Sixteen Arizona nonprofits will share more than $333,000 through the Gannett Foundation’s A Community Thrives grantmaking and crowdfunding initiative.
Principal recipient, Tempe-based Lily’s Pad, is receiving $20,000 to help build a hyper-clean play facility for children with autoimmune diseases, cancer and heart defects.
The 5-year-old Community Thrives program supports education, arts and culture, wellness, and community development in cities nationwide. Nearly $2.3 million in grants are awarded nationally.
“The services provided by these nonprofits have become even more vital as COVID-19 lingers,” said Greg Burton, editor of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. The Republic and azcentral are owned by Gannett Co. Inc.
“These grants, along with this year’s upcoming season of sharing, reinforce one of The Republic’s core missions: to make Arizona a better place for all of us to live.”
To be eligible for the final review of the Community Thrives grants, organizations had to raise a minimum amount of donations from their supporters. Backers gave Lily’s Pad $9,793, bringing her Community Thrives total to $29,793.
The group is renovating a 5,800 square foot space to create a clean play space for their client families.
“Having witnessed firsthand the isolation and loneliness these families face, we hope to be a missing piece in the holistic approach to healing,” said director Dawn Garza.
“Being chosen as an ACT grant recipient is both humbling and exciting, and it brings us one step closer to opening our doors.”
Lily’s Pad is named after Garza’s niece, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017 at the age of 3. Her treatment forced her to stay away from playgrounds and other public places. The lack of interaction has hindered his social development. Lily has been cancer free since 2020.
Of the Arizona recipients, Hope House of Sedona funded the most money through A Community Thrives with $25,950. Combined with a $4,700 grant, the group raised nearly $31,000 to provide transitional housing for homeless families and children in the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District.
Both Lily’s Pad and Hope House are first-time Community Thrives recipients.
Check out last year’s winners: Community garden, historical society, animal rescue groups get a boost from 2020 A thriving community.
Helen’s Hope Chest, which received a $25,000 grant in 2020, is receiving $10,000 this year. Combined with donations, the group has raised over $33,000 through this initiative. The group’s Foster360 program supports young adults coming out of the foster care system by providing housing, mentoring, social and placement services. The funds will be used to expand a second residential campus.
Other 2021 A Community Thrives grant amounts (and total raised through crowdfunding):
- 1N10, Phoenix, $8,400 ($15,175). The organization serves LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24 by providing educational workshops that promote self-esteem and resilience.
- Arizona Bach Festival, Phoenix, $4,700 ($9,500). Shares the music of Bach and his contemporaries through performances, workshops and educational opportunities.
- Down Syndrome Network Arizona, Tempe, $8,400 ($29,550). Provides people with Down syndrome and their families with resources and educational programs.
- Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, Phoenix, $8,400 ($14,600). Combines art and mentors in experiences where children can process trauma through artistic activities and trusting relationships.
- Shelter house, Mesa, $4,700 ($11,575). Provides homeless families affected by domestic violence with transitional housing and support services.
- Wildlife Freedom, Phoenix, $10,000 ($25,320). Treats more than 12,000 sick, injured or orphaned animals annually. A feather depot collects feathers from rescued birds for traditional ceremonies in indigenous communities. Liberty also received $10,000 from A Community Thrivs in 2020.
- National Audubon Society, Phoenix, $8,500 ($14,500). The program aims to build lasting relationships between urban communities of color and their local natural spaces. The local group received $7,000 from A Community Thrivs in 2020.
- Phoenix Children’s Choir, $8,400 ($23,465). Serves nearly 400 children ages 5-18 through performances, workshops and community engagement. Removes barriers to accessing music education for low-income students. The Chorus received $5,000 from A Community Thrivs in 2020.
- Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity, $8,400 ($20,275). Builds houses for families in need. The group has helped 95 families. He received $7,000 from A Community Thrivs in 2020.
- Rosie’s House: A Children’s Music Academy, Phoenix, $10,000 ($17,600). Music programs are offered to students in need, providing weekly music lessons and performance opportunities. Rosie received a Community Thrivs grant of $21,700 in 2020.
- School Connection, Glendale, $8,400 ($13,050). Connecting with 2,200 K-12 schools in their communities so all students can reach their full potential.
- Tempe Community Action Agency, $10,000 ($16,800). Provides services to homeless families and adults, including food pantry, community garden, rental and utility assistance, and emergency shelter.
- The Be Kind People Project, Phoenix, $10,000 ($26,905). Serves more than 300,000 students, families, teachers and schools through programs that give young people the opportunity to learn relationship skills, responsibility, health and well-being. The group received $10,000 from A Community Thrivs in 2020.
Nationally, A Community Thrivs has awarded grants to address a range of social issues, including homelessness, LGBTQ mental health care, and girls’ education, to name a few- one. Since 2017, A Community Thrives has distributed $17 million in grants and donations to community organizations.
Roxanne De La Rosa writes about nonprofits for The Republic and azcentral.com. Contact her at [email protected]
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