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Alex Fischer (right) with her younger sister, Caroline, at their lemonade stand that raised hundreds of dollars for Charlotte Rescue Mission. Photo courtesy of CRM

CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation recently awarded $480,000 to 33 nonprofits through its family stability and social capital grant programs.

Both grant programs align with the recommendations of the Leading on Opportunity report.

Awards went to area nonprofits such as Renaissance West Community Initiative, Veterans Bridge Home, Refugee Support Services of the Carolinas and GardHouse.

“GardHouse will provide students of color interested in health care with paid internships that build professional acumen and social capital,” said Jonathan Gardner, executive director of GardHouse, which received a $10,000 grant. “Learning how to navigate (the health care field) while health care professionals are in demand is essential for our students. Thanks to CMCF, students will reach past their expectations and connect with those that can unlock doors of continued success."

CMCF has awarded more than $55 million in grants since it was established in 1995 following a $35 million bequest from Lucille Puette Giles. Since the fund is an unrestricted endowment, it provides a permanent source of grantmaking for community needs as they evolve over time. In total, CMCF granted more than $2 million to fund local programs in 2020.

“In a year as challenging as 2020, the importance of both social capital and family stability in pursuing economic opportunity is as clear now as ever,” said Brian Collier, executive vice president at Foundation For The Carolinas in charge of civic leadership. “From providing virtual mentoring and coaching to improving housing stability to promoting issues of racial and social justice, our hope is the programs these grants support will have a meaningful impact on the community.”

The 2020 Family Stability grant awards include:

• $20,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas to provide virtual mentoring for students in Mecklenburg County.

• $9,000 to Brave Step to provide group therapy in support of mothers impacted by sexual violence.

• $35,000 to Care Ring for the Nurse-Family Partnership, which promotes prenatal care and parent education and resources.

• $10,000 to Charlotte Rescue Mission for a program that helps families reduce aggression and anti-social behavior in children.

• $16,000 to Common Wealth Charlotte to provide loans and financial coaching to individuals in the Latinx community.

• $10,000 to Families Forward Charlotte to provide personalized mentoring and educational workshops to families in need.

• $20,000 to Freedom Communities for the Moms Moving Forward program, which aims to build healthy habits for mothers and their families.

• $5,000 to Hope Haven to provide long-term recovery care and more to families with a caregiver who has a substance-use disorder.

• $15,000 to International House to launch an outreach program for immigrant families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

• $10,000 to McClintock Partners In Education to provide a “virtual family night” to keep students and families engaged.

• $20,000 to Mental Health America of Central Carolinas to provide parent-to-parent peer support.

• $25,000 to Planned Parenthood South Atlantic to provide health services and education in Mecklenburg County.

• $25,000 to Renaissance West Community Initiative to help increase employment levels for residents.

• $20,000 to Safe Alliance to provide critical community resources to adult and child victims of domestic violence.

• $15,000 to The Center for Community Transitions to provide remote counseling sessions to children and caretakers affected by incarceration.

• $20,000 to Thompson Child & Family Focus for a program that assists youth with mental health needs in transitioning back into the community.

• $10,000 to Veterans Bridge Home to assist in improving upward mobility for veteran families.

• $20,000 to YWCA Central Carolinas to assist families in securing permanent housing within 18 months of completing the Families Together, Families Stable program.

The 2020 Social Capital grant awards include:

• $10,000 to Andreas H. Bechtler Arts Foundation to provide teaching artists to teach youth and adult inmates in Mecklenburg County Detention Centers.

• $15,000 to Arts+ to support Project Harmony, a community-based orchestra outreach program for Charlotte-area youth.

• $15,000 to Carolina Farm Trust to support a six-acre, food-producing farm in a designated food desert in Charlotte.

• $10,000 to Cops & Barbers to provide scholarships, tuition reimbursement, social justice and leadership education to students.

• $15,000 to Digi-Bridge to provide mentors to STEAM scholars.

• $10,000 to EmpowHERment to provide a career coach that will help support and direct female mentees.

• $10,000 to Free Press to help fund its News Voices: North Carolina program that increases access to, and quality of, local journalism.

• $10,000 to GardHouse to support a program that pairs students of color with healthcare workers of color to increase work-based opportunities.

• $10,000 to GenerationNation to increase social capital networks and access to opportunity for 250 students from high schools throughout Mecklenburg County.

• $10,000 to Mint Museum of Art for the Grier Heights Community Youth Arts Program that provides students art classes and teen health initiatives.

• $10,000 to Our Turn to help local students create positive change in their schools by identifying issues and advocating with elected officials.

• $25,000 to Refugee Support Services of the Carolinas to pair community volunteers with refugee families to provide assistance.

• $5,000 to The Relatives for a mentoring program for young adults.

• $10,000 to Thompson Child & Family Focus for a mentoring program that provides life-navigators to students.

• $10,000 to YWCA of the Central Carolinas to educate and mobilize community members around issues of racial and social justice.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation is a discretionary grantmaking arm of Foundation For The Carolinas.

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