Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ leader in collaborative philanthropy, has awarded Connected Communities grants totaling $366,704 to 12 nonprofit organizations. The organizations will launch projects that improve the quality of life in the Midlands by building a more livable, equitable and just community to live, work, play and raise a family.
In its eighth year, the Community Foundation’s Connected Communities grant initiative helps connect residents to their community and knits the Midlands region together. Since inception, grants totaling $2,742,573 have been awarded to support local projects.
Grant project proposals were focused on one or more of the areas identified by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Gallup and On the Table Community Survey as the most important elements of an attractive, vibrant and equitable community. This year’s grant recipients presented ideas that increased residents’ access to safe places to live and work; healthcare facilities and services; quality job opportunities; affordable housing; safe, proximal, high-quality recreational areas; and quality arts and cultural events.
“We are proud to award Connected Communities grants to these outstanding organizations,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “Their innovative projects will enhance their community’s quality of life and provide support to underserved residents.”
Connected Communities grants are funded by the Foundation’s Community Impact Endowment fund and several Field of Interest funds. These funds were established with generous gifts from visionary donors who knew their unrestricted gifts would allow the Foundation to respond to the ever-changing needs and opportunities in our region for generations.
The selected projects will serve residents in Richland, Lexington, Sumter, Fairfield, Kershaw and Lee Counties.
2022 Connected Communities Grant Recipients
The following projects have been approved by the Foundation and will be funded by Connected Communities grants:
- Columbia Children’s Theatre, “Papa Tank’s Center for Inclusion” will create quality arts programming through sensory performances and workshops intended to provide experiences for a more inclusive group of artists and audiences.
- Columbia Museum of Art, “More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series, Hosted by Dr. Birgitta Johnson” will expand access to quality arts and cultural events while promoting equity and social justice for diverse audiences and lifelong learners from across the Midlands through vibrant community discussions, educational public programs, podcast interviews and a series of live concerts at the museum.
- Crooked Creek Art League, “The Chapin Art Trail” through an online experience will not only beautify the community but also provide an attractive and memorable journey that enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
- Good Samaritan Clinic, “Expanding Remote Access to Healthcare for Underserved Populations” will increase the availability of telehealth and on-line resources to underserved populations within the Midlands and Lowcountry of South Carolina.
- Lions Vision Services, “Envision the Midlands” will expand access to an innovative solution to vision health that will save sight for individuals experiencing poverty.
- Transitions Homeless Center, “Senior House” will better serve the elderly and medically fragile homeless population and address the unmet need for a program that provides mental and physical stimulation for both housed and homeless men and women so they can remain independent.
- Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, “Lending a Helping Hand” will assist unemployed and homeless people in Lee County acquire employability skills and obtain jobs to help their families.
- Sumter Habitat for Humanity, “Organization Strategic Plan and Repair Program Implementation” will realign the current procedures and practices of the organization and create a strategic plan to include the startup and implementation of an exterior home repair program as an additional arm of the organization and its advocacy towards safe and sustainable housing.
- The B Strong Group, “Project Empower” — a monthly workshop series designed to support and advocate for parents and caregivers of those with sickle cell diseases — will address the lack of education, create more awareness in the areas of treatment, social challenges and other complications of sickle cell disease to ultimately create healthier communities.
- Turn90, “Enhance Services to Men Returning from Prison” will equip men in Richland and Lexington County returning home from prison with the skills to stay out of prison and connect them to quality employment, thereby creating a community which is safe for all to live and work.
- Welvista, “Diabetic Testing Supplies Pilot Program” will address an unmet medical need in the community by providing free glucometers and testing strips to uninsured diabetics in the Midlands.
- UofSC McKissick Museum, “Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden – Phase 2” will restore and enhance community access to the nationally acclaimed topiary garden that self-taught, African American horticulturalist Pearl Fryar has created just outside the Bishopville city limit in Lee County, SC.
For more information about Connected Communities grants, visit www.yourfoundation.org/grants or call 803.254.5601.
About Central Carolina Community Foundation
Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Midlands’ leader in collaborative philanthropy, is a nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands of SC by distributing grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the online giving challenge Midlands Gives, On the Table, Connected Communities grants, the One SC Fund, and annual scholarships. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.yourfoundation.org or call 803.254.5601.