APS Families Supported by Quarterly Gifts

Akron Community Foundation Grants
Posted on 12/09/2019
Image of Akron Community Foundation LogoAkron Community Foundation's board of directors has approved grants totaling $2,139,871, including $549,838 in competitive health and human services grants chosen by the foundation's Community Investment Committee.

This quarter's health and human services funding included a $5,500 grant to Birthing Beautiful Communities, a Cleveland-based network of doulas, or birth workers, who provide social support for high-risk pregnant women. The organization, which expanded its services to Akron in 2019, focuses on the delivery of full-term, healthy babies and achieving a community of equitable birth outcomes. In addition to offering free neighborhood-based services such as childbirth and parenting education classes, the organization also provides labor and delivery support and postpartum care.

"We offer holistic care to the mothers we serve," said Jazmin Long, vice president of fund development for Birthing Beautiful Communities. "We're an organization of 27 African American women, serving a 98% African American client base. We're able to meet the full needs of our clients because we understand them on a different level. We often hire women who at one time were clients themselves, which improves our patient-client relationships and, in turn, the success rate of our program."

According to the Ohio Department of Health's 2017 infant mortality data, black infants die at nearly three times the rate of white infants. In Ohio, the infant mortality rate for black infants was 15.6 per 1,000 births versus 5.3 per 1,000 births for white infants.

In 2018, of the mothers who completed the Birthing Beautiful Communities program, 92% achieved full-term pregnancies, with an overall infant survival rate of 99.8%. Since its founding, the organization has trained 26 perinatal support specialists and served more than 500 at-risk mothers.

In addition, Akron Community Foundation's board approved a $17,500 grant to support OPEN M's medical clinic and pharmacy, which provides free comprehensive health care to underserved and uninsured residents. The clinic currently cares for 700 patients with a group of 70 volunteer doctors representing more than 20 medical specialties. The clinic also offers free dental care, basic in-house lab testing, education and prevention services, and a full-service pharmacy that provides free medicine.

"In the city of Akron, approximately 24% of citizens are living in poverty," said Jess Rist, events, volunteer and development manager at OPEN M. "However, in the immediate area that OPEN M serves, 53% of citizens are living in poverty, so there's a great need for our resources in the community. We currently have a wait list of six months for a dental appointment. Poor dental health often leads to other medical issues, so we are trying to focus on preventative care here."

An additional $7,500 in health and human services funding was contributed through the community foundation's grant co-investment program, which enables donor-advised fundholders to review the board's competitive grant applications and support initiatives that align with their charitable interests. Participating in the co-investment program this quarter were the Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund and Summit Portage Area Health Education Fund.

Their funding joins that of the following field-of-interest and board discretionary funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Alcohol/Drug Abuse Prevention Partnership Program Fund; Allio Memorial Fund; V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund; Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund; Dick and Chris Chenoweth Fund; Decker Endowment Fund for Families; Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund; Lisette Ertel Fund; H.A. Flannery Family and James R. Flannery Family Fund; Frances H. and Paul A. Frank Fund; Lillian D. and Lincoln H. Gries Fund; Hermine Z. Hansen Fund; Vivienne S. and Russell R. Johnstone Family Fund; Kathleen Joyce Fund; Arthur Kelly Fund; John S. Knight Fund; Merna and Edward Kormanik Fund; William C. Krisher Fund; Maggie & Jerry Lippman Tikkun Olam "Repair the World" Fund; Bruce Mansfield Fund; John A. McAlonan Fund; W. Bishop & Elizabeth C. McIntosh Fund; Pat and Alan Ockene Fund; Rose Mary Picciotti Fund; Polsky Fund; Helen S. Robertson Fund; James G. Robertson Fund; Roush Memorial Fund; Sanatorium Contingent Fund; Schrank Family Fund; Shaw Foundation Fund; Richard W. & Charlotte E. Staiger Fund; George Stevens Fund; Ronald L. Stiles Fund; Georgia Urda Fund; Orpha and Howard Wellock, Parents of Cheryl Wellock Fund; William C. and Betty J. Zekan Fund.

Their grants will support the following health and human services programs:
  • A Kid Again Northern Ohio, to offer destination adventures for families of children with life-threatening illnesses, $5,000
  • ACCESS, to provide services to women facing homelessness, including short-term secure housing, case management, health counseling and job readiness training, $15,500
  • Akron Area YMCA, to teach water safety and swimming skills to under-served elementary school students, $15,000
  • Akron Blind Center, to offer programs, resources and classes for blind and visually impaired individuals in Summit County, including Braille, computer literacy, physical fitness, crafts and volunteerism, $8,000
  • Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, to support food distribution in Summit County, as well as the Feeding Kids Initiative, a backpack and after-school snack program for local children, $40,000
  • Akron Children's Hospital, to support the Stop the Bleed program in Akron Public Schools, which trains students and staff to better respond to life-threatening injuries, $7,500
  • American Red Cross of Summit & Portage Counties, to support disaster preparedness, response and recovery services in Summit County, $15,000
  • ARC Recovery Services, to provide certified peer support to individuals in the early stages of substance abuse recovery, $7,500
  • Autism Society of Greater Akron, to support the Information and Referral Help Line, which offers resources to parents, professionals, educators, and individuals on the autism spectrum, $5,000
  • AxessPointe Community Health Center, to provide personal hygiene products to low-income patients at the organization's South Broadway Street location, $5,000
  • Battered Women's Shelter, to support crisis intervention services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, $25,000
  • Birthing Beautiful Communities, to address and improve the systemic and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes through education, advocacy, support programs and community engagement, $5,500
  • Broken Chains Jail & Prison Ministry, to support mentoring and workforce development programs for former offenders in Summit County to help eliminate barriers that lead to recidivism, $7,500
  • Catholic Charities of Summit County, to support the 2020 Emergency Assistance Program, which offers rent and utility assistance to residents in need, $15,000
  • Celiac and Allergy Friendly Food Initiative, to support a food pantry serving allergy-friendly food to low-income families, $2,500
  • Christ Child Society of Akron, to provide clothing for low-income students, $10,500
  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General, to support the Minority Men's Health Fair, which offers free health tests and screenings, $5,000
  • Community Legal Aid Services, to support the HEAL project, a medical-legal partnership that represents patients and families when issues like education, housing and public benefits threaten their health, $20,000
  • CORE Furniture Bank, to provide donated furniture to Summit County families in need, $7,500
  • Crown Point Ecology Center, to train new greenhouse staff and increase vegetable seedling production during the spring season, $7,500
  • Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, to support and expand food access programs at Summit County farmers markets, $10,000
  • Easter Seals of Northeast Ohio, to create an educational learning center for adults with disabilities, $588
  • Embracing Futures, to provide orthodontic treatment for children in under-served families, $5,000
  • Family & Community Services, to address senior hunger in Summit County by providing home-delivered and congregate meals through the Mobile Meals program, $20,500
  • Family Promise of Summit County, to help homeless families with children remain together and achieve lasting independence, $8,000
  • First Glance Student Center, to support mentoring and outreach programs for at-risk teens in Kenmore, $7,500
  • Forget-Me-Not Baskets, to provide bereavement items for families who have experienced a loss during pregnancy or childbirth at Akron-area hospitals, $2,500
  • Freedom House for Women, to decrease addiction and homelessness in Summit County women by providing substance abuse treatment, recovery housing, and support services, $8,000
  • Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to support a physical activity-based youth development program that promotes confidence and healthy choices for girls in high-poverty neighborhoods throughout Summit County, $8,000
  • Goodwill Industries of Akron, to purchase bus passes for Summit County social service agencies and residents living in poverty, $5,000
  • Grace House Akron, to support access to end-of-life care for low- to moderate-income residents in Greater Akron, $500
  • GriefCare Place, to provide free support group counseling and other programs for residents grieving the loss of a loved one, $2,500
  • H.M. Life Opportunity Services, for the Youth Services Program, which provides school supplies, transportation, tutoring and other services for children transitioning out of homelessness, $5,500
  • IBH Addiction Recovery Center, to track the long-term, post-treatment success of clients who have completed the residential substance abuse treatment program, $10,000
  • International Institute of Akron, to provide mental health services and case management for refugees and immigrants with significant barriers to economic and social stability, $15,000
  • Jewish Family Service of Akron, to support the Happy, Healthy and At Home program, which offers case management, information referrals, counseling and other critical services for Summit County senior citizens, $8,000
  • Let's Grow Akron, to provide affordable and locally grown healthy food for low-income residents in Greater Akron's urban areas, $10,000
  • NAMI Summit County, to provide basic household items to residents with serious mental illness who are transitioning from homelessness, group home living, or incarceration, $5,000
  • National Society to Prevent Blindness, to provide vision care for at-risk individuals in Summit County, $8,250
  • Ohio Living Communities, to offer assisted living for residents with limited financial means at the Rockynol retirement community, $5,000
  • OPEN M, to support the organization's free clinic and pharmacy for uninsured and under-served residents of Summit County, $17,500
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to provide low-income women at the Akron Health Center with long-acting reversible contraception, $20,000
  • Portage Path Behavioral Health, to provide medication-assisted treatment and peer support for clients recovering from addiction, $13,500
  • Red Oak Behavioral Health, to support staff training for school-based mental health programs, $5,000
  • Ronald McDonald House Akron, to provide a home away from home for families with children receiving care at Akron Children's Hospital or nearby medical facilities, $12,500
  • Stewart's Caring Place, to offer support groups and educational programs for residents affected by cancer, $5,000
  • Summit County Community Partnership, to support the Deterra Project, which reduces access to unused and expired opiates by providing drug deactivation pouches that safely neutralize prescription medicines, $10,000
  • Summit County Fatherhood Initiative, to provide education, legal assistance, mentoring and other support services for fathers in Summit County who have previously been incarcerated or estranged from their children, $20,000
  • United Disability Services, to provide employment services, including skills assessments and interview training, for Summit County residents with severe disabilities, $15,000
  • United Way of Summit County, to help residents navigate health and social services available in Summit County through the 2-1-1 information and referral helpline, $15,000
  • VANTAGE Aging, to help older adults remain in their homes by providing in-home assistance, including personal care, cleaning, grocery shopping and other critical services, $18,000
  • Victim Assistance Program, to provide 24-hour support and advocacy for victims of crime and sudden trauma, $20,000
  • Victory Gallop, to support therapeutic horseback riding programs for children with behavioral challenges and life-threatening illnesses, $5,000
  • Women's Auxiliary Board, Summit County Children Services, to promote safer sleeping conditions by providing beds for kids in the care of children's services, $6,500
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About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 64 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Sept. 30, 2019, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $225 million with a growing family of more than 650 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded more than $169 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330.376.8522; or visit akroncf.org.
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