Allegan County youth award $64K in grants

Allegan County youth have awarded more than $64,000 to 24 organizations.

The students are part of the Teens Aiding Growth (TAG) Team and the Youth Advisory Council of the Allegan County Community Foundation (ACCF).

The 2023 TAG Grant process brought more than 40 grant applications totaling $205,000. The TAG Team allocated $64,250 in grants to two dozen organizations.

This year, the TAG Team is made up of teens from six school districts across Allegan County. TAG Grants are funded through the ACCF's Youth Endowment Fund. This fund ensures future generations of programs and services available for a healthy and supported childhood.

The annual TAG Team grant application cycle welcomes all nonprofit organizations providing services, opportunities, or support for individuals 0-18 years old in Allegan County to apply. 

Insight into needs

Senior TAG Team member Marissa, who represents the Allegan community, shared that "the insight into how grant decisions are made is amazing and allows me to gain insight into the needs and wants around Allegan County.”

This grant cycle was competitive. TAG Team member Audrey, who represents the Saugatuck-Douglas community, notes that "this year’s grant decisions were very tough because every application is an important asset to Allegan County." She hopes the "money given to nonprofits this year will allow the organizations to grow and continue to help youth across the Allegan County area."

This year's awards included grants to organizations with a range of missions and services.

"Watching the team evaluate and discuss recommendations for grants was very impressive," says Vicki Knuckles, ACCF program officer. "They worked very thoughtfully to determine the greatest impact on young people across their county. It was inspiring to see diverse categories receive support: Arts and Culture, Clothing Pantries, Education, Environment and Conservation, Food Security, In-/After-School Programs, Life Skills and Experiences, and Prevention or Treatment Programs."

Grant recipients

The grant recipients include the following organizations:
  • Allegan Public Schools: Online
  • American Diabetes Association: Camp Midicha
  • The Arc of Allegan County
  • Braden's Closet
  • Brooklyn Elias Promise
  • Congregational Kitchen
  • Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
  • Fellinlove Farm
  • Gate Youth Center
  • Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan
  • Good Hands Plainwell
  • Hungry for Christ
  • Junior Achievement of Michigan Great Lakes
  • Kids’ Food Basket
  • Kids Hope USA
  • Leighton Township Library
  • Otsego Adventist Community Services Center
  • Outdoor Discovery Center
  • People Helping People
  • Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence
  • Safe Harbor Children's Advocacy Center
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Wayland Main Street/DDA
  • Wayland Union Schools — Beekeeping Club

The TAG Team is looking for members from all school districts for the 2023-24 Team. They are the decision-makers for annual grants to Allegan County nonprofit organizations that impact young people all across the county.

For more information about the Allegan County Community Foundation or the TAG Team, visit

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.