Foundation gives grants to community groups

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldDecember 7, 2012 

New mothers in need will be able to find help in 2013, thanks to a $20,000 grant to the Tri-City Pregnancy Network.

The money, one of 40 grants awarded by the Three Rivers Community Foundation on Thursday, will cover the expense of a part-time coordinator.

The Pregnancy Network promotes abstinence education and alternatives to abortion, and gives expectant and new mothers in crisis help to cope with the economic and spiritual demands of parenthood.

The foundation also gave $25,000 to the YMCA to help keep its programs at the Martin Luther King Center open and $10,000 to the FIRME Gang Outreach program.

FIRME, which stands for "future impact by reaching youth through mentorship and education, is run by Pastor Jesse Campos, executive director of Teen Challenge in the Tri-Cities. It aims to help youths escape gangs and those who are susceptible to peer pressure to join gangs.

"I admire what Campos is doing. His work is very dangerous because gangs don't like to lose members. Yet he's going out, doing the right thing, at a cost to his personal safety," said Carrie Green, executive director of Three Rivers Community Foundation.

Those were just three of the 57 programs applying this year.

"That's the most we've ever received. It's heartbreaking to turn some down because they're all good, worthy organizations and projects," Green said.

This year was the first time the foundation awarded grants less than $1,000.

"This year there were five great groups the board was really behind. They gave them $500 each with the hope that they can leverage it into more by approaching other groups," she said. They were American Red Cross, Benton Franklin Humane Society, Cavalcade of Authors, Children's Reading Foundation and Teen Leadership Foundation.

The foundation's board awarded more than $22,500 this year. That brings the total given to the community to more than $1.4 million since 2004, the year Green was hired.

Other larger grants awarded this year include PDQ Foundation, $15,000; Ignite Youth Mentoring, $10,500; and $10,000 each to the Girl Scouts' Money Matters program, Arc of Tri-Cities and Lourdes Summer Day and Employment Specialists programs.

Other grants went to Academy of Children's Theater, $2,000 and $8,000; Adventist Community Food Bank, $3,000; Allied Arts Association, $4,000; Blue Mountain Wildlife, $880; Boys & Girls Clubs, $4,500; Catholic Family-Family Leadership, $5,000; Center for Sharing, $2,000; Children's Developmental Center, $2,497; CREHST museum, $2,000; Edith Bishel Center, $5,000; Elijah Family Homes, $7,000; Franklin County Historical Society and Museum, $8,000; Grace Clinic, $3,909; Mano A Mano, $2,000; Martha's Cupboard, $1,000; Mid-Columbia Ballet, $1,000; Mid-Columbia Musical Theater/Richland Light Opera, $3,000; Project Warm-Up, $1,000; Safe Harbor Crisis Nursery, $2,497; Senior Life Resources, $5,577 and $1,125; St. Vincent de Paul, $5,000; American Legion Post No. 34, $7,500; The Chaplaincy, $3,096; Tri-Cities Community Connections, $2,000; Tri-Cities Pregnancy, $3,000; Vista Youth Center, $1,500; White Bluffs Quilt Museum, $3,711; and Women Helping Women, $2,000.

w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricity herald.com

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