Foundation grants $20,000 to MLK Center

The youths who use the Martin Luther King Center in Pasco have faced reduced hours as grant money to the organization shrank with the economy.

That is why board members of the Three Rivers Community Foundation decided to give $20,000 to the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Cities, which runs the MLK Center.

"United Way funds to the YMCA have been cut drastically in the past few years, so they've had to cut hours at MLK," said Carrie Green, executive director of the foundation. "This grant will allow them to put those hours back rather than to have to cut even more."

Three Rivers Community Foundation is a collection of separate endowed funds established by individuals, families and charitable organizations. It was formed in 1999 to be a clearinghouse for grants for nonprofit groups and causes in the Mid-Columbia. The money is pooled and invested, and income from the investments is distributed to nonprofit organizations.

Green said 43 grant requests were received this year, and the board awarded $168,431 to 28 organizations.

"That brought the total they've awarded since I was hired in 2004 to over $1 million," Green said.

The total of the grants requested this year was $300,090.

"It's heartbreaking to have to turn some down because they're all good, worthy organizations and projects," Green said.

The 2011 grants were announced during an awards ceremony Dec. 17 at the MLK Center.

Larger grants awarded this year include Brighter Horizons Day Care, $19,667, and $10,000 each to Elijah Family Homes, the Girl Scouts, Jericho Road Ministries and Lourdes for Wilson House and the counseling center.

Other grants went to The Adventist Community Services, $2,000; Academy of Childrens' Theater, $5,150; Allied Arts -- Beads Behind Bars, $4,333; American Legion, $5,000; Blue Mountain Wildlife, $2,000; Boys and Girls Club, $1,000; Center for Sharing, $4,766; Chaplaincy, $2,505; Children's Developmental Center, $2,505; Edith Bishel Center for the Blind, $2,000; Grace Clinic, $4,000; Ignite Youth Mentoring, $5,000; Junior Achievement, $6,000; Martha's Cupboard, $5,000; Meals on Wheels, $3,000; Mid-Columbia Ballet, $2,000; Planned Parenthood, $4,500; The Reading Foundation, $4,000; Safe Harbor Crisis Nursery, $2,505; Victory Outreach, $5,000; Vista Youth Center, $4,000; and Women Helping Women, $2,500.

For more information contact Carrie Green at 735-5559 or carrie@3rcf.org.