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We are celebrating 75 years of people coming together to strengthen and build our community – both the people who have donated and invested money over the years and the people who have come together to get things done.  In collaboration with Henry Ford Jackson Hospital’s Health Improvement Organization, the Consumers Energy Foundation Endowment Fund, the African American Community Endowment Fund, and JCF’s Community Needs Fund, we have $75,000 to invest in Community Choice Grants. With the help of our community, we will be awarding 10 grants in the amount of $7,500! Stay tuned for details on the selections process!

Selection Process

All ideas submitted by the deadline are now available to review.  Your job is to choose 5 (five) of the ideas that you think will have the greatest impact on our community in Jackson County, Michigan. Input Deadline: Monday, December 11, 2023 by 5:00PM, click the "Choose your Five" button to select your favorites!

 

CELEBRATE WITH US!

Everyone is invited to join us for the Community Choice Grant Party on Thursday, December 14th at the Michigan Theatre, downtown Jackson. Doors open at 4:30 PM, Grant announcements at 5PM. There will be complimentary light refreshments.  ALL Eligible Applicants attending the event (that did not receive one of the 10 (ten) Community Choice Grants) will be entered into several $750 mini-grant drawings and announced at the event as well! 

Community Grants - 75K for 75 years! Choose your top FIVE!
 

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Andy's Angels

Andy's Angels would use this grant for events and activities at Andy's Place that directly benefit residents. The money would be used toward their annual Cedar Point trip along with holiday events held at Andy's Place such as Christmas, Thanksgiving dinner, 4th of July BBQ, Easter Egg Hunt and other activities that cultivate community and family among the residents in a clean and safe environment. These events and activities are vital to their recovery enabling them to feel like productive members of society. It's special to see the families living there flourish and this grant would help us continue that.

Black Food Sovereignty Coalition

Residents in Action, Inc (RiA), has participated in several projects surrounding food insecurity.  After three years of extensive involvement of data collection with Michigan Health Endowment Project Funds, RiA has not only been able to intimately engage with those in the community who are or have experienced food insecurity, residents themselves have embraced this learning journey and are ready to do what is needed to progress change in a way that entails taking meaningful and positive action.  A Black Food Sovereignty Food Coalition has been formed to facilitate the creative and innovative ideas.  These funds will support those efforts.

Columbia Jr/Sr High School

We would like to start an apiary (beehive) program at Columbia Central Jr/Sr High School.  The money would be used to purchase equipment to raise bees, harvest honey and use wax to make candles, chapstick, etc.

Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County

Compassionate Ministries of Jackson County (CMJC) continues to meet the food insecurity needs of Jackson County households. Our seventeen community food pantry sites have seen a 28% increase in the number of households we have served thus far this year compared to the same time last year. Additionally, CMJC’s After School Backpack ministry is providing seven hundred school-aged children, representing twenty-three different schools, with food each weekend.  Our costs this year through October is up 41.6% compared with the same time last year. $7,500.00 would allow us to continue to meet the basic food needs of thousands throughout our community.

Jackson Black Excellence Awards Banquet

If awarded this grant, we will utilize the funds to cover the significant costs associated with hosting a large-scale community banquet. This event, expected to accommodate over 500 attendees, involves substantial expenses, including the rental of a suitable venue, provision of food, decoration of the space, and creation of event programs etc. This grant will greatly assist in offsetting these expenses, ensuring a successful and memorable gathering for the community.

Jackson County Disaster Assistance Response Team (J-DART)

J-Dart would put a second response vehicle in service to improve arrival times throughout Jackson County and provide better coverage during large-scale responses. We provide critical canteen and rehab services during responses to our first responders. By the time they request our activation, significant time may have already passed putting our first responders in danger of dehydration and exhaustion. By quickly providing beverages and seasonal comfort items, we are able to positively impact or avert a situation which can lead to heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke, which can result in permanent organ failure, cardiac arrest and even death.

Jackson County Michigan Historical Society

This request would be for our County Historical Marker Program. We are focusing on this program because of its benefits to the Jackson Community and its visitors. This funding will enable us to research, pay for and install (5) durable, outdoor, laminate 19 x 24- inch historical markers and research/programming pertaining to the markers.

Jackson First United Methodist Church Wellness Team

Our After-School Pack Program provides supplemental food to low-income students in Jackson.  Each week volunteers meet to package food to be provided to students for the weekend, when free/reduced cost school meals are not available.  This fall, the program has experienced a significant increase in students to be served, increasing from 120-140 students each week, to more than 200 students each week so far this fall.  This increase is straining our current resources.  $7,500 would fund 1,500 meals and assist us in maintaining this important program for low-income students.

Enhancing Minds

Our group of adults and children work to encourage positive social peer interactions, respect for others, leadership skills and discourage bullying. The grant would help us to purchase and provide transportation to do sessions at the HUB and around the city of Jackson with children. We will buy snacks to help with our homework encouraging encouragement. The group activities include group activities of games, role play, and volunteering.  The games we introduce to the children are to encourage mindful consideration for one another. In our role playing we will promote leadership and self confidence that help them succeed in school academically.

Jackson School of the Arts

We would like to offer Arts Programming opportunities to inner-city youth in Jackson County, having this fund available for youth members of either King Center or Isaiah's Hub to join one arts program (Dance, Theater, Tae Kwon Do, or Gymnastics) for the year. This request would support up to 15 kids. We have partnered with King Center in the past to support 15 kids, but there are additional kids identified that would be interested in participating. Isaiah's Hub would also have a group of students interested as we have seen past participation with 10 students in our summer programs.

Faith Temple Church At Risk Children Programs 

Faith Temple Church would like to restart our afterschool program for at risk children because we are in a at risk area. Receiving this grant would surely build up our goals for the community especially children.

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Gems of Jackson Childcare and Education Center / Collins Adult Daycare / Kimmyz Kidz

Our group would utilize the funding in a community approach to reach more citizens within the Jackson Community. 
-Gems of Jackson Childcare and Education Center, would utilize the $2500.00 to provide before and after school programming as well as providing necessities to the families enrolled in our childcare center.
-Kimmyz Kidz, would utilize the $2500.00 to provide groceries and clothing for youth in the Jackson Community who have had one parent deceased.
-Collins Adult Daycare, will utilize the funds to provide and support Intergenerational programming for the youth and seniors involved with any of the three organizations in this collaborative.

Gospel Army Black History Group

The cost of purchasing living history uniforms and equipment is prohibitive in recruiting, especially young African American men.  We are seeking funding to help provide support for this student organization. This includes uniforms (the primary expense), traveling expenses, camping/display equipment, and minimal stipends to help with the student’s expenses. Our organization loans the equipment out to the students as a means of support at the events, as well as, acquainting young African American men with participating in living history programs. We also would like to expand our displays, purchase many new educational displays, posters, restore aged displays, and handouts.

Financial Education & Entrepreneurship Centers of America

In our unwavering dedication to addressing financial disparities within BIPOC communities, we empower students and community members through comprehensive financial literacy education, bridging income, retirement, and wealth gaps. With your support, we continue to break down barriers, fostering financial independence and generational prosperity. Navigating complexities of financial disparities within BIPOC communities, our organization has been a steadfast advocate for positive change. Your contribution will amplify our efforts, catalyzing lasting change and empowering individuals to take control of their economic futures. We create invaluable lessons, fostering independence and prosperity within our communities, one step at a time.

Jackson Area Club Soccer

A $7,500 grant would help Jackson Area Club Soccer install much needed fencing around the fields that are located at Northeast Elementary in Jackson.  Unfortunately, the fields have been driven on and vandalized several times over the course of the last couple of years.  The group is now looking for a way to protect the facilities so that the youth who are members of the club can have the best playing experience possible.

League of Women Voters Jackson Area (LWVJA)

The LWVJA will present the first of three free programs, this one entitled “Brain Health-How to Live Your Best Life” with Dr. Surae Eaton on April 16, 2024. The theme is developing the skills to maintain a healthy brain, a concern of all socio-economic groups in Jackson. It would involve 12-24 local organizations such as the Jackson District Library, Department on Aging, County Health Department, Alzheimer’s Program, Racial Equity Commission, Jackson College, and to Jackson’s most economically challenged people by offering the program on the east or southeast section of the city.

M-Power Ascension

These funds would give our group the necessary financial support to provide free personal training, provide healthy meals and create programs for underserved families, who are battling obesity, depression and otherwise would not be able to have access to health and fitness services. We would provide the gym membership, and if necessary transportation to and from the gym as well. There’s a direct connection between lack of exercise and healthy foods, and mental health, as well. We feel that when you eat better, and exercise you will feel better, and then are mentally stronger to start setting goals and accomplishments.

Napoleon High School Spanish Club

We are trying to create cross-cultural opportunities by having a group of students go to Puerto Rico to study the sustainability of the rain forest, participate in a study of different cultures within the United States, and discuss both possible problems and solutions both communities have.  The goal is to have students present their learning to the public to educate about the similarities and differences between the populations of Jackson County and Puerto Rico.

New Smiles, New Beginnings Inc.

Our group will deliver preventative dental services, oral health education, and raise awareness about the systemic relationship between oral health and diseases. By establishing mobile dental clinics, we will provide dental cleanings and treatments for the underserved in Jackson County. Simultaneously, our educational programs will focus on the connections between oral health and systemic diseases, as well as the detrimental impact of drugs and alcohol on oral health. This initiative is designed to bridge oral health disparities, provide holistic health knowledge, and contribute to healthier lives among at-risk individuals in Jackson County.

Next Future Jackson

Looking for proven ways to how communities have raised education rates, free tutoring services had the highest rate of impact in education success. After the pandemic millions of children in the United States were behind several grades due to having to switch to virtual learning. This had a huge impact on children who were experiencing poverty, housing instability, food insecurity, and abuse. We bring volunteer tutors together to work one-on-one with students at zero cost to the student.  We would use the grant to cover the cost of food/snacks, school supplies, private tutors in advanced subjects, and operating expenses.

Partial to Girls

Partial to Girls could authentically support, educate, and offer opportunities to families that are the most economically challenged in Jackson County. PTG has identified that playpens and bassinets are in great need for those families who can’t afford to buy “safe sleeping” items for their babies, thus increasing the number of infant deaths and accidents in our county. We would like to purchase those items and be able to assist families. Our hope is to help decrease the infant mortality rate for those black/brown babies, help those living in poverty, and to ensure babies have a healthy start.

Residents in Action, Inc

Residents in Action, Inc (RiA) has evolved into a central hub of support for grassroots initiatives and projects in the Jackson area.  We organize, people, data, funding and process improvement with an embedded array of professional services, coordination, facilitation and deep community connections with people with lived experience and those who are considered trusted resources.  We bridge the gaps between the residents and professionals and have a special focus on the Black community, those living in poverty as well as those who have historically experienced inequity.  The funds will contribute to RiA's backbone structure so RiA can continue its work.

Save our Youth Jackson

Save our Youth has partnered with Real Estate Investor, Brian Rockwell, to create a park area on vacant land at 107 Lincoln Court in Jackson.  The lot has been purchased and we intend to beautify it with gardens and fencing. Our intention is to have a safe playground area with sandboxes and play equipment such as jungle gyms, slides, swings and other fun, safe activities for local neighborhood children. We also intend to add permanent checker/chess boards. Many of these families meet ALICE qualifications.

Second Chance Resource Center

We propose a collaborative payment program for the Second Chance Resource Center, aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. This initiative will involve partnerships with local businesses to provide on-the-job training and transitional employment. Grants will support wage subsidies, enabling employers to take part while offering participants valuable skills and work experience. By reducing the financial burden on businesses, we encourage their involvement in creating a more inclusive workforce. This program not only benefits individuals seeking a fresh start but also fosters community reintegration, reducing recidivism rate.

Sharp Park Academy Community Care Closet

An idea that started as just a way for parents to exchange uniforms from year to year has grown tremendously. After organizing a donation drive, we received over 600 pieces of clothing. We have been able to give 120 uniforms packs to 120 students at Sharp Park Academy. That means 120 students have received 3-5 days worth of uniforms. There has been an increased need with the cold weather. We've also learned of the need for basic hygiene products and even things like socks & underwear. We would like to expand our closet to fulfill more student and families needs.

WAI-IAM, Inc. & STR8TALK

Through this $7,500 grant we would present STR8TALK, a drug and alcohol awareness and prevention program, to three (3) Jackson County High Schools to enhance lives of students and residents and bring awareness to the emotional causes behind drug and alcohol use. We currently have five (5) Letters of Commitment from Jackson County High Schools and are tirelessly seeking funding to answer these calls to bring STR8TALK to these schools.

We the People

'We the People' is a local group dedicated to sharing information regarding local opportunities and resources to the historically underserved population of Jackson. Our main hub is a social media group with over 1,400 members that will use this grant money to expand access to critical information in the Jackson community by using direct mail, text, and local engagement to address the information divide that is keeping people from accessing the critical resources they most need. We are also looking to register voters and provide basic education concerning local government.

Welcome Home Organization

Provide direct programming to youth that focuses on civic engagement, leadership development, and life skills.  Funding will be used for transportation, stipends for program providers, program materials and providing program participants with incentives, including a stipend for program completion / attendance.  Transportation is a barrier for many at-risk youths, we will utilize funding to provide transportation to help remove this barrier.  We also know that hungry youth are not ready to learn, so by providing food at programming events we hope to better equip youth to be in the best state for learning.

Young People of Purpose

The funding would be very valuable to YPOP for rent/storage, operations and programming, collaboration, planning, coordination, of YPOP activities as well as equipment for and maintenance of the garden. The highest priority at this time is to use the funds (in combination with other funds) to install electricity for the garden but funding in general for operations and supports is under resourced.  As a result, financial assistance to support these grassroot activities is critical and YPOP appreciates consideration.

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