SWFLCF Impact Grantees 2016

FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 2, 2016) – The Southwest Florida Community Foundation announces it has awarded $551,500 to both established and new programs that are designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest Floridians.

Eighteen local nonprofits were granted money from the Community Foundation’s available Field of Interest funds, as well as individual and corporate donations resulting from Foundation’s Shark Tank audience.

The nonprofits include Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Champions for Learning, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Inc., Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. (CROW), Family Initiative Incorporated, Glades County Board of County Commissioners, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc., Gulf Coast Symphony, Gulfshore Opera, Hendry County Library System, I Will Mentorship Foundation, Lee County Alliance for the Arts, Naples Botanical Garden, New Mission Systems International, Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), The Heights Center, The Immokalee Foundation and Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Some examples of the regional funding include Phase 3 of the Food Connection Project by the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Inc. The training of this phase will be specifically to build each partners
 capacity to provide targeted case management. The Food Connection’s ultimate goal is to increase independence and food security for local families while decreasing dependence on community resources.

The Hendry County Library System is being funded to strategically add to its outreach programs to daycare and preschool centers, incorporating the services
of six qualified teachers for their tutoring of elementary students as well as preschoolers in LaBelle. The libraries will seek to further develop the idea of family literacy centers started last school year by incorporating the “Every Child Ready to Read” parent-instruction program in each library. Parents of children older than five years old will be exposed to materials that help them improve their child’s early reading skills through talking, singing, reading and writing by a trained professional.

Naples Botanical Garden’s collaborative workforce development program for at-risk, high-school students was awarded a grant to meet the challenge of diversifying career opportunities and assisting in the transition to adulthood while achieving economic self-sufficiency. The nonprofit is working with the Collier County Public Schools Exceptional Student Education department on the need for more diverse career experiences for high-school students identified as at-risk.

In Lee County, Gulf Coast Symphony’s free Music Works! program at the Heights Center provides an innovative educational and social initiative that creates opportunities for personal development in children, kindergarten through second grade, through the study of music.

The Glades County Regional Training Center was awarded a grant to be used to install an essential telecommunications network to the Center including Wi-Fi and Internet so that training classes may begin. The new 40,000-square-foot Training Center represents the future for Glades and Hendry residents to improve their job outlook and marketability by training for state and national certifications needed by companies throughout Southwest Florida and the Heartland region.

“Awarding this funding is just the start of our partnership with this regional mix of nonprofits,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We will stay connected with each nonoprofit all year in a learning community where we share information to help build their capacity to strengthen their organizations and leadership.”

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.