$407,000 in Grants to Impact Health and Recreation Programs for Families

The Board of Trustees of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Community Foundation recently awarded $407,396 in grants to programs that will address the health and recreation needs of local families. The grants include:

The Salvation Army will receive $200,000 towards the development and construction of its Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. The new Kroc Center will be located on eight acres on South Division, just south of Alger Street. The center will include a swimming pool, a climbing wall, a gym, a health clinic, basketball courts, a performing arts center and more, and will serve the 11,000 children living within a one-mile radius of the center, as well as their families. The Kroc Center will provide structured activities geared at combating childhood obesity and fostering the development of social skills.

Calvin College, the newly identified fiduciary of the Get the Lead Out/Healthy Homes Coalition, is being awarded $75,000 to reinstate the Clearcorps outreach program. Clearcorps is a national nonprofit organization aimed at eliminating childhood lead poisoning. The Clearcorps program will provide education to families in target neighborhoods and is aiming to increase lead awareness of 600 families and form other community partnerships.

Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth will receive $50,000 toward scholarships and operating support that will enable children to attend Camp O’Malley this summer. In the last year, Camp O’Malley has undergone a $1.5 million renovation, including the restoration of all camp buildings, the addition of an indoor recreation area and the creation of outdoor athletic fields. The camp plans to serve 400 children during its eight weeks of summer camp. Approximately 95 percent of Camp O’Malley campers will receive a scholarship to attend camp due to their families economic status.

Kent County Literacy Council is being awarded $50,000 to increase the organization’s capacity to serve its target population and to expand its programming to include families and their role in promoting literacy in their children. The organization plans to increase the number of adults served from its current 400 to 800 in the next three years.

Spectrum Health Hospitals, serving as the fiduciary of Strong Beginnings, will receive $32,396 to provide care coordination, crisis management and therapeutic support group activities to high-risk women during the prenatal period. The goal of this program is to reduce the incidence of prematurity, low birth-weight and mortality associated with maternal stress and depression. Strong Beginnings is a community collaborative of eight agencies, including local hospitals, the health department and other nonprofit health agencies. Strong Beginnings expects to serve 125 women in the coming year. Participants will learn how to reduce life stressors and develop skills for dealing with stress and depression, improve family functioning and enhance self-esteem.