The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce that seven organizations were awarded grants through the Foundation’s Community Partners program for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017. Community Partners are change agents within human services that are either delivering innovative care or developing new ideas and models for doing so. They are results oriented, leverage resources and knowledge to positively impact individuals and communities, and have the power to transform society’s vision of and approach to its most vulnerable members.
Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC)
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate seeks to be a leader in innovative family activities, a dynamic learning center and a compelling community attraction. The museum has identified a great need in the area for recreational opportunities for children and teens with special needs. Funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will allow the museum to launch Super Saturdays public programming, a monthly event where all museum programming will be tailored for individuals with special needs. They will collaborate with other local nonprofit organizations to market the monthly event to families in the community.
Community Rowing (Brighton, MA)
Youth Para Rowing Program
Community Rowing (CRI) is a public rowing club on the Charles River in Massachusetts. CRI’s Youth Para Rowing program offers safe, challenging and supportive coaching for youth with physical and intellectual disabilities. CRI is positioned to spread awareness for further inclusion within the sport of rowing and hopes to drastically increase overall participation from youth with disabilities and reach more than 400 youth from across Greater Boston this year. Funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will support coaching costs, regatta entry fees, staff development and transportation for the program.
Families Helping Families of Iowa (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Families Helping Families of Iowa offers programs and services designed specifically to help and assist children involved in the foster care system in Iowa, and the families that care for them. Their Clothing Closet provides new and gently used items of clothing, infant supplies, and furniture items to children who are removed from their homes on an emergency basis. The closet supply is stocked entirely by community members including volunteers, staff, board members, caregivers, foster parents, donors and several stores who donate items throughout the year. Funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will allow Families Helping Families to continue this vital service for children in need.
Free Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (Salem, VA)
Tub Transfer Benches
Free Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (F.R.E.E.) serves individuals with brain injury, spinal cord injury, neurological impairments, and other challenges. The organization assists individuals in achieving independence in their home and community by providing access to mobility. They recycle equipment such as power wheelchairs, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, shower chairs, tub benches, and more, which sit unused in garages and closets to serve individuals who are unable to obtain these tools that support increased independence themselves due to financial or insurance limitations. A grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will help F.R.E.E. to provide tub transfer benches, currently a waitlist item throughout the state of Virginia, for individuals in need to reduce falls in the home.
Rise Above Foundation (Northbridge, MA)
Specialty Summer Camps
Rise Above Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to providing Massachusetts children in foster care with enriching activities, opportunities and experiences. The organization responds to the growing need to give youth in foster care opportunities that will give them a sense of normalcy, provide comfort and build self-esteem. Rise Above funds individual wishes for summer camp requests completed by the youth or their social worker or foster parent. A committee of volunteers reviews applications on a rolling basis, taking into account available community resources. Funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will support Rise Above in funding summer camps for 40 youth in foster care.
Special Olympics of Missouri (Jefferson City, MO)
Special Olympics Missouri provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will help defray the cost of the organization’s Summer Games which is an event for a large population of athletes from different regions of Missouri. Due to charitable support, the event is offered at no charge for athletes to attend and participate.
Via Rehabilitation Services, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)
Roots to Employment
Via Services has helped thousands of youth and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities achieve greater self-sufficiency and lead richer lives through development of innovative quality programs which fill critical service gaps. Via’s Roots to Employment program introduces meaningful, readily accessible horticultural and carpentry skills that can be integrated into the lives of the individuals served. It instills basic knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with successful gardening and carpentry so participants can then segue into culinary arts, horticultural and vocational programs in their home communities. A grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will support the program for one year funding horticultural and carpentry materials to be used for lessons on campus as well as take-home horticultural and carpentry supplies and equipment to promote home and community carryover of that learning.
About the Community Partners Program
For more information, visit the Community Partners section of our Charitable Foundation website.