Akron Community Foundation’s Millennium Fund for Children is celebrating 15 years of grants to children’s programs throughout Summit, Portage and Medina counties. The fund’s grants committee recently approved 30 grants totaling $38,500 to arts, education and health programs, bringing the cumulative grant-making total to $575,344. Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors ratified the grants at its Dec. 5 meeting.
In addition, the Millennium Fund announced the launch of a new initiative to grow the fund through corporate philanthropy. Fund leaders plan to involve local business owners with the creation of a corporate engagement committee composed of corporate donors to the fund. This group will help determine how to best increase awareness among businesses and – ultimately – grow the fund’s assets and impact. It also offers businesses a public way to show their commitment to helping local children, a cause many of their customers are passionate about.
“This is the perfect opportunity for child- and family-focused businesses to show their support for children’s causes in our community,” said Millennium Fund committee member Jan Leach.
The fund continues to seek gifts both large and small from individual residents. “Every gift — from dollar bills to stock transfers — helps,” said Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. said. “Your gift will be combined with thousands of others and will grow over time, helping the fund make a big difference in the lives of our smallest residents.”
A partnership of the Akron Beacon Journal and the community foundation, the Millennium Fund for Children began in 1999 when local residents donated their last hour’s pay of the millennium. Since then, people have donated gifts of all kinds and sizes, growing the fund to more than $820,000 and making nearly 400 grants to provide gifts for children in foster care, live music and theater performances for area students, food and clothing for at-risk youth, and much more.
To donate to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit www.akroncf.org/give/millennium. Or, to inquire about making gifts of real estate, appreciated securities, retirement assets or life insurance, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president of development and donor engagement, at 330-436-5610 or [email protected].
The following grants were awarded from the fund this year:
ACCESS, to provide meals, health assessments, clothing and school supplies for children living at the shelter, $2,000
Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs, to purchase a shower commode chair that will allow campers with disabilities to independently bathe and use the restroom, $1,625
Battered Women’s Shelter, to provide enrichment opportunities and field trips for children living at the shelter, $1,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, to support art programs for at-risk youth, $1,000
CASA Board Volunteer Association, to purchase coloring books and games for abused and neglected children in foster care, and to provide a holiday movie outing for the kids and their caregivers, $1,000
Children’s Concert Society of Akron, to help children from low-income families attend the Concert Hall Series, $1,500
Community Hall Foundation, to support a series of family-friendly productions at Akron Civic Theatre, $1,000
Crown Point Ecology Center, to introduce low-income children to organic farming and gardening through the 2015 Summer Farm & Science Camp, $2,000
Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, to help children from low-income families attend live dance performances at the Akron Civic Theatre, $1,000
Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, for a ballroom dance residency program for students of Akron Public Schools that fosters respect, teamwork and self-esteem, $1,000
First Congregational Church of Akron, for the Peanut Butter & Jelly Outreach Program at Mason Community Learning Center, which provides students in need with food for the weekend, $2,000
GASP: Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection, to support child safety programs that teach children about Internet safety, sexting, bullying and abuse, $500
Girls on the Run of Greater Summit, to provide nutritious snacks for participants and teach healthy eating habits, $2,000
Good Neighbors Inc., to purchase toothpaste and toothbrushes for children in need, $1,000
Good Samaritan Hunger Center, to supply high-protein groceries to children in need during the summer, $1,000
Grace Academy of Small Wonders, for the “Feeling Good About Me” program, which builds the self-esteem and social skills of young girls, $2,000
GriefCare Place Inc., for grief camps that help children and teens cope with the loss of a loved one through art, music and therapeutic peer activities, $1,000
Here’s Hope Horse Farm, for the summer therapeutic riding program for children with special needs, $2,000
Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, to support financial literacy and work readiness programs for students at Mason Community Learning Center, $500
Leggett Community Learning Center, Akron Public Schools, to support a basketball program that teaches youth about team building, respect and discipline, $633
Magical Theatre Company, to support theater productions and drama workshops for homeless children in Akron, $2,000
Mobile Meals Inc., to provide medically prescribed supplements to children in need, $1,000
OPEN M, for an early childhood education program that prepares children from low-income families for kindergarten, $2,000
Project Shoes, to provide shoes to Akron Public Schools students in need, $1,000
Rape Crisis Center, for the Tina Project, which helps prevent teen dating violence by educating middle and high school students about healthy relationships, $2,000
Shelter Care Inc., to support recreational activities for at-risk youth in the Respite Care Program, $1,000
Summit Cycling Center, to raise awareness about the Safe Routes to School program, which encourages students in Akron Public Schools to walk or bike to school, $542
Victim Assistance Program, for the “Kids Need a Firm Foundation” picnic for children who have witnessed or been victims of violence, $1,500
Victory Gallop, to support the 2015 Summer Fun Day for children in the therapeutic horseback riding program, $500
Weathervane Community Playhouse Inc., to provide theater class scholarships to children from low-income families, $1,200
About the Millennium Fund for Children
The Millennium Fund for Children is a permanent endowment that was founded in 1999 as a partnership between Akron Community Foundation and the Akron Beacon Journal. It supports arts, civic, education, and health and human services projects for children living in the Beacon Journal’s circulation area. Its mission is to make grants where even a small amount can make a difference. Since its establishment, the Millennium Fund has grown to more than $820,000 and awarded approximately $575,000 in grants. In the past year, 286 gifts totaling $41,220 have added to the fund. For more information, or to contribute to the Millennium Fund for Children, visit www.akroncf.org/millennium or call 330-376-8522.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 59 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 $180 million with a growing family of more than 450 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation welcomes 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 nearly $118 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.