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$370,000 Awarded through Connected Communities Grants to 14 Nonprofits for Community Improvement Projects

Central Carolina Community Foundation awarded $370,000 to 14 organizations this year through its Connected Communities grant. The 14 nonprofits will launch projects that improve the quality of life in the Midlands by building a more livable, equitable and just community to live, work, play and raise a family.

In its ninth year, the Community Foundation’s Connected Communities grant initiative helps connect residents to their community and knits the Midlands together. Since inception, grants totaling $3,112,573 have been awarded to support local projects.

Grant project proposals were focused on one or more of the areas identified by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup surveys as the most important elements of an attractive, vibrant and equitable community. This year’s grant recipients presented ideas that increased residents’ access to safe places to live and work; healthcare facilities and services; quality job opportunities; affordable housing; safe, proximal, high-quality recreational areas; and quality arts and cultural events.

“The Community Foundation is dedicated to making life better in the Midlands,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “Our investment in these 14 grantees and their projects will positively impact the lives of the people they serve.”

Connected Communities grants are funded by the Foundation’s Community Impact Endowment fund and several Field of Interest funds. These funds were established with generous gifts from visionary donors who knew their unrestricted gifts would allow the Foundation to respond to the ever-changing needs and opportunities in our region for generations.

The selected projects are located in Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland Counties but will serve residents in CCCF’s entire 11-county service area.

2023 Connected Communities Grant Recipients

The following projects have been approved by the Foundation and will be funded by Connected Communities grants:

  • Blackjack Baptist Church, “Virtual Care Kiosk” will enable Fairfield County residents with chronic conditions to see a provider virtually through a kiosk at the church and allows patients to receive education, behavioral health counseling and prescriptions conveniently and affordably.
  • Calhoun County Library,Calhoun Connects Emergency Alerts for All will provide equitable access to critical, life-saving information and make Calhoun a safe place to work and live.
  • Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands, “Girl Scout Heritage Patch Series” will create and execute a Heritage Patch series that will introduce the art, history and traditions of the many different cultures that comprise South Carolina – Black, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native American and more.
  • Homeless No More, Inc., The Grand Motel Community Center” will create affordable housing for at-risk families in the Midlands of South Carolina.
  • Killingsworth Home, Home Sweet Home” will increase the retention rate of new residents entering Killingsworth Home and the success rate of residents graduating from Killingsworth Home.
  • Leeza’s Care Connection,Hugging the Midlands” will provide caregivers of loved ones with dementia or other chronic illness a sense of community and peer support.
  • Lion’s Vision Services, “Envision the Midlands” will expand access to an innovative solution to vision health that will save sight for individuals experiencing poverty.
  • Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas, WeCo Cottage: Empowering Midlands College Students in Recoverywill empower students in recovery to live, study and socialize in a supportive setting while still fully engaged in college life.
  • Newberry Opera House Foundation, “Downtown Newberry First Fridays” — will host free, diverse outdoor concerts on the first Friday of each month, April through October in the town center in front of Community Hall.
  • One Columbia for Arts and Culture, “The Bethel Cultural Center Technical Theatre Crew Project” will support the planning and development of this program to increase racial diversity by offering technical theatre training and production support to high school students and young adults in Columbia, SC.
  • Palmetto Conservation Foundation, “Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles Through the Palmetto Trail” will encourage healthy behaviors and long-term exercise habits by inviting those who are not typical hikers to come to the Palmetto Trail for health screenings, the opportunity to purchase fresh, healthy food and guided walks.
  • Serve & Connect “Si Se Puede: A Community-Driven Movement for Trust and Safety Between the Hispanic Community and First Responders” will create relationships between the Hispanic community and first responders in order to reduce fear and promote safety and wellness.
  • The B Strong Group, “Project Empower” will continue to host a series of monthly workshops, which will include various programs designed to support the advocacy of parents and/or caregivers of those with sickle cell disease.
  • The Period Project, “Advancing Menstrual Equity in the Midlands” will increase access to essential period supplies that maintain menstrual health, supporting physical and mental health.

For more information about Connected Communities grants, visit www.yourfoundation.org/grants or call 803.254.5601.