The Medina County Community Fund of Akron Community Foundation recently awarded 11 grants totaling $38,000 to nonprofit organizations that improve the lives of Medina County residents. The grants were announced on Friday, June 19, at the fund’s annual Spring into Summer event.
Since its inception in 1993, the Medina County Community Fund has awarded 188 grants totaling $474,081 to organizations that serve residents of Medina County.
This year, several grants will support transportation programs for low-income, homeless and disabled residents. A $9,000 grant was awarded to Medina Creative Housing to help purchase a handicapped-accessible van to transport participants in its life skills and vocational training programs. Currently, the agency’s 10-year-old van can only transport one person in a wheelchair at a time. By purchasing a van with increased capacity, the agency will be able to transport four people in wheelchairs at once and accommodate a total of 592 additional riders per year.
“Van transportation is critical to enable all children, youth and adults to participate in our programs and to engage in their community,” said Sharon Biggins, Medina Creative Living occupancy specialist. “Our programs foster independence, allowing individuals with disabilities to live their lives with dignity and opportunity.”
Medina County Community Fund leaders noted the ripple effect of providing the area’s most vulnerable residents with transportation, including increased access to employment, food and health care.
“Reliable transportation is crucial, especially for people in poverty and those with disabilities,” said Diana Riley, Grants Committee chair. “Necessary services like transportation could mean the difference between homelessness and employment, or hunger and nutrition.”
Other grants this year will increase awareness about human trafficking in Medina County, provide snacks for after-school programs, and enrich the community through free performances and art programs.
The following is a full list of grants awarded in 2015:
Brunswick Educational Foundation, to support the BEAT Video Program, in which student “backpack journalists” create print, Web and video stories about Medina County initiatives for broadcast by Northeast Ohio media outlets, $2,500
Children’s Center of Medina County, to purchase human trafficking education and prevention materials to distribute to families and professionals in Medina County, $1,200
Faith in Action Medina County Caregivers, to provide free transportation to and from medical appointments for elderly and disabled Medina County residents, $9,000
Matthew 25 Coalition, to provide fuel and auto repair vouchers to rural residents in poverty who need transportation to their jobs, school or medical appointments, $5,000
Medina Community Police Activity League, to provide snacks for after-school programs, $500
Medina County Arts Council Inc., to support free performances and arts programs throughout Medina County as part of the 2015 Arts Week Festival, $1,200
Medina Creative Housing, to purchase a handicapped-accessible van to transport participants in the life skills and vocational training programs, $9,000
Oaks Family Care Center, to support a fatherhood education seminar in Medina County, $2,000
Operation H.O.M.E.S., to provide homeless families and individuals with transportation to work, school and medical appointments, $5,500
ORMACO Inc., for the Jazz Under the Stars free concert series in Medina’s public square, $1,000
RePlay for Kids, to provide adapted toys to low-income families with children with disabilities in Medina County, $1,100
About the Medina County Community Fund
The Medina County Community Fund, an affiliate fund of Akron Community Foundation, serves as a permanent philanthropic endowment for Medina County. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Medina County residents, now and in the future. The income from this fund is distributed annually to qualified nonprofit organizations that provide a wide range of cultural, educational, health and community services. To date, the fund has grown to nearly $740,000 and awarded nearly $475,000 in grants. For more information, or to contribute to the Medina County Community Fund, visit www.akroncf.org/MCCF.
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. Today, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $191 million with a growing family of nearly 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 more than $124 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.