Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation Awards Over $88,000 to 29 Local Organizations
Grants support programs that benefit children and families in Eastern CT
The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation awarded grants in excess of $88,000 in support of 29 programs that benefit children and families in the region on April 22, 2021.
The Foundation, a 501(c)3 overseen by a volunteer board with support from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT, fulfills its mission to enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families through generous donations from the business community.
Annual fundraising events, the Holiday Gala and Bowl-a-thon, were put on hold for 2020. In 2021, the Foundation is pleased to have the support of sponsors through the “Every Month is a Holiday” campaign, with year-long media sponsor The Day and creative support from Miranda Creative and Eighty Six Media.
“The Foundation relies on a dedicated team of volunteers and the support of local businesses, who year after year donate generously toward our efforts,” said Louis Ziegler, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation’s Board of Directors. “This year we have been grateful for sponsors who have stepped up to help us continue fundraising through our video and social media campaign. Not only are campaign sponsors helping fund grants, they are also sharing the work being done by a worthy nonprofit.”
“I cannot offer enough thanks to our sponsors, Foundation board members, and staff at the Chamber. Our success in a difficult year has been has built on the contributions of so many people,” said Ziegler.
Since 2002, the Chamber Foundation has donated nearly $1.5 million to numerous local organizations that serve the needs of children. The Foundation’s goal is to support projects and programs that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families in the Chamber’s service area.
This year’s recipients will be able to use funding to provide much needed items and services to help families and children recover from economic hardships and the social and emotional impacts of the past year. Grants fund participation in regional activities, toys and books, school supplies, healthy nutrition, winter clothing, intervention for at-risk children, and food pantry items, among many others.
“This past year has been exceptionally challenging,” said Tony Sheridan, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. “It has been important to the Foundation to seek ways to support local groups throughout the pandemic, increasing contributions during the 2020’s most difficult months. Their responsiveness and caring were appreciated, and their continued work is helping families recover.”
The 2021 Chamber Foundation grant recipients, awards and projects are listed below:
Always Home, Inc., $2,500.00, to prevent the eviction of low-income families economically impacted by COVID-19.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich, Inc., $1,500, to support the Pregnancy Program and needs of expectant families. `
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc., $3,500, to support the Community Bridge Clinic (CCB), a community-based trauma-informed family health clinic in New London.
Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, Inc., $5,000, to provide low- and moderate-income, at-risk youth with employability preparation and a paid summer work experience.
Eastern CT Community Gardens Association, $2,700, to supply fresh produce for distribution to children and families who cannot afford groceries.
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, $2,000, financial aid for VetKids equine-assisted activities camp attendees.
Higher Edge, Inc., $2,500, to empower low-income, first-generation students to enter, succeed in, and graduate from college.
Interdistrict Committee for Project Oceanology, $1,500, to offer summer camp scholarships to children from families experiencing financial hardship.
Jewish Federation of Eastern CT, $2,000, to supplement food pantry supplies during increasing demand.
Madonna Place, Inc., $3,500, to provide basic needs and emergency assistance to families.
New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS), $2,500, to support experiential, STEM-based programs in the schools and community.
New London Youth Affairs, $2,500, to support COOL (Careers of our Lives) academic and employment objectives for high school juniors/seniors.
Niantic Children’s Museum, $1,000, to support Summer Science Days 2021 educational materials.
Norwich Community Backpack Program, $1,500, to provide backpacks and school supplies to youth in need.
Norwich Rotary Foundation, $1,000, to provide warm winter coats to children from low-income families in greater Norwich.
Pregnancy Support Center, Inc., $1,500, to provide material assistance in the Pregnancy Decision Program including supplies and car seats for infants.
Public Library of New London, $1,000, to provide age appropriate engaging and enriching hands-on activities for home use.
S.T.E.P.S., $1,000, to support S.T.E.P.S. Summer Leadership Program, Stepping into STEM+ for at-risk, low-income middle and high school girls.
Safe Futures, Inc., $2,500, to support the COVID Relief Family Bags Project with engaging, hands on activities to relieve the stress of the pandemic.
Sea Research Foundation, Inc., $2,500, to support Where the City Meets the Sea Long Island Sound experiential education program for students in New London and Norwich.
St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, Inc., $5,000, to purchase peanut butter and cereal for pantry families with children.
Thames River Community Service, Inc., $2,500, to provide WIFI access to 24 families in transitional family housing.
Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc., $2,000, to support RSVP’s Annual Winter Boots Project for children of low-income families.
The Last Green Valley, $4,500, to pilot a summer camp program with Thompson Recreation Department and social services agency Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG).
The Riverfront Children’s Center, Inc., $2,500, to enhance outdoor classroom and learning garden.
Tommy Toy Fund, $15,000, to purchase educational toys, books, and gloves for needy children in Eastern CT.
United Community and Family Services, Inc., $5,000, to fund a dedicated, refrigerated truck for transportation and safe storage of perishable foods.
United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, $5,000, to purchase healthy and nutritious food for Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Centers.
Waterford Country School, $3,000, to provide scholarships for at-risk children to attend summer camp.