The High Point Community Foundation Annual Grants Luncheon is one of our most exciting and auspicious events, because we get to personally recognize the organizations that have presented applications for some of the most worthy and—in many cases—innovative charitable initiatives in our community.
The High Point Community Foundation presented a total of $369,310 in grants to 18 Guilford County charities at its 2017 Annual Grants Luncheon, Wednesday, November 15, at High Point Country Club. This grant amount is an increase over the previous year by $40,000.
The grants program of the foundation is one of the most visible functions of the foundation, as the organizations receiving grants are so active in the community through schools, churches and social service organizations.
“The High Point Community Foundation’s Annual Grants Program is a living, breathing example of the organization’s commitment to meeting the unmet needs of the Greater High Point Community,” says High Point Community Foundation president Paul Lessard. “Our grants committee is made up of local leaders, some of whom serve as trustees of the foundation and other at-large members of the community who understand the community, have a history of philanthropic leadership and a deep love for High Point.”
The event was MC’d by Neill McNeill, anchor of Fox 8 WGHP. Chairman of the Grants Committee Rev. Dr. Joe Blosser had the honor of presenting the grants for a wide range of community-enhancing initiatives.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
This grant will offer BBBS the funds to initiate a new part-time staff position that will oversee the 50+ students currently on their waitlist. The waitlist is a transient and difficult to maintain group of high needs students, and often when mentors come available, the staff struggles to get in touch with the people on the waitlist. This staff position will meet, network, and engage the parents and children on the waitlist, as well as manage 35 new matches, expanding the capacity of the organization and improving its ability to make quality matches efficiently.
Communities in Schools
Aligned with the Foundation’s commitment to Say Yes to Education, CIS will use these grant funds to support the rollout of the “Charting for Success” program at Ferndale, Welborn, Central, and Andrews. This national program uses Career/College mentors recruited by CIS to help 75 African-American males prepare for college, starting in the 7th grade. Their hope is that 98% of the students graduate high school and 85% go on to higher education.
Community Housing Solutions
Working in partnership with the City of High Point, CHS will use the grant funds to repair 50 homes in High Point in the next year. In 2016, they utilized 250 community volunteers to repair 35 homes. All the homes CHS works on are owned by the occupants, who must pass a financial screening process to ensure eligibility. Many of the residents are elderly or disabled and have been unable to perform the needed maintenance on their home. With professional contractors and volunteer help, CHS repairs homes, restores dignity, and removes blight from neighborhoods in High Point.
D-UP Basketball’s PNAC Program
Serving young people from throughout High Point at their Washington St. location, PNAC is a new after-school program, started in 2014. With a focus on physical activity, nutrition, academics, and character, PNAC works with elementary and middle school students on everything from homework, to cooking and gardening, to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The grant will support the expansion of their program to serve more youth.
Located in one of the poorest parts of High Point, Fairview has long sought community support and resources for their students. This grant will equip the school with 28 tablets and a transport cart to improve their STEM offerings. Currently, the school only has a few functioning laptops and the students are rarely exposed to technology. The tablets will ensure every student gets 45 minutes a week of individualized instruction in science through their on-line Discovery Education account, which is a cloud-based education program accessed through the tablet. The tablets will be an important part of preparing these students for a world in need of people skilled in science and technology.
Guilford County Partnership for Children/Ready for School, Ready for Life
This grant shows High Point’s support for this vital collaborative. Focused on the earliest stages of life, from conception through age three, Ready for School, Ready for Life is building a continuum of care for all children in Guilford County. As ambitious as Say Yes to Education’s continuum of care for school-age children, Ready, Ready wants to ensure that children are ready for school. Unfortunately, over 50% of the children starting pre-K in High Point schools are already behind on day one. With a focus on parent education, early literacy work, and aligning health providers, this grant for Ready, Ready will help make High Point students ready for life.
Heal Our Heroes
Through last year’s HPCF grant, HOH ignited a relationship with the GTCC High Point Campus to serve veterans enrolled there. From that relationship, they learned a number of those veterans were homeless. After acquiring a 10-year, free lease for the John Wesley Camp at the intersections of Eastchester and Hartley Drive, HOH is rebuilding the camp to house and provide other necessary services to veterans who are taking classes at GTCC. This grant will fund a large portion of the renovation of the dining hall so they have a functioning kitchen and gathering space. Eventually, they hope to renovate the dorms to house about 40 veterans.
High Point LEAP
Though only four years old, LEAP is serving over 200 students (K-12) at seven locations in High Point. At the heart of this after-school program is an emphasis on STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math). Last year, they also provided GED classes for about 60 adults and financial literacy classes for over 300 adults. This grant will allow them to continue to expand their services to reach more students at these locations. Their goal is to help kids, “Leap into knowledge so I can go to college. Leap says yes!”
High Point Regional Health Foundation
Recent policy changes by its supplier no longer allow the Hayworth Cancer Center to provide patients in its Loveline financial assistance program with Ensure supplements to take home at the reduced hospital rate. This grant will directly provide the needed cases of Ensure nutritional supplements to low-income cancer patients in High Point so they do not experience all the health complications that come with weight loss and malnutrition amidst their cancer treatments.
Macedonia Family Resource Center
The axel snapped on the old van used by Macedonia to transport kids and adults to their various programs. Luckily no one was hurt, but they are now without reliable transportation. They are renting vans, at extraordinary cost, to ensure they can continue to serve their neighbors, but a long-term solution is needed. This grant will provide Macedonia with the funds to purchase a van that will help people get to the excellent programming they offer.
Montlieu Academy of Technology
Looking like something out of the 1970s, Montlieu’s library needs a face-lift. This grant will provide the needed funds to put in new carpet, paint, and purchase new flexible seating furniture for the library space. The school will utilize additional funds to buy $5,000 worth of new books to get kids excited to read and grow in this new space.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church – Community Writing Center
Serving over 25 children in grades 3-8 in the Washington St. neighborhood, this grant supports a growing after-school collaboration between Mt. Zion Baptist Church and High Point University. The grant will increase the capacity of the CWC by funding a part-time director, paying for transportation, and funding food for the children to eat on-site and take home. The CWC has seen strong growth in the last few years, and this grant will help take their program services to the next level.
Northwood Elementary School
A Title I school serving kids with sparse access to books, Northwood has a reading proficiency rating of only 33%. To improve the literacy of its students, Northwood will purchase an Accelerated Reading license for each of its students, as well as the required library books to go along with this cloud-based software program. The Accelerated Reader platform has been used by other High Point schools – often funded by the HPCF – with great success. This grant will allow all Northwood students the chance to engage in individualized reading instruction and comprehension exercises. The grant also funds incentives and trophies to motivate more students to read.
Salvation Army of High Point
Last year the HPCF provided a catalyst grant funding to start the Pathway of Hope project at the SA shelter. The average length of stay at the SA shelter is three months, but through this innovative housing program that helps get residents into their own homes sooner, the shelter has shortened the average length of stay, allowing it to serve more clients. This grant will provide a second year of funding to ensure the longevity the program, which provides financial assistance and casework to families so they can get out of the shelter and onto their own two feet faster.
Second Harvest Food Bank
After a successful grant last year, that dramatically increased the capacity of local food pantries to provide fresh, healthy food, Second Harvest is now focused on discovering innovative ways to provide better food for seniors. After recognizing the unique needs of seniors, Second Harvest, the Greater High Point Food Alliance, and three local pantries are working together to study how food pantries can best provide services to clients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other common health conditions. This grant will provide funds for the research, required food products, and evaluation tools to see how these three pantries can become models for pantries all over the city in how to best serve seniors.
Union Hill Elementary School
With 26 total classrooms for 550 students, this Title I school will use this grant to create five new learner-centered classrooms. Each of these classrooms will be equipped with a new smart projector and flexible seating that will make them more welcoming and flexible learning environments. The school expects to see reading and math proficiency scores increase because of these changes. Such updates are also essential to teacher satisfaction and retaining good teachers and school leaders in High Point schools.
YMCA of High Point – Carl Chavis Branch
Under the leadership of a new CEO, the YMCA of High Point will offer free teen memberships in the summer. The Chavis YMCA has long engaged teens in its service area, but they hope for a dramatic spike in memberships this summer because of this policy change. To prepare for ways to engage the teens, this grant will fund renovations to the currently unused “Teen Center.” By updating the paint, furniture, TVs, and gaming systems, the YMCA intends to create a safe space for teens to hang out throughout the year.
The recent spike in opioids has led to a spike in young children entering the foster care system. High Point is already behind other areas in the number of foster families we have, and Youth Unlimited helps to meet this critical need. This grant will allow them to renovate the Millis Home from serving teens, which it has done for years, to serving younger children. The renovations will include fencing in the backyard, adding a play set, and otherwise updating the home. The home will provide a place for up to five children, and it will allow Youth Unlimited to keep siblings together in one place during this traumatic time of their life.