The Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation recently awarded 11 grants totaling $37,186 for programs that positively impact the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The community foundation’s board ratified this latest round of grants at its quarterly meeting Nov. 20.
Grants were awarded to programs that provide diversity training to volunteers and professionals serving the LGBT community, including a $1,580 grant to the CASA Board Volunteer Association for specialized training for child welfare workers in Summit County. The grant will help the agency host training sessions for more than 200 professionals from the CASA/GAL program, Summit County Juvenile Court, and Summit County Children Services to educate workers about the unique needs and experiences of LGBT youth in the foster care system.
“While most children in the child welfare system face challenges, these increase exponentially when LGBT youth are mistreated and spend time in foster care,” said Beth Cardina, CASA program coordinator. “This training will provide professionals with the tools and information they need to be effective working with this special population.”
Other grants will provide bullying prevention programs in local schools, support screenings of LGBT films in downtown Akron, and offer counseling and support to LGBT senior citizens.
Since awarding its first grants in 2005, the Gay Community Endowment Fund has reinvested nearly $400,000 into local nonprofit initiatives that promote the well-being and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in the Greater Akron area. To make a gift to the Gay Community Endowment Fund, visit www.akroncf.org/give/GCEF.
The following grants were awarded this year:
Akron Art Museum, to support an art tour program for middle and high school students that challenges their assumptions about gender identity, sexuality, body image and race, $6,220
Akron Public Schools, to support a student-led cyberbullying prevention and education campaign at Innes Community Learning Center, $3,186
CASA Board Volunteer Association Inc., to improve the quality of life of LGBT youth in foster care through specialized training for child welfare professionals in Summit County, $1,580
Cleveland International Film Festival, for screenings of LGBT films in downtown Akron as part of the 40th Cleveland International Film Festival, $2,500
Community AIDS Network, to support a conference that educates local social workers, teachers and health care workers about the needs of the LGBT community, and to create a digital directory of LGBT-friendly service providers in Northeast Ohio, $6,000
Friends of 91.3, to broadcast positive messages about kindness, respect and bullying on KIDJAM! radio in Akron Public Schools, $1,000
Jewish Family Service of Akron Ohio, for “Reaching Akron’s Silent Generation,” a program that provides education, counseling and social support for LGBT senior citizens, $5,000
Kent State University Foundation Inc., for the LGBTQ Student Center at Kent State University, $5,000
OutSupport Inc., to increase the visibility of this local LGBT advocacy group through outreach and promotional materials, $3,500
Stark State College Foundation, to send students to two regional conferences that promote leadership, activism and empowerment among LGBT college students, $1,700
Stewart’s Caring Place, to increase the agency’s support of LGBT cancer patients and their families through cultural competency training for staff and volunteers, $1,500
About the Gay Community Endowment Fund
Founded in 2001, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is a permanent philanthropic endowment of Akron Community Foundation. It facilitates and perpetuates philanthropy by supporting programs and services that support or positively impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as the entire Greater Akron community. Since its inception, the fund has grown to approximately $1 million while reinvesting nearly $400,000 into the community. Contributions of any amount are welcome and support future grant-making. Checks may be sent to the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307-2407. For more information, or to contribute, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.gaycommunityfund.org.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 60 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Sept. 30, 2015, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $176 million with a growing family of more than 500 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded approximately $128 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.