), Lift Him Up Ministries (Joliet), St. George Coptic Church Food Pantry (Monee). (Funded in part by the Fred and Maria Schaffer Charitable Fund)
Granted in 2015

Power Connection

Forklift Certification Training Expansion
$10,000 to purchase a stand-up forklift truck to expand their job certification training program and improve opportunities for employment for graduates.
Granted in 2015

Rockdale Elementary School District #84

Rockdale Green STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and Wind Project
$8,000 to provide a wind turbine that will gather energy data and provide a unique lab experience for STEM education within the curriculum, including research using data collected from green energy sources; and to increase the number of STEM projects like solar race cars, wind turbines, video projects, and solar cooking that are built and tested at the middle school level.
Granted in 2015

Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project

Mariachi Matters: Community Music Program
$5,000 to involve Latino-immigrant youth in a competitive music education program that enhances the talents of local youth while strengthening cultural traditions and identities through community performing. (Fully funded by the Wadsworth Family Cultural Arts Endowment)
Granted in 2015

United Way of Will County

Strategic Plan
$15,000 to develop a new strategic plan to improve results amidst many changes in the corporate and funding sectors of Will County.
Granted in 2015

Warren-Sharpe Community Center

South Side Urban Farm
$12,500 for the expansion of the South Side Urban Farm to support and facilitate youth entrepreneurship; and increase outdoor classroom experiences by providing for year-round microgreen and baby greens production, using 14’x18’ greenhouse and the cultivation of native Illinois fruit trees. (Fully funded by the Joliet Woman’s Club)
Granted in 2015

Camp Fire Illinois Prairie

Campsite Renovations
$7,300 to improve the use of their primary program site in Bolingbrook through bathroom renovations and roof repairs to facilitate educational programming and prepare for a move of offices to this site in Will County.
Granted in 2016

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet

Ombudsman Program
$5,579 to purchase computer equipment and software to conduct the Ombudsman Program services offering advocacy and assistance to 960 seniors at 49 long-term care facilities in our region. (Co-investor: The Sharing Blessings Fund)
Granted in 2016

Farmworker & Landscaper Advocacy Project

Community Legal Education and Outreach for Immigrants, Migrant and Seasonal Workers in Will County
$3,500 to educate local low-income immigrant, migrant, and seasonal workers about their rights at work and provide pro bono counsel to laborers with legitimate workplace claims. (Co-investor: The Sharing Blessings Fund)
Granted in 2016

George Werden Buck Boys & Girls Club

Future Stars Transitional Success Program
$7,000 to purchase software to launch this new vocational education and training program for club members 10-18 years of age, conducted in a new computer center. (With partial support from The Spesia & Ayers Charitable Grant Fund, The Sentinus Charitable Grant Fun, The Center for Economic Development Education Grant Fund, and Co-investor: The Mark and Judy Inserra Charitable Fund)
Granted in 2016

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra

2016 Opening Night Concert
$5,000 to fund Guest Artist (Servian-Italian virtuoso violinist, Stefan Milenkovich) for their Opening Night Concert to be held at Governors State University. (Funded by the Wadsworth Family Cultural Arts Endowment and Co-investor: The Danny and Tricia Simpson Family Fund)
Granted in 2016

Northern Illinois Food Bank

South Suburban Center
$15,000 to purchase two pallet jacks for use in new center located in Will County and opening in 2017 to enhance access to food for network partner members. (With partial support from the Michael F. Rittof Fund and Co-investor: The Fred and Maria Schaffer Charitable Fund)
Granted in 2016

One Hope United

Joliet Early Learning Center
$9,842 to purchase education and assessment materials including Creative Curriculum Studies and Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales to add classrooms and increase the number of students served. (Co-investors: The Voyager Group Fund and The Christian and Meredith Spesia Family Fund)
Granted in 2016

Senior Services Center of Will County Inc.

Safe@Home
$7,000 for tools and supplies to launch their new program to provide minor home repairs to over 60 Seniors to ensure their well-being in their own home. (Co-investor: The Fred and Maria Schaffer Charitable Fund)
Granted in 2016

The Cancer Support Center

The Cancer Support Center Programs offered at Aunt Martha’s Joliet East
$10,000 to provide psychosocial and wellness oncology support services to Will County residents at the Aunt Martha’s Joliet East facility. (Co-investor: The DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund)
Granted in 2016

Trinity Service, Inc.

Assistive Technology and Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities
$15,000 to purchase technology to support the learning and communication needs of adults who have developmental disabilities or a dual diagnosis (developmental disability and mental illness). (With partial support from the Rink Family Grant Fund)
Granted in 2016

Will-Joliet Bicentennial Park Inc.

Summer Camp for All
$5,000 to provide the summer camp program that encourages children/teens to embrace the diversity of abilities within each of their fellow campers. (Funded by the Wadsworth Family Cultural Arts Endowment and Co-investor: The Christian and Meredith Spesia Family Fund)
Granted in 2016

Have Questions?

If you have questions about how we can help you with our Program Grants contact:

Michael Trench
Executive Director
The Community Foundation of 
Will County
815.744.9223
E-mail

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