The Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund, a permanent philanthropic endowment of Akron Community Foundation, announced its 2016 grant distributions Friday. Grants totaling $11,250 were awarded to seven qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving women and children in Medina County.
Since its inception in 1998, the fund has awarded 85 grants totaling $136,272 to improve the lives of local women and children.
This year, more than half of the amount awarded will support programs for students in Medina County schools, including a $2,500 grant to Feeding Medina County for its Weekenders for Children program. Each Friday, the program provides bags with three nutritious meals and snacks to preschool and elementary-age students who participate in their school’s free and reduced-price lunch program. The goal is to ensure those students can continue to eat healthy meals outside of school.
“By keeping children nourished over the weekend, they come to school on Monday mornings hungry to learn, and not hungry,” said Sandra Hinkle, executive director. “Research supports that children are better learners, healthier and more socially adjusted if they are well fed.”
With the help of this grant, Feeding Medina County will reach 750 children in 19 different schools across Medina County.
“The board members of the Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund are pleased to fund such an important county-wide program,” said Mari Halkovich, Grant Selection Committee chairperson. “The Feeding Medina County Weekenders Program helps many families and is a model for other communities.”
Other grants this year will provide transportation to medical appointments for women in need, support suicide prevention programs in Medina County high schools, and purchase educational materials to prevent child sexual abuse, among other projects.
The following is a full list of grants awarded in 2016:
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, $2,000
Children’s Center of Medina County, to purchase educational materials for child sexual abuse prevention programs, $1,000
Faith in Action Medina County Caregivers, to provide free transportation to and from medical appointments for elderly and disabled women in Medina County, $2,500
Feeding Medina County, to provide bags of healthy food for hungry students to take home for the weekend, $2,500
LifeAct, for suicide prevention and depression awareness programs at Brunswick, Buckeye, Cloverleaf, Highland and Medina high schools, $1,500
Matthew 25 Coalition, to provide emergency assistance to women and children in rural southwest Medina County, $1,000
OutSupport Inc., to support a leadership program that will help LGBT and allied students in Medina County promote inclusivity and diversity in their schools, $750
About the Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund
The Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund, an affiliate of Akron Community Foundation, was established in 1998 to improve the lives of women and children in Medina County. The mission of the Medina County Women’s Endowment Fund is to fund organizations and programs in Medina County that support women and children, to serve as a catalyst for needed projects, and to assist women in their growth as philanthropists. The fund encourages the advancement and full participation of women and children in the community and in society. In addition, it supports organizations and programs that create opportunities for the educational, physical, emotional, social, artistic and personal growth of women and children. Since the fund’s establishment, it has grown to nearly $350,000 and awarded more than $135,000 in grants. For more information, or to contribute to the Medina County Women’s Endowment fund, go to www.medinawomensendowment.org.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 61 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 March 31, 2016, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $182 million with a growing family of nearly 530 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 $130 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.