The Canaan Childcare Center provides daycare to 34 children of working parents in North Canaan, most of whom are low-income families. Nestled in the cold and snowy foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, the area has a poverty rate of 13.6 percent.
Canaan Child Care Director Frances Chapell reached out to the Foundation as the children could not play outside comfortably because they did not have waterproof mittens. Through an End of the Year Grant, made possible by the Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund, the Foundation was able to award the Childcare Center a grant for water proof mittens.
Mohawk Ski Area President Carol Lugar wanted to make sure that the children received high-quality waterproof mittens that would last for several wintry seasons. Rather than allowing the childcare center to purchase the mittens from a large discount store, Lugar provided the ski-quality mittens that the Mohawk Mountain Ski Shop sells at the same price she pays to stock them in the store.
Thanks to charitable people who have been establishing funds with the Foundation since 1969, the Community Foundation provides millions of dollars in grants and scholarships every year to support nonprofits within our focus areas: Arts & Culture, Civic & Education, Environment and Health, and Human Services. Cycle grants are awarded three times a year, awarding grants to non-profits, including art associations, historical societies, environmental conservation organizations, and soup kitchens
Capital grants repair and provide products
Capital grants enable nonprofits to purchase needed products and services, such as the 2013 grant to Friends in Service to Humanity (FISH) for the purchase and installation of a 20kw generator, ensuring that homeless families in Litchfield County will not suffer hunger and cold because of a power outage.
Program grants enrich lives
Program grants provide support for programs that enrich lives in Northwest CT, including a program by Covenant to Care that partners with 12 local organizations to provide direct assistance to children and youth experiencing abuse and/or neglect, and the Washington Art Association’s Clay on Wheels, a program that pairs high school students with the elderly to experience the therapeutic and expressive qualities of creating with clay.
End-of-year grants address critical needs
In addition to cycle grants, the Foundation awards year-end critical grants to organizations that assist families of limited financial means.
Grants through special funds and partners improve the community
The Women & Girls Fund awards grants for programs that provide opportunities for women and girls to develop life skills, enhance economic self-sufficiency, build self-esteem, and promote personal growth.
The Youth Fund provides grants to youth-oriented nonprofit organizations based on recommendations from area high school students who participate in the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) council. The fund supports organizations that serve youth, including bullying and substance abuse prevention programs.
The Edwards Community and Nonprofit Endowment Project provides matching-grants to assist northwest Connecticut non-profits with the establishment of endowment funds or to increase established endowments. The project is made possible through a grant from the Marion Wm. and Alice Edwards Fund. Selected non-profits receive a $1 match for every $4 raised with a maximum $20,000 match per organization. All funds generated through the project are placed in an organizational endowment.