The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) has announced its first round of competitive grants awarded this year for projects and strategies that support, improve, and enhance the Holland/Zeeland area.
The grants are funded through the Community’s Endowment, which is the community’s philanthropic resource that will always be available to meet community needs now and in the future.
“We had a robust response of compelling grant proposals for this round of our competitive grant awards. Our distribution committee was inspired by the continuing strength, creativity, and commitment of our local nonprofit sector to ensuring the Holland/Zeeland area continues to thrive,” says Elizabeth Kidd, vice president of community impact.
A total of two rounds of competitive grant awards in 2021 are designed to address a broad range of issue areas, including arts and culture, community and economic development, environment, education, health, human services, housing, seniors, and youth. The Community Foundation gives priority to proposals that are core to the organization’s mission, will have a lasting impact, or represent a pivot point for the organization.
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
Funding will 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.
The Hudsonville-based Hand2Hand mobilizes schools, churches, businesses, and individuals to provide backpacks of nutritious food to West Michigan children who receive free or reduced-price lunches, ensuring they have access to food over the weekends. The organization currently serves more than 1,400 children in the Holland/Zeeland area, according to Cheri Honderd, founder and executive director of Hand2Hand.
“Hand2Hand is extremely grateful to the Community Foundation of the Holland/ Zeeland Area for their generous grant in support of our new building. This building will allow us to procure more donated or low-cost food and more fully support all of our amazing Holland and Zeeland church partners who weekly serve kids in need of weekend and extended-break food. On behalf of every child who relies on their Hand2Hand food over the 68-hour gap of the weekend and extended breaks, a sincere thank you to CFHZ,” says Honderd.
Grand Rapids Community College
Issue area: Education
$20,000 for the Lakeshore Campus project
Funding will help with the capital cost of building a consolidated, 21st-century, state-of-the-art campus located in Holland, Michigan. This campus 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. Having a centralized local campus with room to grow and adapt to changing educational and workforce needs will have a lasting impact for many individuals and their families, as well as the community as a whole.
AgeWell Services of West Michigan
Issue area: Seniors
$18,650 for a Meals on Wheels Ottawa County Meal Delivery Replacement Van
Funding will support the purchase of a replacement cargo van used for Meals on Wheels Lunch and Activity Centers delivery of meals to Ottawa County residents 60 and older. Meals on Wheels allows families to age in place with dignity by providing a balanced, safe, and consistent diet. Currently, AgeWell serves 200 Ottawa County residents.
Holland Hospital on behalf of Holland Community Health Center
Issue area: Health
$11,350 for the “Ahead of Your Health Pack” program
Funding will help provide “Ahead of your Health” backpacks. Around 68% of Holland Community Health Center patients live at or below the federal poverty level, and many also live with chronic or complex health conditions. “Ahead of Your Health Pack” backpacks will provide patients with medical equipment for home use, empowering them to participate in their well-being alongside their Community Health Center caregivers. The program will reduce unnecessary office visits or fill the gap should patients not have the ability to attend their appointments due to transportation, weather, illness, or schedule conflicts, leading to better long-term health outcomes and quality of life for participants.
Issue area: Youth (supported by Youth Advisory Committee funds)
$10,000 for CultureWorks office and studio space
Funding will help CultureWorks establish a new home that will serve as a long-term office and professional studio space. CultureWorks offers culturally relevant, transformative art and design experiences to youth from all backgrounds to inspire curiosity, develop talent, and build 21st-century skills. A dedicated, permanent program space will allow the organization to expand and deepen this work while also providing a hub from which to continue operating its mobile model of programming in the Holland/Zeeland community.
More information about these grants can be found at www.cfhz.org/grantguidelines