News & Event
We are pleased to announce the first round of competitive grants awarded in 2021. Through these grants, CFHZ directly invests in projects and strategies that support, improve, and enhance the Holland/Zeeland area in which we live and work. Our competitive grants are funded through our Community’s Endowment, which is our community’s philanthropic resource that will always be available to meet community needs now and in the future. In the first round of competitive grants, $100,000 was awarded to five organizations.
Issue area: Human Services
$40,000 for the Hope in Action campaign (supported by competitive grant funds and Youth Advisory Committee funds)
To help enable Hand2Hand to purchase its first building so that the organization can have additional space to reach most students in need in Holland, Zeeland, and West Michigan as a whole. This will allow Hand2Hand to say, “yes” to more students in need of weekend food.
Issue area: Education
$20,000 for the Lakeshore Campus project
To help with the capital cost of building a consolidated, 21st century, state of the art campus located in Holland, Michigan, which will provide Ottawa County residents with higher education and workforce training credentials to create pathways to well-paid careers in order to create an equitable region where everyone can prosper.
Issue area: Seniors
$18,650.58 for a Meals on Wheels Ottawa County Meal Delivery Replacement Van
To support the purchase of a replacement cargo van used for Meal on Wheels Lunch and Activity Centers delivery of meals to Ottawa County residents 60 and older.
Issue area: Health
$11,349.42 for the “Ahead of your Health Pack" Program
To help fund 160 "Ahead of your Health" packs providing patients with the necessary home health equipment to monitor their medical conditions with the support of their medical staff.
Issue area: Youth (supported by Youth Advisory Committee funds)
$10,000 for CultureWorks office and studio space
To help CultureWorks establish a new home that will serve as a long-term office and professional studio space, while the organization continues to grow its mobile model of programming in the Holland/Zeeland community.
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.
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 announce the first two rounds of grants from the Community Stabilization Fund in 2021. The decision was made to continue the Community Stabilization Fund for at least the first six months of this year in response to feedback from nonprofit partners, community leaders, and individuals being directly impacted. The CFHZ Board of Trustees approved an additional $225,000 from our Community’s Endowment resources to be allocated through the Community Stabilization Fund. In addition, generous donors have continued to make contributions to the fund, allowing us to grow our impact. Grants made from the Community Stabilization Fund continue to focus on the three areas of impact from 2020: financial stability, health, and education, and a fourth area of impact added in 2021: public health.
$50,000 to continue the Eviction Diversion Program
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will assist GSM in adding staffing capacity and appropriate workspace to ensure they can provide holistic support during intake and aftercare for new clients in the Eviction Diversion Program. Last year, GSM leveraged $150,000 from the Stabilization Fund to unlock $1.5M in federal dollars for an Eviction Diversion Program which allowed them to empower 487 families to remain in their homes. In 2021, they have an opportunity to receive an additional $9M to continue this work and keep over 2,000 families in their homes.
$15,000 to increase the amount of food secured through ‘food rescue’
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will help CAH procure the required equipment to increase their food rescue efforts by an estimated 17,500 pounds of food every month. Having healthy, high quality food available to members of our community is a need CAH has prioritized, especially as demand for food assistance has increased exponentially since last year. Food “rescued” from local grocery stores (items tagged by the store to be disposed of that are not expired/damaged) is a highly efficient way to include produce and other perishables in to-go meals and boxed food assistance.
$10,000 for outreach and application assistance for the Employee Assistance Program
The EAP provided financial assistance to people whose employment was negatively impacted by the closure of restaurants for indoor dining, gyms, theaters, and other businesses that occurred in the last several months of 2020. With a short window of time for eligible individuals to apply for this support, this grant provided resources to launch local communications and publicity efforts including a local website, translate materials about the program into Spanish and other languages as needed, and provide in- person support in completing the application from trained staff at our local libraries for those who did not have access to internet or a computer elsewhere.
$40,000 to ODC Network to launch Project 180 in partnership with the OAISD and our local school districts (Holland, West Ottawa and Zeeland)
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will assist in the launch of Project 180, a new nature-based summer education program that will directly target access and opportunity for families that have been disproportionally affected by the major changes to schooling because of COVID-19. The target populations for this program often face several barriers to participation in summer learning opportunities including costs, transportation and relationships with host entities. ODC recognizes these barriers and is committed to working closely with districts to provide transportation for programming offered. Project 180 will serve Pre-K through 5th grade students, their caregivers, and school partners in Ottawa and Allegan Counties primarily located in the Holland/Zeeland area, applying a multi-pronged approach to engaging families.
$19,080 for increasing Power Hour Capacity and student transportation
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will increase capacity for Power Hour, a program that provides daily homework help for children from 1st to 12th grade. It will also help BGC to continue providing the transportation that is critical for students in need of this support to access the program.
$17,800 to launch the Summer Bridge program and provide in-house Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will help launch the Summer Bridge program, a new 6-week course for rising 9th graders whose grades, behavior, attendance, and/or social/emotional skills leave them vulnerable to 9th grade class failure. This program walks alongside students in a deeper way, meeting their needs with additional support and attention. Funds will also help provide in-house Mental Health and Substance Use Counseling to ensure earlier, more consistent, and more accessible mental health services. The program’s “Life Coach” already has established relationships with students served, will begin working on a regular basis with Escape this spring through the summer, offering continued supports while creating space for Escape to envision the best ways to integrate mental health care into all aspects of Escape programming.
Immigrant Relief Fund and Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival
Ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will support strategic efforts to reach residents of the Holland/Zeeland area who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and experience barriers to access vaccines, thus most at risk of having a disproportionately low vaccination rate—specifically Seniors and Black, Indigenous, and community members of color. Multiple conversations with community partners leading these efforts have highlighted several barriers to accessing the vaccine: technology, language, and trust in the location of vaccine distribution. Partners receiving funding have been actively engaged in outreach and education, often going above and beyond their scope of work to reach out to community members, answer questions, get them scheduled for an appointment, and call with reminders and additional appointment details.
We are pleased to announce a round of grants made by the CFHZ Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). The YAC is made up of students from our local high schools who are responsible for reviewing funding requests and recommending grants from the W.K. Kellogg Youth Fund which is part of our Community’s Endowment for programs that benefit local area youth.
In 2020, the YAC committed $25,000 of their funding for youth racial equity efforts as part of our Community’s Endowment response to a moment of opportunity to make progress towards racial equity in the Holland/Zeeland community. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response YAC received to their request for proposals, they committed an additional $25,000 of their 2021 funding, and sought additional matching funds from the CFHZ Board of Trustees. As a result, the YAC is proud to award $59,449 to seven organizations working to address racial inequity and implicit bias in our community, and to center the voices of Black, Indigenous, and community members of color.
Andrew Ky, YAC Chair, says, "This grant opportunity allowed us to support local organizations and their efforts to help create a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse community. It was important as a YAC, especially now, to demonstrate our support and advocate for racial equity in the Holland/Zeeland area."
Jessica Lynch, staff adviser to the YAC, said, “I’m so proud of this incredible group of young people. We received many great proposals from local organizations for the racial equity grant funding and the YAC was thoughtful and intentional as they discussed each one. They recognize that these are opportunities to create actual impact and opportunity for youth in our community and take that responsibility seriously.”
The following organizations received funding from the Youth Advisory Committee in support of their work:
Amount awarded: $10,000
Scholarships for students of color
Funds will be used to cover scholarship costs for students of color who participate in classes. CultureWorks is a faith-inspired nonprofit offering culturally relevant, transformative art and design experiences to youth from all backgrounds. Since opening their doors in 2013, they have served over 3,500 students, offering classes on a ‘pay what you can’ model. Classes include ceramics, printmaking, oil painting, photography, poetry, and more.
Cultural Lens Series
Funds will help implement the Cultural Lens Series, a robust year-long programming. The Cultural Lens series will feature authors, scholars, educators, and performers. Topics that will be explored connect individuals to cultural themes including racial diversity, homelessness, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. In addition to this subject matter, the Museum will also offer ways to celebrate diversity such as programming for Martin Luther King Jr Day, Día los Muertos and a gospel choir.
Funds will prepare a literacy workshop in which elementary and middle school students of color will participate in a group read and then workshop with professionals to create literary or artistic projects to celebrate their identities. Funds will also provide access to additional summer camp opportunities for Step Up middle school students.
Amount awarded: $9,949.60
Virtual DEI training and resources
Funds will be used for a program to expose white educators to racial diversity, equity and inclusion resources through virtual courses and resources.
Amount awarded: $7,000
Driver’s Training Scholarship Program
Funds will be used for a driver’s training scholarship program which will increase access for students of color to opportunities, help shorthanded families manage transportation dilemmas, decrease unlicensed drivers, and decrease negative interactions with police officers for youth. Escape Ministries works to provide relationships, opportunities, and resources that matter for youth and their families who often fall through the cracks of society.
Amount awarded: $6,500
Resourcing transracial adoptive families and extending Freedom Fighter for Justice program
Funds will be used to resource transracial adoptive families with black and brown children by providing a culturally appropriate backpack including Band-Aids, crayons, stickers, and books that reflect the color of Black and Brown children. They will also be used to build upon and expand Maple Avenue Ministries' Freedom Fighter for Justice middle school student initiative to include young men and partner churches. Funds will also help educate and train young adults to perform first-person narratives of Black people for community and educational events like MLK Day, Juneteenth, and Black History Month.
Amount awarded: $6,000
Welcome kits for immigrant families
Funds will be used to provide bilingual ‘welcome kits’ to immigrant families as they enroll their child or children in K-12 schools.
CFHZ’s YAC program was established in 1991 through a challenge grant from the Michigan Community Foundation Youth Project (MCFYP) funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The mission of the YAC is to empower young people, involve them in the community and teach them about philanthropy while serving as stewards through granting. The YAC made its first grant in 1993 and since then, has granted over $1.8 million to support Holland/Zeeland area youth and over 200 high school students have served on the YAC.
“The YAC had a very difficult decision to make among programs that continue to pursue centering and elevating the voices of some of the most marginalized members of our community. I am truly excited about their decision to invest in these very timely efforts and grateful for the trusted relationships, expertise and commitments of the organizations funded to continue this important work of building a more racially just Holland/Zeeland,” said Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys, Director of Community Impact.
In Holland/Zeeland, racial equity has long been identified as a priority issue by public units of government, our business community, and local nonprofits; but progress has been too slow. Data from the Ottawa County Community Assessment and Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey, alongside anecdotal evidence from local health and education leaders, has shown that Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) experience worse economic, health, and educational outcomes than their white counterparts in our area when all other factors are held constant. This means we have a lot of work to do as a community.
This year provided a moment of opportunity to make progress towards racial equity as many in our community grappled with how to move from conversations about racism towards action that could provide positive, substantial progress for BIPOC. We here at CFHZ don’t presume to have the answers to the difficult and complex problem of racism, but we believe it is of utmost importance to stand alongside our community in searching for those answers and to do our part to support this process with financial resources.
In June 2020, CFHZ deployed $105,000 from the Community’s Endowment to five local organizations and initiatives working to address racial equity and implicit bias in our community, and to support our community members of color.
Funding of $20,000 was used to increase the capacity and frequency of existing programs including Diversity Education Workshops, Calling All Colors and Talking to Kids about Race, as well as transition to offering virtual formats. It also helped continue a series of Facebook Live Community Conversations and convert them into podcasts to be available as a permanent educational tool. Engaging with LEDA’s programming is a constructive way for people to grow their understanding of racism and implicit bias and how they can be allies to build a more just community. Learn more here.
Funding of $20,000 was used to increase Women of Color Give’s grant distribution to organizations that support the advancement, development, and promotion of BIPOC on the Lakeshore. Women of Color Give is a local philanthropy circle which provides a space for women of color to connect and leverage resources while supporting each other and causes that matter to them. Women of color are underrepresented in major philanthropic circles, yet their lived experiences with racism position them to have acute knowledge of what programs and initiatives could make the biggest difference in our community. Learn more here.
Funding of $20,000 was used to complete The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Racial Equity Toolkit (RET), which helps significantly reduce and/or remove implicit bias from programs, policies, procedures and decision making. Funds will also bring the national initiative, Gateways for Growth, to Ottawa County. This program helps communities to develop multi-sector plans to better integrate immigrants and refugees into the local community, as these populations often experience implicit and explicit racism. The DEI Office leads the development of an equity plan for Ottawa County by identifying implicit bias in internal policies, procedures, practices, and in external service delivery. Learn more here.
Funding of $20,000 was used to launch a new organization named I AM. Henry Cherry, minister at Christ Memorial Church, and Lindsay Cherry, teacher at Holland Public Schools, are two prominent black leaders in our community, and the founders of I AM. The organization seeks to empower the black community to achieve their full potential through education and career possibilities. It will elevate the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of our black community members to help shape our community’s future.
Funding of $25,000 will be used to support youth-focused racial equity efforts. The Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of students from our local high schools who are responsible for reviewing funding requests and recommending grants for programs which benefit area youth. YAC will approve awards for youth-focused racial equity efforts in early December 2020.
Earlier this year, as the impacts of COVID-19 reached our community, the CFHZ Board of Trustees elected to pivot our planned strategy for our Community's Endowment. As part of this new strategy, they decided to designate a portion of our available funding for the year for operating support for those organizations that would not receive funding through our efforts with the Emergency Human Needs Fund and Community Stabilization Fund. Historically, CFHZ has been committed to funding across a broad range of community issues and the board wanted to continue to demonstrate that commitment.
CFHZ proudly announces a new set of investments in our community: $150,000 in operating grants to 23 of our nonprofit partners. These one-time operating grants are targeted to partners that CFHZ has previously invested in through the Community’s Endowment, but that have not received significant funding through our other grantmaking strategies in 2020.
These are organizations whose core services might not be focused on the unique challenges caused by COVID-19, but are integral for the community’s ability to thrive long-term. They have been impacted by the changing dynamics around fundraising events and fee-for-service revenue generation, but they haven’t yet benefited from the increase in support CFHZ has provided to so many other nonprofits in this unique year. As a Community Foundation focused not only on Today and Tomorrow, but also focused on Forever, we want to invest in these organizations’ ability to navigate this challenging year while keeping their capacity high for the long-term. These investments are only made possible by the generous gifts of thousands of people who contributed over the past 70 years to our Community's Endowment.
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