In 2015, record-breaking Tribute Dinner revenue left Episcopal Charities’ Board of Directors with a “good” problem: how to distribute $150,000 in excess funds. “As we’ve done in the past, we decided to invest in capacity building for outreach programs ready to go to the next level,” said John Talty, President of Episcopal Charities’ Board of Directors. In 2016 Episcopal Charities began offering Program Investment Grants, targeting under-resourced parishes in underserved communities with awards ranging from $1,900 to $30,000. In addition to building capacity, the grants also provide seed money for new outreach ministries.
Pictured below are six parish-based outreach programs that received Investment grants over the past year. Episcopal Charities’ Board of Directors will continue to consider proposals on a rolling basis through 2017 as funds allow.
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A volunteer unloads food for the St. George’s Food Pantry in Newburgh. St. George’s received $1,900 to purchase a freezer, allowing the program to offer healthier food options and decrease their distribution of high-sodium canned vegetables.
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Children enjoy six weeks of outdoor play, swimming, music, art, and field trips at Christ Church Poughkeepsie’s Summer Camp. Christ Church received a three-year grant totaling $24,000 to help fund a new paid staff position for a year-round camp director, increasing program sustainability.
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Volunteers prepare to distribute food at the Food Pantry run by St. Mary’s, Mohegan Lake. St. Mary’s received $8,278 towards building renovations to increase storage, provide access to a freezer, and enable the provision of additional services such as nutrition counseling.
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A student uses a computer in the afterschool program run by St. Ann’s in the Bronx. St. Ann’s received $20,000 to upgrade its computer lab, replacing 20-year old machines with new touchscreen computers, a server, and a smartboard. Students learn coding skills in addition to accessing the internet for tutorials and research projects.
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Students at St. Edmund’s Afterschool Program in the Bronx. St. Edmund’s received a three-year grant totaling $30,000 to hire a bilingual tutor to assist the growing number of English language learners in the neighborhood and to purchase laptop computers for students to use for research projects and homework assignments.
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St. Paul’s On-The-Hill received a two-year challenge grant to start an emergency shelter in collaboration with several other churches in Ossining. In 2017, Episcopal Charities will match donations dollar-to-dollar up to $15,000. If that goal is achieved, Episcopal Charities will provide an additional $10,000 in 2018. Funds will enable the churches to provide overnight accommodations during cold winter months to people who are homeless.