Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland

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News & Event

Community Stabilization Fund Grant Distributions

We are pleased to announce the first and second round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. Our efforts are designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and take into account the range of other supports that have come into our community from both public and private sources. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, $950,000 has been committed to the fund! This includes a $200,000 investment from the Community’s Endowment combined with generous gifts from local donors.

First Round Grant Distribution

Family Independence Initiative

Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program

Amount awarded: $115,000

Focus area: Financial stability - continued basic needs supports

The first round of grant distributions, made in June, focused on the priority area of financial stability. A total of $115,000 was invested to launch the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program. This effort provides $500 emergency unrestricted cash relief to eligible local individuals who have lost their jobs or are experiencing significantly reduced hours of paid work due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Since the start of the pandemic, various federal stimulus bills have transferred funds to people who have lost their jobs, and to lower/middle income families in general; but there are individuals and families in our community who haven't yet received those funds, or may not be eligible to receive them. These friends and neighbors are struggling to meet their basic day-to-day needs.

CFHZ and some of our generous donors, alongside key community organizations who serve these populations, explored a variety of options to assist those who are falling through the cracks of our existing support systems. Collectively, we identified a direct-cash assistance program, partnering with a national organization called Family Independence Initiative (FII), as a key strategy to serve our vulnerable community members. We granted $100,000 to FII to establish the program, and an additional $5,000 each to our core partner agencies for administrative support to implement the program. We're delighted to share that generous local donors contributed an additional $500,000 for a total cash assistance funding pool of $600,000!

We have partnered with three local organizations who will identify those individuals who quality for the program: Community Action House, Good Samaritan Ministries, and Movement West Michigan. Each of these partners has further engaged their network of partner churches, grassroots organizations, and neighborhood community organizations to extend their reach to as many families as possible.

To be eligible for the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program, individuals must:

  • Live in the Greater Holland/Zeeland area (defined as zip codes 49423, 49424, 49464, 49460, 49419, 49453, or 49406)
  • Not be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return
  • Have an annual household income of less than $50,000 in each of the last 2 years
  • Have experienced more than a 50% reduction in employment income since March 1, 2020
  • Have not received federal stimulus funds
  • Have not received unemployment funds

To date, the Direct Cash Assistance Program has directly impacted 600 individuals. We're deeply thankful to the generous local donors who have contributed towards these efforts.

Second Round Grant Distributions

Good Samaritan Ministries

Eviction Diversion Program

Amount awarded: $150,000

Focus area: Financial stability – preventing people from slipping into poverty

Good Samaritan Ministries recently received funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to launch a six-month Eviction Diversion Program which will use a collaborative court process model, bringing together the courts, Legal Aid, mediation, tenants and landlords to provide lump sum payments to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes. The Community Stabilization Fund grant will support GSM’s efforts to scale up capacity and ensure robust program delivery and services to divert hundreds of families from potential homelessness and provide a path back towards thriving in our community.

Outdoor Discovery Center

Maximize outdoor learning opportunities

Amount awarded: $40,000

Focus area: Education - mitigating the education opportunity gap

This grant will support ODC Network’s partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and Holland/Zeeland area districts to provide schools and teachers with support, resources, and training on activating outdoor spaces and utilizing outdoor learning as a means to lower school building population density and increase social distancing while providing safe, meaningful, and engaging learning experiences for students. This effort will increase the chances of more children being able to safely attend school in person, which is beneficial for all children’s learning, but especially for those children who were already struggling in school and who likely experienced even greater learning loss due to the remote learning transition last spring followed by summer break.

Ready for School

Adapt and expand Start School Ready for Fall 2020

Amount awarded: $40,000

Focus area: Education – mitigating the education opportunity gap

Ready for School, in partnership with area schools, rapidly adapted their highly successful kindergarten readiness program to offer the four-week experience in a modified format this summer. Given the unique challenges facing this year’s incoming kindergartners and their families, this grant will support continuing the program into the fall to complement and enhance whatever format in which schools are able to provide kindergarten. How well this critical first year of school goes for these students will have a long-lasting impact on the trajectory of their learning and this investment will help ensure they have the strongest kindergarten experience possible in an inherently difficult environment.

Children’s After School Achievement (CASA)

Adapt the Academic Year Program to new formats for Fall 2020

Amount awarded: $25,000

Focus area: Education – mitigating the education opportunity gap

CASA provides elementary school students who are struggling academically with a structured educational support program to achieve their learning goals. CASA pivoted quickly this summer to continue providing students robust learning opportunities in an effective and meaningful way despite new constraints. This grant will invest in the follow-up effort to re-imagine what Fall CASA programming looks like, particularly as the organization works to incorporate Hope College Education Department students who typically serve as one-on-one tutors during the school year in a new format. 

Family Hope Foundation

To increase access to educational opportunities for students with special needs and learning disabilities

Amount awarded: $15,000

Focus area: Education – mitigating the education opportunity gap

This grant will allow Family Hope Foundation to expand their therapy scholarship program for Holland/Zeeland area children with special needs and learning disabilities to help them regain progress and milestones lost due to recent interruptions to schooling and support services. The program works collaboratively with a broad network of providers to find customized supports that will best serve each individual student’s needs.



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85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423   (616) 396-6590   Email us