Each year, The Junior League of Houston, Inc. provides Community Assistance Grants to worthwhile organizations that do not receive ongoing volunteer support or financial assistance through the League’s Community Projects. The League’s Community Assistance Committee reviews the grant requests based on their alignment with member-determined impact areas and conducts site visits before making recommendations for funding. When selecting recipients, the committee considers whether an agency request would address a critical or basic need, fund a pilot project or expand a significant service to the community.
For 2018 – 2019, the League awarded $150,000 in Community Assistance grants to the following agencies:
Blessings in a Backpack: Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide weekend food for school aged children in Houston who might otherwise go hungry while away from school meal programs. League funds will support 300 students with weekend food at Foerster, Grissom and Windsor Village elementary schools for the spring and fall semesters of 2019.
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance: Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance provides emotional, education and practical support to families of children with cancer. League funds will provide resources for expansion of the Parent Consultant Program at Texas Children’s Hospital Main and West Campuses. Funds will also create the Candlelighters’ Corner at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a designated area which consists of a play area with games and activity books, as well as educational and reference materials.
Children 4 Tomorrow: Children 4 Tomorrow creates a professional collaborative atmosphere of community awareness and nurturing support for children to thrive and grow in a mentally and emotionally healthy environment. League funds will provide an overhead projector and associated supplies in support of the curriculum’s pilot program, LEAP Jr., a course designed to help approximately 150 indigent children learn resilience for coping with the trauma and emotional crisis surrounding divorce and/or custody cases of their parents.
Children’s Literacy Initiative: Children’s Literacy Initiative works with prekindergarten through third grade educators to improve instruction so that children can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers. League funds will provide expert coaching and training to educators with low-income students in eight Houston Independent School District Title I elementary schools, as well as provide high-quality classroom materials, including carpets, racks and books.
Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services, Inc. (ECHOS): ECHOS connects people in need with health, social and educational resources that can improve their lives. Food insecurity is a critical issue for ECHOS clients. League funds will provide a commercial freezer, allowing ECHOS to provide more nutritious, well-rounded meals, as well as support the purchase of both frozen and non-perishable food as the organization responds to the increased needs of their growing client base.
Free the Captives: Free the Captives is an anti-human trafficking nonprofit that fights the exploitation and trafficking of Houston’s youth. League funds will support the Free the Captives’ summer job program which allows girls ages 12 – 14 to learn important job-related and financial planning skills, such as resume writing and budgeting.
The Jung Center: The Jung Center helps people navigate life’s challenges and transitions in healthy ways. The Jung Center helps create strong families and communities through educational classes onsite and online, as well as in outreach programs serving those in need of mental health support. League funds will provide an after-school art program with classes in stress management and creative expression for at-risk children in Houston’s Third Ward.
Northwest Assistance Ministries: Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) is a nonprofit, community-based, multi-program social service agency that strives to meet basic human needs through neighbors helping neighbors. League funds will give financial support for transportation services which are vital for NAM’s clients to find a job, to remain employed, to seek medical services for themselves or their children, to access food or to flee domestic violence. League funds also provide supplemental liquid nutrition for twenty-five medically frail home-bound seniors in the Meals on Wheels program.
Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation: Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation educates, supports and improves the quality of life for adults and families affected by sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. League funding will support 20 Houston area campers attending Camp Cell-A-Bration, a specialized week-long camp for children ages six – 14 living with sickle cell disease; the camp takes place at Camp For All.
The Woods Project: The Woods Project provides underserved high school students from Houston with transformative, experiential outdoor learning opportunities that allow them to develop life and leadership skills and behaviors needed for success. League funds will allow 47 volunteers to receive wilderness and first aid training to support the overall health, safety and well-being of students and acquire gear including tents, sleeping bags and hiking books to be used by the students participating in the program.