Foundation in Focus: Another round of community grants awarded

Lynne Smith
Guest columnist

Each year, the New Albany Community Foundation awards scores of grants to organizations making a positive impact in the community.

The grants typically focus on four areas: education and lifelong learning, health and wellness, the arts and a sustainable environment.

Lynne Smith is chair of the New Albany Community Foundation board of trustees and a member of its grant committee.

The community foundation holds 72 endowment funds that were established by families, companies and organizations to support the causes they care about.

Already this year, the foundation has raised money and awarded grants totaling nearly $200,000 for COVID-19 coronavirus assistance.

Those grants helped the New Albany Food Pantry, the New Albany-Plain Local School District, the robotics teams making personal-protective equipment for health-care workers and first responders, organizations providing mental-health services and more.

A few weeks ago, the community foundation's board approved additional grants, including:

• An additional $50,000 to New Albany-Plain Local to support the safety and welfare of students, teachers and staff members. The district purchased masks, shields, cleaning stations and thermometers, and it provided support to students and their families who have been negatively impacted by the virus and the subsequent economic recession.

• An additional $15,000 grant to the Well-Being Connection, which provides mental-health programs and services to the community.

More:New Albany’s Sarah Underhill adding to local focus on well-being

• A $10,000 grant to the New Albany Symphony Orchestra.

• An additional $2,500 grant to the New Albany Food Pantry to meet additional demand and provide meals for Thanksgiving. The foundation and its donors have donated $60,000 to the food pantry this year.

• An additional $1,000 grant to the Antidote, a New Albany-Plain Local robotics team that produced personal-protective equipment for local health-care workers, first responders and the school district.

• A $1,000 grant to Pink Ribbon Girls, which provides support to women battling cancer and their families.

• A $1,000 grant to LifeCare Alliance, which provides meals to local families in need.

• A $1,000 grant to New Albany Neighborhood Bridges, which provides needed support to local families in need.

• A $1,500 grant to Boy Scouts of America Troop 64 from the William H. Resch Sustainable Earth Fund and the Jon Pryor New Albany-Plain Local Schools Environmental Science Program Fund to help New Albany student Elliott Limpach build four benches in the wetlands area on the New Albany-Plain Local campus.

More:New Albany Community Foundation funds and grants

• A $500 grant to Fry Out Cancer, which provides turkeys to families in need for Thanksgiving. 

Related story:Need for turkey donations carves Fry Out Cancer's 2020 role

These and other grants are made possible through the generosity of New Albany families and companies who support the foundation. We especially are grateful to Facebook, Huntington and Lower.com for their extraordinary support of the COVID-19 assistance effort.

No one could have predicted the challenges that 2020 would bring, but to me, it wasn’t surprising that New Albany responded with compassion and generosity.

Thank you to everyone who donates to, volunteers for or supports in any way organizations making a difference in the community.

Lynne Smith is chair of the New Albany Community Foundation board of trustees and a member of its grant committee.