In life, we sometimes enter into a season where we just want a do over. Nothing seems to be going right and life just gets hard. This week is one of those seasons for many close to me. This week, those I love have been in accidents, endured hospital stays and medical procedures, had pregnancy complications, and have overall just had “one of those weeks.” Some of you can relate to this kind of week. In fact, some may go as far as to say the entire year needs a do over!
I agree 2020 has been an interesting year full of surprises! And while I tend to agree this year is not one I’d like to repeat, I have seen some positive things come out of this both personally and professionally. The Community Foundation of Grundy County (CFGC) like most organizations has looked a bit different this year in the way we interact with others and the way we direct our funds. But one thing has remained, CFGC continues to bridge people who care with causes that matter.
Through our competitive grant program, CFGC has provided over $15,000 in grants to worthwhile causes including:
• Grundy County Association of the Handicapped to purchase a generator for Narvick House
• Grundy County Health Department to create Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) classes for those in recovery from serious mental illness or substance abuse
• Grundy County 4-H to conduct a virtual livestock auction
• South Wilmington School District to purchase electronic devices for students to use in the class
• IL District Show, Cattle Series to support a district cattle show for youth in our area
At the start of the pandemic we reactivated the Disaster Fund at the Community Foundation of Grundy County and were able to help with immediate needs of some social services serving Grundy County. Approximately $20,000 was granted to area food pantries as well as for medical needs associated with COVID to local not-for-profits.
The 100+ Women Who Give of Grundy County meet twice this year, so far donating a total of $5,500 for the Exibit Fine Arts Gallery and small business grants within Grundy County.
The Gerald D. Abel Endowment was established to benefit children and veterans in need. In 2020, the Community Foundation Board of Trustees approved grants from the Abel Fund totaling $19,200 to support:
• Summer Camp at the Morris YMCA
• Pediatric services at Joliet Area Community Hospice
• A Makerspace Program at Coal City Public Library
• Staff development at Jump Start
• Sensory kits at various Morris Hospital and Healthcare Center locations.
In May, the Youth Philanthropy Groups from our five area high schools granted $25,000 out to twenty individual organizations. The grants ranged in amount from $300-$2,500. If you are interested in learning more about this program or seeing the grant recipients, check out our Facebook posts from early May. https://www.facebook.com/Community-Foundation-of-Grundy-County-122315711112349/
Through a partnership with the United Way of Grundy County and the Illinois COVID Relief Fund another $75,000 was granted through CFGC to support Grundy County organization with needs related to COVID. And through a partnership with Grundy Chamber of Commerce as well as donor funds at CFGC another $35,000 was granted out to small businesses for expenses related to COVID.
The grants and funds mentioned above are only a small portion of those held at CFGC and still have be responsible for facilitating roughly $195,000 to organizations in Grundy County! With three months left in the year the number of facilitated grants is sure to increase. Every dollar granted out means a program or service can continue to meet the needs of Grundy residents. In a year when there has been much negative, I think this is a positive to celebrate!
— Devan Gagliardo is Program Director for Community Foundation of Grundy County.