Hurricane Relief Efforts — Florida and Puerto Rico

There are many ways to support those who have been affected by the devastation of Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian.

FLORIDA RELIEF EFFORTS

As the work continues to assess damage and needs, United Way Worldwide will update funds accordingly on Online.UnitedWay.org and UnitedWWay.org.

Additionally, because of the intense and far-reaching impact of this storm, to support communities in Florida and other areas affected by Hurricane Ian, United Way Worldwide has created the United Way Disaster Response and Recovery Fund.  As part of United Way’s collective mission to build stronger, resilient, and equitable communities, United Ways in affected areas will continue to raise money locally and respond to emerging needs as appropriate for their community.  The national fund will absolutely complement those efforts and provide a single clearinghouse for individual and corporate donors who want to support all affected areas.

This fund will help local United Ways meet immediate storm-related needs and support long-term recovery throughout the affected regions.  It would also allow donors to designate their funds to local United Ways.  We’ll be working with United Way leaders in the affected areas to determine the best distribution plan.

Other Florida Efforts (Shared by Florida Philanthropy Network (FPN))

FPN has compiled an initial repository of resources for foundations and non-profits. You can access all accumulated resources by visiting our resource page – FPN Hurricane Ian Resource Page

PUERTO RICO RELIEF EFFORTS

The Boston Foundation and the Latino Equity Fund has a list of organizations working on the ground in Puerto Rico that you can choose to support.

(Shared by Grantmakers in the Arts and Philatropia Puerto Rico)

Point32Health Grants $500,000 in Community Priority Areas

Point32Health Foundation announced 10 new grants to support priorities identified by communities across New England. The grants improve access to healthy food and advance healthy aging in places where disinvestment, systemic racism, and barriers to access have prevailed.  Grants total $505,000.Grants support both general operations, giving nonprofit organizations flexibility in allocating resources, and ideas generated by nonprofits to address specific community needs. These funds will go to organizations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.  The Rhode Island recipient was RIALA Senior Living Institute, which received a grant to make Rhode Island’s assisted living facilities more welcoming and supportive, especially for older LGBTQIA+ adults.

Citizens Renews Partnership With Feeding America to Fight Hunger

For the fifth consecutive year, Citizens has joined forces with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, contributing more than $1 million as a Leadership-level partner to further broaden and deepen its efforts to help fight hunger.

The renewed relationship builds on a successful four-year partnership which has brought funding into local markets and seeded Feeding America’s Ending Hunger program. This year’s funding is primarily categorized as equitable access grants, which aim to increase access to nutritious food among households with individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residing in communities experiencing high food insecurity rates.

In 2021, through the Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger initiative, the bank helped provide 16.3 million meals* via its partnership with Feeding America and other local hunger relief organizations. Citizens colleagues volunteered nearly 90,000 hours to help combat hunger in communities across the bank’s enterprise.

As part of Hunger Action Month, Citizens colleagues will display their commitment to fighting hunger by participating in Citizens’ Step Up to Fight Hunger challenge in which colleagues’ healthy activities and steps are translated into meals to support local communities.

Additionally, throughout the month of September, Citizens will host a virtual food drive supporting Feeding America. Each dollar donated will provide 10 meals in communities served by the bank and Citizens will match each dollar donated up to $20,000.

Get more information about Citizens community initiatives here.

*$1 helps Feeding America provide at least 10 meals through local member food banks.

van Beuren Charitable Foundation and BankNewport Support Housing Study

Two GCRI members have provided funding to Connect Greater Newport, the economic development research arm of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, to analyze the availability of workforce housing for residents in Newport and Bristol counties.

van Beuren Charitable Foundation provided a $71,000 grant and BankNewport provided a $10,000 grant to study the gaps in available housing for the local workforce and develop a plan to predict and address those gaps for the next decade.

According to The Newport Daily News, “The chamber is currently in the data collection phase of the project and recently released a survey on workforce housing to member businesses.

The goal of the survey is to gauge greater Newport County businesses’ plans for their employees in the future, how many people they expect to hire and what they anticipate paying them, to better understand what the needs for housing will be.

‘We’re taking a bit of a different approach than other more traditional annual reports that come out about housing affordability because we’re not just looking at low to moderate income. We’re looking at the workforce housing category, which is considered to be around 80 to 120% of the median income,’ Donovan-Boyle said. ‘We’re looking at mid-level managers, we’re looking at teachers, nurses, even police officers, firemen, all of those types of individuals who fall into that salary range.’

The median annual income for households in Newport County is estimated to be about $84,282, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey, which makes the salary range for households identified as ‘workforce housing’ to be between $67,425 and $101,138. 

The survey is just one part of the larger report the chamber is compiling, which it hopes to release by the end of this year. Donovan-Boyle said the chamber is also looking into how zoning laws impact workforce housing availability and trying to assess what housing stock is already available. The chamber plans to release a more official announcement of the project in the coming months.”

Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation Donates $190,000 to RI and CT Organizations

The Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded $198,850 in funding to 21 organizations throughout Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Rhode Island organizations receiving second quarter grants are:

 

Olneyville Programs Awarded $182,708 in Grants by United Way of Rhode Island

Through its Olneyville Community Fund, United Way of Rhode Island has awarded $182,708 in grants to programs whose work is strengthening the Providence neighborhood it calls home. The investments focus on creating opportunities for all by improving access to services for residents, enhancing educational offerings for children through adults, and increasing nonprofit capacity to meet community need. Eleven organizations received funding.

Grantees include Amenity Aid, Children’s Friend, Clínica Esperanza/Hope Clinic, Community Libraries of Providence, FirstWorks, Inspiring Minds, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, Project 401, Providence Promise, and Teatro ECAS.

More information

Champlin Foundation Awards $9.6 Million to Nonprofits Statewide

The Champlin Foundation announced more than $9.6 million in capital funding to 87 nonprofit organizations across the state.  Nonprofits receiving funding in this cycle serve Rhode Islanders of all ages across youth services, healthcare, arts and culture, and beyond. Among the recipients are 12 first-time grantees. 

The Champlin Foundation specifically supports capital improvements across nine areas of focus: arts and culture, conservation and parks, education, healthcare, historic preservation and heritage, libraries, social services, youth services, and welfare of animals. Every area is represented in this round of funding. Total giving by the Foundation will be supplemented with a second round of grants in fall 2022. 

The funding includes three $1 million awards, given to the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum, Crossroads Rhode Island, and the Boys and Girls Club of Providence.   It is unusual for Champlin to award three grants of this size in one cycle, but it speaks to both the tremendous need in the nonprofit community and the leadership and commitment of the grantees.  

The Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum is preparing to build a comprehensive, four-building campus on 18 acres of rural University of Rhode Island land in South Kingstown that honors the region’s Indigenous history with a new museum, robust archives, a maker’s space, as well as a building for educational programming. 

In the face of an urgent statewide affordable housing crisis, Champlin awarded a $1 million grant to Crossroads Rhode Island, the leading provider of homeless services. The organization’s main headquarters, which is the epicenter of service and support for the more than 1,100 Rhode Islanders who face housing insecurity on any given day, is in need of significant exterior restoration and repair.  

The third and final $1 million grant in this cycle is going to the Boys and Girls Club of Providence, which plans to renovate and expand its Wanskuck Clubhouse. The branch opened in 1927 and has been providing recreational activities and educational programming to the young people of the city’s North End ever since. The Boys and Girls Club of Providence is also a longstanding grantee, having received the first of what has been an annual grant from The Champlin Foundation in 1958. 

In addition to the three mentioned, grants supporting other transformational projects were awarded to Teatro ECAS, which is building out a larger theater in the Valley Arts District; Save the Bay, which is moving its Newport aquarium to a greatly expanded new Downtown space; Revive the Roots in Smithfield, which is acquiring land and the historic Mowry house; and a grant to CCRI that will completely update the Dental Hygiene program’s equipment at the Lincoln campus.  

 The full list of grantees and their awards is available on the Champlin website

Point32Health Employees Invest Over 3,000 Hours of Service in Volunteer Week

During the week of June 13, Point32Health – the combined organization of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan – held its second annual Volunteer Week. Volunteering is at the core of Point32Health’s values, shaping our culture and impacting community health.

More than 1,250 colleagues volunteered 3,300 total hours at 57 projects benefiting 49 nonprofit organizations across five states. Employees served a range of organizations working to address food security, clean up parks, tend to community farms, support people experiencing homelessness and so much more – all to create healthy, thriving communities.

In Rhode Island, Point32Health volunteers packed Meals4Kids and supplemental nutrition boxes for older people served by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank (photo).

Blue Cross Fuels Innovative Mobile Food Markets

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has established a partnership with Elisha Project, a food rescue organization that prevents food waste while supplying nutritious foods to Rhode Islanders experiencing food insecurity.

“This is an exciting new partnership for us,” said Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Carolyn Belisle. “Elisha’s mission dovetails perfectly with our goal of comprehensive health and well-being for all Rhode Islanders. Access to healthy food is a critical driver of whole health, and Blue Cross is committed to increasing access to nutrition and other resources Rhode Islanders need to achieve their best health.”

Elisha Project Co-Founder George Ortiz concurred. “We are not a traditional food pantry,” he said. “Elisha focuses on rescuing fresh foods, especially protein, vegetables, and fruits, foods that are in scarce supply for the people who need them most. We recognize the tremendous health benefits of eating fresh food. People who are struggling socio-economically are often relegated to eating pre-packaged and inexpensive food high in sugar and saturated fats. These limited options can lead to dangerous health conditions like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Fresh, nutritious food is expensive. With its emphasis on keeping Rhode Islanders healthy, Blue Cross is a logical – and welcome – partner for the Project.”

The Project distributes food through its monthly share markets, which are currently held as drive-up events. Dates for the share markets for the remainder of 2022 are the following Saturdays (locations are not yet final except for the market on 4/30 at 786 Elmwood Avenue in Providence):  7/16, 8/20, 9/17, 10/22, 11/19, and 12/24. Each family of four can be expected to receive approximately 25 lbs. of nutritious, fresh food including protein, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to other needed household items like diapers and personal care items. Recipients can also find recipe cards in English and Spanish, to provide suggestions for preparing the food they receive.

The Project depends on volunteers to pack boxes and bags for share markets, to drive trucks and perform other tasks. In the past three years, more than 150,000 people have followed the Project on its three social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – where the Project also recruits its volunteers – and every market “sells out.” At the March 23 market, more than 45,000 pounds of food and other items were distributed. “We had nothing left over,” notes Ortiz.

In addition to BCBSRI, the Project partners with local colleges and universities and local businesses. A longstanding partner is Seven Stars Bakery, which loans the Project warehouse space in Pawtucket.

RI Foundation, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Recognize Effective Nonprofits

The Rhode Island Foundation honored three nonprofit organizations with its annual Best Practice Awards. The work that is being honored includes an initiative to support Latino-owned small businesses and a community gardening program that grew one ton of fresh produce for a local food pantry.

Sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the award program recognizes outstanding practices by Rhode Island nonprofit organizations in the area of collaboration, with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.

The three recipients will each receive $5,000 grants in recognition of their achievements.

The Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown was honored for its “Good Gardens Program,” which focuses on growing produce for the food pantry at Newport’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. In 2021, over a ton of fresh fruit and vegetables was donated.  The initiative is a collaboration with the MLK Center and the URI Master Gardeners. It includes a summer program that introduces kids to gardening.

The Woonsocket Afterschool Coalition was honored for doubling the number of school children receiving services. The Riverzedge Arts Project is one of six nonprofit organizations that comprise the coalition.

The Coalition aims to increase the number of students receiving services by an additional 4,000 in the next three years. The other partners are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northern R.I., the Community Care Alliance, Connecting for Children and Families, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley and the Woonsocket YMCA.

The Rhode Island Israel Collaborative in Providence was honored for its R.I. Latino Biz Web Design Project, which matched skilled local students with Latino-owned businesses in Rhode Island to create websites in order to keep up with the move to e-commerce during COVID-19.

In partnership with the R.I. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 31 Latino-owned businesses were paired with students from Providence College and other local colleges to create websites using Israeli WIX, a cloud-based, web development platform located in Israel. The Israel General Consulate to the New England and other donors helped fund the project.