New Grants Provide Jobs for Teens, Protect Families and Save Streams

Grand Rapids, Michigan—This week, Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees awarded grants totaling $363,000 to nonprofit organizations in Kent County.

Brown-Hutcherson Ministries will use a $25,000 grant for its Project COOL, which provides job training and summer job placement for local youth ages 14 to 18. Project COOL aims to place 80 to 100 teens in jobs by June 16. Participating teens will make minimum wage 20 hours per week for eights weeks this summer.

CASA of Kent County is receiving $40,000 to recruit and train volunteers to serve as advocates for the interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

Safe Haven Ministries Inc. is receiving a $75,000 grant toward the completion of its new facility which will allow the agency to expand its programming and accommodate more women escaping domestic violence.

Spectrum Health Hospitals will use a $96,000 grant to implement youth tobacco prevention programs, including nicoTEAM and Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), to prevent tobacco experimentation and to empower youth to choose a tobacco-free lifestyle. The programs are available to school districts throughout Kent County, but the primary focus is on Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Timberland Resource Conservation and Development Council Inc. will use a $100,000 grant to improve the water quality, wildlife, fishing and tourism of the Stegman, Bear and Tyler creeks in West Michigan. With an emphasis on sustainability, the council will map habitat improvements and install permanent log structures. The council is receiving a second grant in the amount of $27,000 to bring a tool to West Michigan that can pinpoint trouble spots in streams so that limited resources can have the fastest impact on improving watersheds.

These grants are made possible through the generosity of the Charles Evenson Fund for the Environment, Healthy Youth & Healthy Seniors Fund, Estate of Melanie L. Muir and the Fund for Community Good.