Each year, the Junior League of Houston 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, prioritizes them based on their alignment with Board-determined focus areas and conducts site visits before making recommendations for funding. When selecting recipients, the committee considers whether an agency’s request would address a critical or basic need, fund a pilot project or expand a significant service to the community.
For 2014 – 2015, the League awarded $172,500 in Community Assistance Grants to the following agencies:
Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack
Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack provides food for school-aged children who may otherwise have little or no food to eat on weekends during the school year. This service bridges the gap between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast by providing easy-to-prepare foods for meals and snacks. The League grant will provide weekend food for 100 children for a three year period.
Camp Aranzazu enriches the lives of children and adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities by providing unique camping, environmental studies and retreat experiences to groups with special needs. The League grant will support 20 special needs youth from the Houston area to attend Camp Aranzazu.
Camp For All
Camp For All is a unique barrier-free camp working in partnership with other non-profits to enrich the lives of children and adults with serious illnesses and/or special needs and their families. The League grant will support scholarships for 60 youths with serious illnesses and/or special needs to attend Camp for All.
Devereux Foundation’s mission is to change lives and nurture human potential. League funds will help impoverished children in foster care to obtain basic necessities through the Devereux League City Indigent Fund, which provides clothing, shoes, haircuts, uncovered medical expenses and other personal items.
Fort Bend Family Promise
Fort Bend Family Promise offers comprehensive support services for homeless families from Fort Bend County. League funds will subsidize the purchase of student technology resources for the Cares for “You”-th Learning Lab. Part of a comprehensive Youth Enrichment program, the Learning Lab provides tutoring and homework support, including access to computers.
Houston Area Parkinson Society
Houston Area Parkinson Society improves the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s disease through services, education and advocacy. League funds will support the Bill Read Emergency Fund Program that provides emergency funding of up to $500 a year per client for basic needs of indigent patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Interface-Samaritan Counseling Center
Interface-Samaritan Counseling Center encourages human development by providing high-quality, affordable counseling and educational services from a Christian perspective. League funds will allow for the addition of a therapy group for the children of the clients of the Santa Maria Hostels, Houston-based inpatient substance abuse treatment centers for women veterans.
Small Steps Nurturing Center
Small Steps Nurturing Center provides early childhood programs to instill and foster the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual growth of economically at-risk children and their families. League funds will support the SET for Life program, which provides individual and group play therapy to Small Steps students at no charge to their families.
St. James House of Baytown
St. James House of Baytown provides a nurturing environment that empowers its senior residents to live healthy, comfortable and socially interactive lives in a faith-based, respectful atmosphere. League funds will aid in funding the Financial Assistance Program to cover the care of residents who no longer have a means to pay for care and housing.
The Langham Creek Family YMCA
The Langham Creek Family YMCA Miracle League is envisioned as a barrier-free facility for children with disabilities that will include sports fields and a playground. League funds will support elements of the barrier-free playground, including a sensory play center, omnispin spinner, roller slide and oodle swing, at the Miracle League Complex.
Volunteer Interfaith Caregivers – SW
Volunteer Interfaith Caregivers – SW helps frail and elderly people remain independent, seek health care and preserve their quality of life. League funds will help fund the salary of a part-time volunteer transportation manager in the agency’s newly expanded area of Northwest Houston, extending free transportation services to those over 60.
Through education and intensive intervention, Yellowstone Academy addresses the cycle of poverty that consumes children and families in inner city Houston. League funds will support the Student Meal Program that provides breakfast, lunch and a snack at no additional cost to students’ families. These meals will be provided each school day for the 2015 – 2016 year.