By Meg Mirshak
A passenger van, a job skills coach, scholarship money and arts programming were among the gifts funded by community grants awarded Friday.
Forty nonprofit organizations and area service agencies received a share of $475,000 from the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area. The foundation, whose Unrestricted Grant Fund is primarily funded by the Masters Tournament, has given to nonprofit groups since 1996.
This year, the recipients included Child Enrichment Inc., Broad Street Ministry, Friendship Community Center and Julie’s House Inc.
Compass Youth Mentoring, a group that works with east Augusta elementary and middle school pupils filtering into Laney High School, received a $10,460 grant to purchase a passenger van.
The van will haul children from the program’s current meeting place at River Glen Apartments to May Park Community Center, program director John Williams said.
The grant applications were reviewed by 20 volunteer panels consisting of 140 area leaders.
They visited the agencies, reviewed applications and made recommendations from the 122 grant proposals.
Lee Smith, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said the grant recipients represent small and large nonprofits. Some grant winners were lesser-known organizations that fill a substantial community need.
“We are looking for pressing and changing needs throughout the community,” Smith said. “Our panels do such a magnificent job on their site visits determining who, this year, will give the most impact to this community.”
Hope House, a residential treatment facility for women who suffer from substance abuse and mental health disorders, will use a $10,460 grant to hire and train a job-skills coach.
“This person will work directly with our case manager and directly with employers in the community,” said Karen Saltzman, the executive director of Hope House.
A $9,295 grant was awarded to When Help Can’t Wait, a volunteer organization that donates toiletries, clothing, hearing aids and other items to nursing home residents on Medicare or Medicaid and without family.
“We act as a surrogate family, and we take them all those simple, convenient things that you and I take for granted,” said Helen McVicker, the group’s president.
With the grant, When Help Can’t Wait will expand its thrift store, where it sells items to generate revenue to purchase items for nursing home residents.
Julie's House was one of the 40 awardees
Julie’s House Inc.:
A $12,000 grant for the continued provision of a shelter and other necessities to homeless women and their children, giving them the opportunity to further their education, acquire job skills and seek employment so they can become independent and self-sufficient.