The Iredell County Community Foundation handed out grants to 20 local nonprofit agencies totaling $91,000 earlier this month as part of its continuing work to inspire philanthropy in the county.

At the end of each year, the foundation distributes grants to nonprofits that apply to receive funding for specific programs. Each agency goes through the grant application process and must be accepted. Services the grants pay for are not duplicated.

Programs selected this year to receive funding come from a variety of organizations serving at-risk children, families that need financial assistance and people with disabilities.

The music and media arts program at Barium Springs Home for Children was awarded $2,000 by the foundation. The money helps to pay for an arts instructor to teach the children a couple times a week.

“This program is set up to provide music and drama … for the kids to express themselves and to have an creative outlet to perhaps deal with their issues of past use and neglect,” said Barium President John Koppelmeyer. “Sometimes they have a hard time verbalizing what’s going on with themselves, so music, art and drama can be a great way to connect to those emotions rather than in a formal clinical setting.”

A recent talent show by the children in the drama classes included a rap about pulling up your pants and showing respect  to others and a mock reality show about a child who breaks the trust of another by spilling secrets.

“The kids have a great time doing it,” Koppelmeyer said. “Some of them have a lot of artistic ability and haven’t been able to showcase that in an appropriate way versus being something like the class clown.”

First Baptist Church in Mooresville received $5,000 from the foundation for its Back Pack Meals Ministry. The ministry gives about 140 kids six meals each Friday afternoon in a back pack to take home so that child can eat full meals all weekend.

The ministry started in September 2010 with one church feeding kids at one school and has since grown to five churches feeding children at seven schools. The money will feed all their children for about six or seven weeks.

“The people we have here are really committed to the ministry,” said John Saunders, First Baptist associate pastor and lead coordinator of the ministry. “It’s a big responsibility. Once you start, you can’t stop.”

First Baptist Church also gave all the children it is feeding gifts of hats and gloves for Christmas and also provided them with extra school supplies and toiletry items.

“We’re just not feeding them,” Saunders said. “We’re trying to minister to the whole child.”

The Children’s Home of Iredell County’s grant award from the foundation was for $5,000. It will go toward funding the Special Treasures Youth Employment program.

Special Treasures in Mooresville is a store opened June 14 that provides former and current foster children a place to gain employment experience. About 10 foster children from the ages of 14 to 22 work at the store. There’s also a store in Statesville.

“[The grant] will allow us to continue operations,” said Debra Connolly, grant writer for the home. “We had gotten funds … to get it going, but we’re still in the process of becoming self sufficient.”

Grant recipients:

» $5,000 to Appropriate Placement Options, Inc. for the Youth Incentive Program.

» $2,000 to the Barium Springs Home for Children for the Music and Media Arts Program.

» $3,500 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Piedmont, Inc. for Project Yellowstone.

» $5,000 to the Children’s Home of Iredell County, Inc. for the Special Treasures Youth Employment Program.

» $5,000 to Diakonos, Inc. (Fifth Street Ministries) for Connecting Iredell, a collaborative information system of resource linkages to local/state services via the internet.

» $2,500 to Easter Seals UCP North Carolina, Inc. for Iredell-Connect, a program to enhance the lives of adults and children with disabilities.

» $5,000 to First Baptist Church Mooresville to help support the Back Pack Meals Ministry providing supplemental food to children for weekend meals.

» $5,000 to Gaston Family Health Services to provide dental services to children at the Open Door Dental Clinic.

» $2,500 to Girl Scout Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, Inc. for their anti-bullying program called Quiet Cruelty: It’s a Girl’s World.

» $2,500 to Habitat for Humanity of Iredell-Statesville for the HAND Up Program assisting people with critical home repairs.

» $2,500 to Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, Inc. to support the Palliative Care Program

specializing in medical care for people with serious illnesses.

» $10,000 to Iredell Christian Ministries for crisis assistance with utility bills.

» $2,000 to Iredell County Partnership for Young Children for the Positive Solutions for Teen Parents Program.

» $2,500 to Iredell Museums, Inc. for the Greening the Curriculum Program at East Elementary.

» $2,000 to Iredell-Statesville YMCA for the Community Nutrition in Action Program.

» $5,000 to Matthew 25 Ministries to support their food ministry.

» $5,000 to Piedmont Mediation Center, Inc. for the Tough Choices: Beyond Anger Management Program.

» $10,000 to Power Cross for the Power Cross Preferred College Prep Mentoring Program for at risk young men ages 7-18.

» $10,000 to Yokefellow Ministries of Greater Statesville for crisis assistance.

» $4,000 to Young Life Ministries to assist in the startup of Young Life at South Iredell High School.

For more information on grants or grant writing,please visit the Grant Pros website.


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