News & Event
We are pleased to announce the fifth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education.
This month we re-visited and and completed our final round of funding for our Education strategy.
In preparation for this month’s grant round, our community impact staff met with a number of youth serving nonprofits as well as local school districts and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD). The Community Stabilization Fund awarded $150,000 to six organizations.
to increase support for remote learners
Amount awarded: $35,000
With three sites that together serve both the Holland and West Ottawa districts, BGC reaches the greatest number of students outside of the schools themselves and serves elementary, middle, and high school students. Their staff have strong existing relationships with students and parents and close partnerships with educators in the two districts in which they work. This funding will allow BGC to add staff capacity to expand their Power Hour program, where students come every day after school to receive academic support, to include daytime hours for youth who are attending school virtually. All three locations have expanded hours for in person 1:1 or small group tutoring.
The Bridge is focused on serving Zeeland students and like BGC, has strong existing relationships with students and parents and works closely with Zeeland Public Schools. They also facilitate the alternative suspension program for Zeeland students who have been suspended or expelled. This funding will enable The Bridge to expand their Bridge to Excellence mentoring program to accommodate a larger cross section of our educational community and serve home schoolers and online learners. The Bridge will increase staffing to provide consistent mentors for students to help them attain their goals academically, behaviorally, and socially.
Escape has a track record of earning trust and building relationships with some of our community’s most vulnerable youth who are at high risk of disengaging with school entirely. Holland and West Ottawa districts partner with Escape on their alternative suspension program which provides intensive support to students who are suspended or expelled. This funding will be used to expand staff hours and hire additional staff to support their Alternative Suspension Accountability Program (ASAP) and After School Tutoring program enabling them to expand hours and serve more students.
to launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program
Amount awarded: $20,000
Another key demographic group that we heard from local educators needs targeted outreach and support are our English Language Learners (ELL students). To meet the unique needs of remote ELL students, Hope College in partnership with the OAISD will launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program for students in Holland, Zeeland, and West Ottawa school districts. The joint effort will leverage the OAISD’s ability to work with schools to identify the students in greatest need of this service and match them with a Hope College student tutor who speaks their home language. This funding will help seed the initial launch of this new innovative program.
to adapt programming to virtual format
Amount awarded: $15,000
Step Up provides 1:1 academic mentoring to local middle school students. The program provides need-based instruction in math and reading to close the achievement gap. As of fall 2020, 100% of Step Up participants are underrepresented or come from economically disadvantaged households. Step Up is pivoting to a virtual format this semester while still seeking to deliver high quality tutoring and mentoring to the 45 students they serve. This funding will support Step Up’s ability to adapt their programming for virtual delivery.
to expand programming to meet demand
Amount awarded: $10,000
In our first grant round for education, we awarded Ready for School $40,000 to expand their Start School Ready pre-kindergarten preparation programming in partnership with area schools. Their initial grant award was based on the program serving up to 80 students. Ready for School has exceeded that with over 100 students signed up to participate in the program. Ready for School has been flexible to meet the preferred program delivery methods of different districts. This additional funding will cover the increased costs of materials and staffing needed to serve 25% more students than projected at the outset.
We are pleased to announce the fourth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education.
This month’s funding was focused on both of our Financial Stability strategies:
In preparation for each month’s decisions, our Community Impact staff and leadership team connects with the various nonprofit organizations striving to meet the needs within the strategy we have identified that month for investment. In September, we met with 23 organizations working to keep people from slipping into poverty and providing basic needs support.
In response to all that we learned and understand about the needs right now, the Community Stabilization Fund awarded $236,000 to thirteen organizations during the fourth round of grants.
to Increase Resource Navigation, Case Management, and Community Kitchen Capacity
Amount Awarded: $75,000
Community Action House (CAH) is one of our core safety net providers working to assist people who are struggling to meet their basic needs and to help ALICE households maintain stability. CAH is currently serving nearly three times the number of people they had in the past and 30-40% of people served each week are seeking help for the first time. This funding will assist CAH in increasing resource navigation capacity through additional staff and case management tools. It also provides supplies for the Community Kitchen, operating in partnership with Western Theological Seminary, to continue serving daily meals in a take-away format as necessitated by the pandemic.
for Food Assistance, Micro-Pantry Initiative, and Freezer Capacity
Amount Awarded: $20,000
Harvest Stand Ministries, located at City on a Hill Ministries, is the Zeeland hub for basic needs assistance. This grant will support their food assistance efforts which have stepped up in response to the pandemic as well as support a new creative partnership to bring a micro-pantry model to four local churches.
for their Food Pantry
Holland Rescue Mission is our community’s only homeless shelter and serves men, women, and children. A major source of food for the meals they serve their guests, the Postal Service Food Drive, was cancelled due to the pandemic. This grant will help fill the need for food that occurred as a result of the cancellation.
for the Sack Supper Program
Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) has been adapted quickly to different food distribution processes in partnership with local schools to ensure hungry students continue to receive healthy sack suppers. Childhood hunger is an increasing concern and sack suppers are a low barrier to access way to address this. Their services are targeted to area schools with the greatest numbers of vulnerable students.
for the Housing and Empowerment Fund
Housing is essential to preventing victims of domestic violence from slipping into poverty or returning to live with an abuser. This grant will help ensure Resilience has flexible dollars to combine with other available resources to reach stable and safe housing solutions for their clients.
for the Immigrant Relief Fund for Holland/Zeeland Area residents
This grant will provide flexible funds to help meet housing and other basic needs for many of our most vulnerable community members who did not receive any federal aid.
for Remote Renewal Services
Amount Awarded: $15,000
This program ensures that individuals can remain legally eligible to work by renewing their immigration status. This is essential for these individuals and their families to maintain their household income. Lapsing in status can have negative ripple effects on the household that greatly increase the likelihood of falling into poverty.
for Rental Assistance Expansion
Salvation Army is one of the key places local residents can turn to for rental assistance and many other basic needs agencies refer clients there for this purpose. This grant will be used to provide greater flexibility and increase the dollars available for this program.
for the Weekend Meal Program
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Hand2Hand’s (H2H) model of providing backpack meals for students to take home over the weekend has been well-suited to meet the challenges of the current service environment. As childhood hunger is increasing, these direct forms of support provided through schools are more important than ever. H2H’s services are broadly available to area schools whether they have a large or small number of students in need.
for Monthly Diaper Distributions to Community Partners
Nestlings provides diapers for Community Action House, Holland Rescue Mission, Resilience, Harvest Stand Ministries, and many more. Diapers are a significant expense for struggling families with small children and in high demand at area agencies. Centralized procurement and distribution through Nestlings allows all of the partner organizations to meet this need more efficiently.
for Mobile Food Pantries coordinated with Ottawa Community Schools Network
Amount Awarded: $5,000
Mobile Food Pantries are a valuable “tool in the toolbox” for our community to meet basic needs. Ottawa Community Schools Network coordinators play a pivotal role in organizing these mobile pantries, often hosted in school parking lots or other nearby sites. While many families of students are served, these mobile pantries are also available to the surrounding community and are a low barrier way for people in need to access assistance and well suited to the service delivery constraints of the pandemic.
for Beds, Cribs, Mattresses and Bedding
Amount Awarded: $3,000
DHHS is another hub for basic needs and their staff is highly adept at piecing together supports for families in need. In particular when they are helping a household with housing, beds, cribs, mattresses, and bedding are gaps they often struggle to fill with existing community resources. This grant will provide flexible funding to help address this unmet need.
for Winterizing/Repairs in partnership with Solid Rock Ministries
These two grassroots organizations in Zeeland are working together to help people who live in substandard housing make basic improvements to ensure they can stay safe and warm in their current homes.
We are pleased to announce the sixth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, mental health, and education.
This month we re-visited and completed our final round of funding for our Mental Health strategy.
In total, $62,000 was awarded to four organizations.
to expand their counseling program capacity to address the current waitlist for counseling services
Even in “normal” times with the support of the multi-disciplinary team Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) coordinates, moving a child sexual abuse case through the criminal court system is a lengthy process, taking months and sometimes years. It is often an extremely stressful experience for child victims and families and intensive support from CAC staff is critical to helping victims navigate this experience and cope with the mental health ramifications. The additional delays in this process due to courts closing because of COVID-19, and then struggling to catch up with the backlog of cases as they reopened in stages, has added even greater uncertainty to the process and lengthened the time it takes to reach resolution. This means CAC is providing a higher level of counseling care for children for a longer period of time, which is necessary and important to care for their existing clients. However, this has created capacity issues for their ability to start counseling new clients after they disclose abuse which this funding will help address.
to bring iN2L (It’s Never Too Late) programming to their assisted living residents
Amount awarded: $16,000
While extensive COVID-19 restrictions have been necessary to protect the physical health of older adults living in group settings given their high risk for severe illness, the isolation has been extremely difficult on many residents’ mental health. iN2L is an evidence-based, person-centered engagement program which uses technology to enhance social interaction and promote mental health while still following social distancing protocols. Whether communicating with family, participating in an online church service or virtual class with neighboring residents, this technology has the capacity to help reconnect older adults with a sense of community that has been very difficult to provide since March and which is critical to supporting their mental well-being.
to increase access to mental health and substance abuse services for Hispanic and Latinx community members
Amount awarded: $13,000
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted our local Hispanic community, exacerbating the severity of mental health and substance abuse needs for community members who already often face language and cultural barriers to accessing mental health and substance abuse care. Arbor Circle has recognized the importance of having bilingual and bicultural service providers as well as adapting and delivering services in culturally appropriate ways. This includes providing co-located services to reduce the stigma and barriers of accessing mental health and substance abuse services within the Latinx community and meet client needs outside traditional one-on-one sessions behind closed doors.
for mental health services and supports for Black community members
Black community members have also experienced disparate impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to increased needs for culturally competent mental health care. Ensuring that the people and organizations involved in designing and delivering services are trusted by those who are needing care is essential. Maple Avenue Ministries is a trusted institution in the Black community that continues to respond to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of Holland community members alongside their spiritual needs. This funding will help provide the capacity to offer accessible services on-site while equipping providers and the Black community with supports needed to navigate the current infrastructure of mainstream mental health and substance abuse care.
on behalf of the Ottawa County Suicide Prevention Coalition
Amount awarded: $5,000
For a county-wide mental health and suicide prevention postcard mailing.
We are pleased to announce the third round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, grant distributions have been made for each priority area. We anticipate funding organizations working in each priority area one more time before the close of 2020.
The primary goal of this grant round was scaling up existing mental health and substance abuse providers to be able to serve more people and reach different audiences. We are fortunate that many efforts to expand mental health services were already well underway prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic and we have numerous community partners providing great services in this space. Given these factors, the Community Stabilization Fund made several investments, as compared to one or two larger investments, to scale up services with multiple nonprofit partners. We have prioritized programs with the capacity to quickly translate dollars from the Fund into increased services for community members in need. A total of $135,000 was granted to six local organizations.
This funding will assist OAR with hiring an additional Masters-level clinician, which will increase their ability to provide outpatient addiction treatment by at least 250 additional individuals over the course of a year.
This funding will support increasing the hours of HFHC’s Mental Health Program Specialist staff member, who is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and continuing additional hours for their contracted licensed counselor. Combined, this will increase both the number of clients served and types of services offered through HFHC’s mental health and substance abuse programs. HFHC will have capacity to serve approximately 30 additional new clients, a sixty percent increase from their current capacity of 50.
This funding will help COAHM Health Clinic increase hours of their current counseling staff to immediately begin serving at least 10 more individuals per week for traditional counseling. The program currently has capacity for 23 individuals at a time and COAHM staff report there is a rolling waitlist of approximately 10 people in need of counseling.
This funding will help ensure Mosaic is able to continue providing the School Outreach Program to Holland, West Ottawa, and Zeeland Public Schools students despite the uncertainty of schools’ ability to contribute financially at the same levels they have in the past for these services. The funding will also support Mosaic’s ability to roll out new virtual support services for students, teachers, and parents, many of whom are experiencing increased mental health concerns right now.
This funding will assist Boys and Girls Club (BGC) with adding two part-time Youth Service Assistants to work with the social worker on staff. The staff social worker is currently serving all three BGC sites, so this funding will allow for a dedicated staff member on-site at the southside and northside locations. The Youth Service Assistants will serve as point persons for coordinating counseling and mental health needs to make most strategic use of the social worker’s time and expertise. Combined, the three BCG locations serve nearly 1,800 children and teens, and 80% of club participants are children of color. Over 40% of club participants live in single parent households.
This funding will allow Beacon of Hope to increase hours for intake staff who field phone calls from people looking for help. Call volume has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, and connecting a potential client with a live person who can assess and triage their needs the first time they call is critical to ensuring that people receive the help they need during the window of opportunity when they are actively seeking it. Funding will also support Beacon of Hope’s counselors with additional training on best practices for telehealth counseling sessions and group therapy as they launched this option rapidly in the last few months.
Amount Awarded: $75,000 over 3 years
Purpose: To open and operate Groundworks at Herrick District Library's main facility. This will be a place for adults to learn and collaborate in real-time, while exploring digital media content, with access to relevant technology and community experts.
Why this matters: The launch of Groundworks aligns with the results of a yearlong community listening effort that the library conducted in partnership with the Harwood Institute. One of the key findings from this process was that residents are looking for lifelong learning opportunities that enrich their lives and provide new avenues for exploring entrepreneurship. Groundworks will provide an accessible space for community members to explore new tools and gain new skills for life and work.
Amount Awarded: $70,000 over 3 years
Purpose: To provide a School Mental Health Care Manager to support student mental health by coordinating and managing care between the school, family, and health care provider and/or hospital.
Why this matters: The impact of every life lost to suicide is profound and ripples out through family, friends, classmates, and community. Like many communities across the country, the Holland/Zeeland area has seen an increase in youth suicides and suicide attempts and that this issue is impacting younger and younger students. The School Mental Health Program will place a trained medical professional in the school building to help students and families navigate this incredibly difficult issue and ensure key information flows smoothly between students’ medical providers, family members, and school supports. These potentially life-saving connections to treatment and management/coordination of follow up care and school services are critical to prevent repeated crises for vulnerable students.
Amount Awarded: $65,000 over 3 years
Purpose: To support the creation and implementation of the school-based Blue Envelope Suicide Prevention Program in Ottawa County.
Why this matters: The impact of every life lost to suicide is profound and ripples out through family, friends, classmates, and community. Like many communities across the country, the Holland/Zeeland area has seen an increase in youth suicides and suicide attempts and that this issue is impacting younger and younger students. The Blue Envelope Program has the potential to save lives by equipping every adult in the school setting from teachers to custodians to coaches to recognize and take initial steps to respond to a student who reveals suicidal thoughts or behaviors. It also provides training and protocols for the initial responder to loop in secondary responders such as principals, social workers, and counselors who can provide additional support, resources and referrals for help.
Amount Awarded: $12,000
Purpose: To support conducting a consumer research study and a master planning process that will help prioritize the necessary physical plant needs of The Warm Friend senior living facility.
Why this matters: Deciding the best way to move forward with stewarding the Warm Friend facility is a pivotal decision for Resthaven, the residents who live there currently, future residents and the immediate surrounding area in downtown Holland. These decisions will have long term implications for Resthaven and this landmark historic building in the heart of the downtown Holland.
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Purpose: To purchase a new Miles of Smiles mobile dental unit.
Why this matters: Nearly one in five adults in Ottawa County have not been to the dentist in the past year. Poor oral health can lead to or worsen other health conditions. Miles of Smiles has strong collaborative partnerships with schools and other community organizations that allow the program to reach the most vulnerable members of our community who are unlikely to access dental care elsewhere. The mobile unit is key is bringing these dental services to people right where they are rather than having them come to one specific location. Purchasing the new unit will ensure the program can continue to provide this critical service to hundreds of children and adults impacting their health now and in the future.
Amount Awarded: $5,000
Purpose: Ottawa Thrive is a collaboration of 25-30 organizations representing various nonprofit, government, and private sector partners that have come together to move forward a shared vision of reducing the number ACEs in our community while simultaneously supporting the use of trauma sensitive approaches to better serve and support those who have experienced ACEs. This effort will train 25 “Community Champions” who will be deployed into the community to provide trainings to various organizations and groups that represent targeted audiences and to help educate the broader community regarding ACEs and the various tools to build healthy coping skills through a public awareness campaign.
Why this matters: Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACEs) such as the presence of substance abuse, an incarcerated parent, or domestic violence in the home or experiencing varying levels of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse have a lifelong impact on physical and mental health. The long-term negative impact of ACEs become greatest when four or more are present and local data indicates that 14% (or roughly 40,000) of all Ottawa County adults have experienced four or more ACEs as a child. This effort will work to better educate the community about this reality and better equip organizations and individuals with knowledge of community resources and referral options.
We are pleased to share some exciting news about our Community Stabilization Fund. Recently, a select group of Herman Miller retirees approached CFHZ about providing a match to donations made to the fund up to $4,100. They also approached Herman Miller Cares who agreed to match another $5,000 in donations to the fund! Together, they will match any donations made by August 31 up to $9,100!
The idea was developed by Herman Miller retiree Joanie Reid, who said “I look at the very difficult current realities with eyes wide open, but want to avoid being immobilized by them, as I have sometimes been. We can act. We can make a difference. I know I can, and want, to do more to practice gratitude.”
Several of her fellow Herman Miller retirees joined her in matching gifts to the Community Stabilization Fund at CFHZ, including Tony Cortese, Deborah Exo, Deb Huizenga, Linda Milanowski, Jane Rohlck, Marty Ryan, Prescott Slee, Mike Swistak and Nelva Vogel. Inspired by the reaction of her peers, Joanie approached Herman Miller Cares and they enthusiastically offered to join in with another $5,000 toward the match.
Launched in May 2020, the Community Stabilization Fund is designed to set the stage for recovery from the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal for the Community Stabilization Fund is to provide a vehicle for coordinated investments in our community on behalf of our Community’s Endowment resources and the resources of local individuals, families, and companies. The fund is designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and be targeted in its use across the various areas of need, taking into account the range of other supports that have come from public and private sources into our community. The fund focuses on three priority areas: financial stability, health, and education.
To date, $950,000 has been raised, including $200,000 of seed funding from our Community’s Endowment. The generous matching gift offer from the select group of Herman Miller retirees and Herman Miller Cares allows us to extend our reach as we work to help our community bounce forward from the challenges of recent months. We are so grateful for their investment in this work. Thank you, Herman Miller retirees and Herman Miller Cares!
Donate here (please be sure to write “Stabilization Community Match” in the comments section)
Learn more about the Community Stabilization Fund
Learn about our first and second ground grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund
The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area is pleased to announce the awarding of 6 grants totaling $214,000 from the Community’s Endowment in the first competitive grant round of 2019.
“As the needs of our community members grow and change, we are thankful the Community’s Endowment allows us to support the efforts of our nonprofit partners who are directly addressing these needs,” said Elizabeth Kidd, Vice President of Community Impact. “We believe each of these investments will positively impact our community today and for years to come.”
Why this matters: Data from the Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) reflects the reality that many adults, children and families in our community are struggling with trauma, adverse childhood experiences, mental health, and building healthy relationships amid the challenges and stresses of day to day life. The counseling services and educational programs provided at the new 16th Street location will offer community members access to the support and tools they need to navigate these challenges and find positive paths for the future.
addiction to homelessness to suicide. Providing counseling to students who have had adverse childhood experiences is a critical opportunity to offer the support and tools that can help them overcome the odds and find hope for a better future. Providing counseling on site at school removes the barriers of cost and transportation that often prevent students from accessing these kinds of services.
Amount Awarded: $20,000
Purpose: To support the construction of Critter Barn's new educational farm center where residents and visitors of all ages and abilities will be able to participate in hands-on, interactive learning experiences and witness everyday farm life.
Why this matters: The new farm will provide a larger, safer, more accessible facility for children and adults to engage directly with animals and plants and to better understand the important role agriculture and farming have in growing the food we eat.
Amount Awarded: $20,000
Purpose: To move to a larger facility housing KFB's warehouse, office, and volunteer space in one location allowing KFB to serve more daily nourishing meals to children in Holland and neighboring Allegan County rural school districts.
Why this matters: Childhood hunger has negative impacts on physical growth and brain development and is a barrier to children engaging fully in learning in the classroom. With three Holland and West Ottawa schools on the wait list for the Sack Supper program and an increase in need at several currently participating schools, the new facility will ensure Kids’ Food Basket has the capacity to keep up with the growing demand for services in our community and provide the nutrition children need to reach their full potential.
Amount Awarded: $4,000
Purpose: To conduct a thorough count of youth experiencing homelessness with the goal of creating a comprehensive strategy to address the needs of youth in housing crisis. Why this matters: While there are several existing local data sources on youth homelessness, the Voices of Youth Count will work to generate a more comprehensive picture of how youth in our county are experiencing homelessness to inform future strategies to best address this need.
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