Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important values of the foundation and one of our Community Impact grant priority areas. When events of racial injustice spurred national conversation earlier this year, we joined forces with local partners to support the LEDA pledge and opened a summer grant round specifically for DEI work in our community. In an effort to begin to address the systemic racism within our community, we invited key for-impact organizations to partner with us in their work to foster community conversation and address systemic racism.
The North Bank Communities Fund awarded a grant to Spring Lake Township to replace the roof on the historic DeWitt School. “The North Bank Community Fund does exactly what they say with their funds. They have been long time supporters of the DeWitt School—first with the bell tower renovation and now with the new roof.” –John Nash, SLT Supervisor
Thanks to community support from people like you, we exceeded our $600,000 fundraising goal, which allows us to continue aiding community relief and recovery in response to COVID-19.
At the foundation, we’ve adapted and adjusted, and are remaining flexible not only in how we deliver programming to our YAC, but in how we plan to spread philanthropy and our work to the youth in our community. We continue to focus on youth empowerment—specifically through mental & emotional, physical, and community & cultural wellbeing.
This spring, we awarded $621,140 in scholarships to 220 area students. The GHACF holds over 125 scholarship funds with varying criteria, such as financial need, academic achievements, and field of study. Another factor our scholarship committee considers is if a student would be among the first in their family in their generation to continue their education after high school. This year, we were able to award scholarships to 32 first generation students.
We are pleased to announce fifteen second-round grant awards, totaling $225,923, in support of Northwest Ottawa County and our surrounding communities. This includes $40,000 to the Tri-Cities Historical Museum for their three-part capital improvement project at the Community Archive and Research Center (CARC), located at 14100 172nd Avenue in Grand Haven.
Traditionally our May board meeting includes an annual dinner with the board, full team, and significant others. While this year’s was held via Zoom, our board chair still “passed the gavel,” we bid farewell to our outgoing board members, and welcomed two new members. This year, Randy Hansen and Tammy Bailey have reached the end of their terms, and we welcome Mary Carole Cotter and David Swain to the board.
The Excellence In Education event is a long-standing tradition at the community foundation where we recognize and honor the area’s top high school students who are graduating at the top of their classes. Each honored student is asked to select an educator who has had a significant impact on the student’s academic achievements and accomplishments. The educator may be any teacher from the student’s educational experiences, all the way from kindergarten to the present.
The entire community is invited to support the Restoring Hope Challenge Match. Every gift makes an impact, and because the foundation is matching all donations, $50 becomes $100, $100 becomes $200, and so on. We’re extremely grateful for the generosity this community has continued to demonstrate and ask that they don’t stop now
Over the course of ten weeks, the community coalition that we formed together with the Greater Ottawa County United Way, the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, and other organizations has raised $872,679 for the Emergency Human Needs Fund, and awarded over 100 grants to area nonprofit organizations that are continuing to address the increase in basic human needs throughout the county. Here are a few stats: