Foundation awards Community Grants to 55 groups

Published 7:57 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018

It was a packed room at the Hank Sanders Technology Center on Wallace Community College Selma on Saturday as the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) awarded grants to groups coming from 12 counties including Dallas County.

The Black Belt Community Foundation Board of Directors adopted a strategic plan in November 2013, which is called “Connecting People … Transforming Tomorrows.”

This plan identified four areas of focus to strengthen the Black Belt region and included arts and culture, community economic development, education and health and wellness.

As part of the implementation of this plan, committees consisting of selected board members, community associates and other community leaders in each county were formed.

The Community Grants Program also came from this plan.

A total of $82,780 was awarded on Saturday to 55 organizations who the grant committee decided would transform the Black Belt region.

BBCF received 62 applications from organizations in the 12 counties. Out of the 55 that received a grant, 25 of those organizations were first time applicants, according to a release.

“The first step in the application review process involved an initial analysis of the submitted projects by the BBCF staff,” according to the release. “The staff organized the applications by country and gathered input from board members, county coordinators and community associates. The next step involved the Local Grants Review Committee members in each county scoring all the applications in their respective county, and forwarding the scores to the BBCF staff.”

The next step involved the staff meeting with each local grant committee to review all the scores and to make the final rankings to be submitted to the BBCF Grants committee. The BBCF Grant Committee met on June 18 to review recommendations made by the Local Grants Review Committee.

The BCF Board of Directors reviewed recommendations on June 20 and chose the 55 groups.

In Dallas County, AGES CDC was awarded $1,167 to provide books and educational supplies for the Fun-Day-Mental Summer Program, which is an eight-week summer youth enrichment program for 50 children between the ages of four and 18.

Black Belt and Central Alabama Housing was awarded $1,000 to support the Black Belt NEWSTART Health Program in Dallas County.

The Christian Outreach Alliance was awarded $2,000 to purchase fresh produce to meet the needs of people at or below the federal poverty level in Dallas County.

Communities of Transformation was awarded $1,000 to support a VISTA Coordinator position, which will assist low-income families achieve their goal of self-sufficiency through education and other supportive programs.

Dallas County Family Resource Center received $1,000 to provide operational support for the “Pathway to Independence” project, which will provide free counseling, social work and education to individuals who are consistently struggling financially with the goal of helping them to become self-sufficient.

E.M. Brown Community Center was awarded $1,297 to support social outlets for the elderly by providing tables and chairs.

Selma Redevelopment Authority received $800 to support “The Selma 200” project, which is a one-week community based photography workshop focusing on documenting local cultural and heritage assets to build bridges between the community and local leaders and cast a vision for moving forward.

Tailor Made Leadership Academy received $1,000 to conduct the Gentlemen Experience APP, which provides young men a guide to traditional and modern life skills, computer-based learning, integrated social mentoring tools and a powerful collection of categories such as self-advocacy and behavior therapy.

Zeta Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha was awarded $1,500 to support Reading is Fundamental by purchasing books for more than 300 students in grades Pre-K through senior year.