The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation recently announced it awarded a record-breaking $100,000 in grants to 17 area nonprofit organizations.
Increased giving by area residents and a major estate gift last year propelled the foundation's grant funding capacity to record levels, the foundation reported. Recent grant rounds typically provide about $10,000 to $15,000 in funding.
"The generosity and planned giving of people in this community have allowed the foundation to make a substantial impact in the region," said Mike Burton, coordinator of the Brainerd Lakes Area Foundation. "This really demonstrates our collective power to change lives and build a stronger community."
The foundation has provided about $1.4 million in grants since it started in 1998. It is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the residents of Crow Wing and southern Cass counties. Nonprofit organizations, particularly those with programs focusing on youth, human services and that demonstrate community progress, are encouraged to apply for BLACF's general grants.
The latest round of grants support a variety of community needs ranging from stocking food shelves and providing transitional housing to remodeling a building to use as an arts center and providing programs that educate youth on the economics of life.
"These grant dollars are supporting programs and services that help strengthen our community and make our area such a great place to live, work and play," Burton says.
The area grant recipients are:
Artspace Projects Inc. of Minneapolis, $7,500, to remodel the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.
Cuyuna Range Youth Center of Crosby, $20,000, to support building a new facility.
Bridges of Hope of Brainerd, $10,000, to support ongoing operational costs.
Lakes Area Senior Activity Center of Brainerd, $10,000, for a senior wellness program.
Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers of Pequot Lakes, $8,000, to support home modification for elderly and disabled residents.
Lutheran Social Services of Brainerd, $5,000, to provide HOPE Transitional Housing.
The Salvation Army of Brainerd, $5,000, to support general operating expenses to provide people with services and other daily necessities.
Lakes Area Food Shelf of Nisswa, $5,000, to support general operating expenses to provide food and home supplies for local families in need.
Lakes Area BMX of Brainerd, $5,000, to support operation costs.
Ski Gull of Nisswa, $5,000, to purchase snowboards for a "Learn to Snowboard Program."
Kinship Partners Inc. of Brainerd, $3,500, to support a summer program for girls and boys to learn life skills through the "Blueprints Program."
Northland Arboretum of Brainerd, $3,000, to support its Operation Grow and Learn Program for young adults with disabilities.
United Way of Crow Wing County of Brainerd, $3,000, to provide training for Financial Stability programs.
Lakes Area Pregnancy Support of Brainerd, $3,000, to provide ongoing program support.
Junior Achievement of Brainerd, $2,500, to support school-based programs for Brainerd lakes area students.
Crisis Line and Referral Service of Brainerd, $2,000, to support general operating expenses to provide free, confidential and non-judgmental hotline services for people in need of grief counseling and mental health intervention services.
Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen of Brainerd, $2,000, to purchase food for a growing number of families in need.
For more information about any of the individual grants, contact Susan Lorenz, program officer, at (877) 253-4380. The next deadline for grant applications is Aug. 1.
BLACF is one of more than 500 community foundations nationwide and an affiliate of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, a $68 million regional foundation.
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