The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. approved grants for the Fall 2011 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $1,012,500 were made available to 12 charitable organizations the week of December 5, 2011. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant.
Open Door Community House (www.opendoorcommunityhouse.org)
A $75,000 grant to Open Door Community House in Columbus, Georgia to support the organization’s fiscal year 2012 operating budget. Open Door is an agency of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and provides a number of social services to low and moderate-income residents of Muscogee County, Georgia. Services include case management for homeless women, programs for children, youth and senior citizens, a clothing ministry, a community parenting program, a GED program, a transition home for women in crisis and a showering program for the homeless.
Society of St. Andrew (www.endhunger.org)
A $30,000 grant to the Society of St. Andrew to support fiscal year 2012 operating expenses for the regional gleaning office located in Tifton, Georgia. The Society of St. Andrew is a ministry of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church which distributes millions of pounds of food annually to food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, churches for local distribution and individuals.
The Vashti Center for Children and Families (www.vashti.org)
A $70,000 grant to the Vashti Center in Thomasville, Georgia to provide operational support to allow for continued expansion of community services in 2012. The Vashti Center is an agency of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church providing a number of various services to children including an residential care, clinic services, intensive family intervention, community support individual services, permanency placement services and basic education for at-risk youth who have been removed from the public education system.
America’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Coastal Georgia (www.helpendhunger.org)
Grants totaling $50,000 to America’s Second Harvest in Brunswick, Georgia to be provided in two segments: $25,000 to provide operational support for the Brunswick, GA warehouse in 2012 and $25,000 to support Mobile Food Pantries in Camden , Glynn, Charlton and Brantley counties in 2012. America's Second Harvest Food Bank of Coastal Georgia was established in Savannah in 1981 to provide hunger relief services to 21 counties in coastal Georgia. The food distribution warehouse located in Brunswick, Georgia serves southeast Georgia including the four counties of Camden, Glynn, Brantley, and Charlton.
Camden County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)(www.camdencountycasa.org)
A $75,000 grant to the Camden County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program in Kingsland, Georgia to provide operational support for Camden County CASA programs, including the visitation center, in 2012. CASA is a statewide program, established in Camden County in 1997 to provide advocacy services for abused and neglected children in Camden County who have been placed in foster care. Advocacy services are provided through trained volunteers who are appointed by the Juvenile Court to represent the child until the child is placed in a permanent and safe home. The visitation program assists in increasing the frequency and amount of time children in foster care can spend with their families and helps better maintain their relationships with parents and other family members.
Coastal Coalition for Children (www.cc4children.net)
A $32,000 grant to the Coastal Coalition for Children program in Brunswick, Georgia to support the Healthy Families program in Glynn County in 2012. The Coastal Coalition for Children is organized to work within the community to encourage communication and collaborations among agencies and individuals and to enable the development and coordination of services to high-risk youth and their families. Healthy Families is a program that focuses on families who have teenage parents and their children ages 0 – 3.
Wesley Glen Ministries (www.wesleyglenministries.org)
Grants totaling $92,800 to Wesley Glen Ministries to be provided in two segments: $50,000 to provide operational support for the St. Marys Group Home for special needs women in 2012 and $42,800 to provide financial support for overall ministry operations in 2012. Wesley Glen is a ministry of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves people with mental disabilities in central and south Georgia. The St. Marys facility provides a residential home environment and cares for up to five residents.
Wesley Foundation of Macon (www.wesleyofmacon.org)
A $28,000 grant to Wesley Foundation of Macon to support the Intern Program. This represents the first of a three-year commitment to this program, with the second and third year of funding being issued as challenge grants. Wesley Foundation of Macon is a ministry of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church for college students at multiple campuses in the Macon, Georgia area. Their mission is to be a place of belonging for all college-aged students where they can grow into mature disciples of Jesus Christ. Through their ministry they hope students will grow in their faith to become the next generation of Christian leaders.
Satilla Advocacy Services
A $54,700 grant to Satilla Advocacy Services in Waycross, Georgia to create a satellite Child Advocacy/Rape Crisis office in Charlton County. Satilla Advocacy Services was established in 1997 to promote the mental and physical wellbeing of children, youth and families through forensic medical examinations, forensic interviews, therapy services and advocacy services for children who have been victims of physical or sexual assault as well as adult victims of sexual assault. Satilla Advocacy Services provides these services to the six counties of the Waycross Judicial Circuit, which includes Brantley and Charlton Counties.
The Georgia Center for Nonprofits (www.gcn.org)
A $75,000 challenge grant to the Georgia Center for Nonprofits to further assist in improving the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofits in Camden, Glynn, Charlton and Brantley counties. This represents the second year of a three-year commitment to this program. The Georgia Center for Nonprofits works to serve, strengthen and support local nonprofits by providing them with information, nonprofit management and business skills training, consulting, technology, insurance and employment services.
Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation (www.vsuwesley.com)
A $30,000 challenge grant to Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation to support the Intern Program. This represents the third and final year of a three-year commitment to this program. Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation is an agency of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Their mission is to minister to students on campus and to further the Kingdom of God in the area He has called people to. They aim to make disciples of Jesus Christ who live with the resolve to love both God and people and they seek to educate and equip emerging young adults to live lives manifesting both personal and social holiness.
The Together Coalition (www.togethercoalition.org)
A $400,000 grant to the Together Coalition to provide seed funding for a unique collaboration called the Together Coalition to build community resilience in the Karamoja region of NE Uganda. This grant represents the first year of a new 5-year partnership between the Together Coalition and the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation. The Together coalition brings together four Christian agencies (Church World Service, MAP International, ECHO and SMUMCF) to carry out a joint development program. Together will work in Northern Uganda to serve the poor and marginalized while capitalizing on the core competencies of each organization. Through this integrated development program the coalition will mobilize active community participation where individuals, families and communities can take responsible action to improve their well-being. Community empowerment, holistic integrated development and spiritual growth are important dimensions of this joint venture. The goal of the program is to build community resilience in the region. Grants funds will be administered through a donor advised fund at the National Christian Foundation.
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. approved grants for the Spring 2011 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $585,000 were made to 12 charitable organizations the week of June 6, 2011. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant.
A $20,000 grant to the American Red Cross – Northeast Florida Chapter (www.nefloridaredcross.org)
A $20,000 grant to the American Red Cross in Camden County to provide funding for personal assistance to families who experience house fires in Camden and Charlton Counties. The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization, led by volunteers, that provides relief free of charge to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
A $30,000 grant to Camden Community Crisis Center / Camden House
A $30,000 grant to Camden Community Crisis Center to provide operational support in fiscal year 2012. Camden House provides safety and support for people in Camden and Charlton counties who are victims of domestic violence through a variety of programs and services.
A $35,000 grant to The Gathering Place (www.thegp.org)
A $35,000 grant to the Gathering Place in Brunswick, Georgia to support the college ministry Converge at the College of Coastal Georgia. The recent expansion of the College of Coastal Georgia to a 4-year curriculum and the addition of student housing is providing the college with opportunities to increase its student services and include a more holistic approach to the student body. The Gathering Place ministry will help to serve as a spiritual component of the college’s overall approach to better serve its students.
A $30,000 grant to Glynn Community Crisis Center / Amity House (www.amityhouse-gccc.com )
A $30,000 grant to Glynn Community Crisis Center to support the operation of Hope House in 2011-2012. The Glynn Community Crisis Center provides emergency shelter and services to individuals and their children suffering from domestic abuse. Hope House provides a continuum of housing and support to families exiting the emergency shelter that are in need of additional services and collaboration with community resources to become self-sufficient.
A $37,600 grant to Grace House of Brunswick (www.gracehousebrunswick.com)
A $37,600 grant to Grace House of Brunswick to provide operational support for a home for women recovering from alcohol and drug addictions. Located in Brunswick, GA, Grace House is a non-profit, long-term residential home for women recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Their mission is to provide a safe, structured, affordable Christian home with a 12 step recovery program for women who have a desire to live free of drug and alcohol addictions regardless of age, race, religious beliefs or financial situation.
A $75,000 grant to Magnolia Manor (www.magnoliamanor.com)
A $75,000 grant to Magnolia Manor to support the resident charitable assistance program called the League of the Good Samaritan for fiscal year 2011-2012. Magnolia Manor is a ministry of the South Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church established to provide long-term care and affordable living to the elderly.
A $23,000 grant to the Methodist Home for Children and Youth (www.themethodisthome.org)
A $23,000 grant to the Methodist Home for Children and Youth in Macon, Georgia to provide operational support for the St. Marys Group Home. The Methodist Home is an agency of the South Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church that seeks to provide a healing, nurturing setting for children, youth and families in need through regional group homes.
A $78,000 grant to the Miracle League (www.camdenmiracleleague.com)
A $78,000 grant to the Miracle League of Camden County to establish a Miracle League baseball field for special needs children and families at Lions Park in Kingsland, GA. Miracle League’s mission is to provide opportunities for all children to play baseball regardless of their ability. With over 1,000 special needs children in Camden and surrounding areas, the field will provide an opportunity that does not currently exist anywhere in the area.
A $75,000 grant to the Paige Thomson Foundation (www.paigeshelpinghands.org )
A $75,000 grant to the Paige Thomson Foundation to provide funding to install a handicap accessible playground for special needs children at Howard Peeples Park in Kingsland, GA. The Paige Thomson Foundation was established in September 2006 to improve the comfort, enjoyment and quality of life for children with special needs in Camden County. They seek to provide support, education, funds and activities for children with special needs, their families, their schools and communities.
A $30,000 grant to the STAR Foundation (www.starfoundation.org )
A $30,000 grant to the STAR Foundation in Brunswick, Georgia to provide operational support for the STAR Program for 2011-2012. The STAR Foundation assists individuals in achieving self-sufficiency and economic stability through computer literacy and job readiness training.
A $76,400 grant to Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, Inc. (www.wesleyctrs-savh.org )
A $76,400 grant to the Wesley Community Center in Savannah, Georgia to support the fiscal year 2011-2012 operating budget. The Wesley Community Center is an agency of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church which serves children of all abilities, and has many programs and services to cater to the needs of low and moderate-income women, children, youth and families throughout Savannah and the surrounding area.
A $75,000 grant to the College of Coastal Georgia (www.ccga.edu)
A $75,000 grant to the College of Coastal Georgia to provide start-up funding for the Center For Service Learning. This represents the second and final year of a two-year commitment to the project. Through the Center for Service Learning, all enrolled students will have the opportunity to spend at least one semester in a service learning course. The courses will allow students to learn through participation in civic engagement and community commitment, cultivate a new generation of caring and experienced citizens and volunteers and increase overall community volunteerism.