Berrien Community Foundation awards $230,000 in grants during annual meeting

Checks presented to Well of GRACE Ministries (on left) and the Readiness Center (on right), winners of the Carolyn’s Kids grant program. Pictured are, from left: Cathy Thieneman, Stephanie Rutherford, Carolyn Hanson, Martha Thieneman and Allie Kibler-Campbell. Photo courtesy: Berrien Community Foundation Golden Acorn Volunteer Award winner Diane Young. Photo courtesy: Berrien Community Foundation From left, HOPE Resources’ Carol Sternaman, Sherry Meyer and Pam Quinn accept Berrien Community Foundation’s 2022 Golden Acorn Award for Excellence. Photo courtesy: Berrien Community Foundation Present Pillars co-founders James Gunter, left, and John Sams IV receive the Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant award. Photo courtesy: Berrien Community Foundation The OutCenter was named the winner of the 2022 Alamar Nonprofit Sustainability Grant. Photo courtesy: Berrien Community Foundation
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. - The Berrien Community Foundation awarded $230,000 in grants at its 70th annual meeting & celebration on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the foundation gave out five major awards.

The Well of GRACE Ministries and the Readiness Center were both awarded $50,000 each from the Carolyn's Kids Grant program. The money will be used to support the organizations' programs focused on kids.

The 2022 Alamar Nonprofit Sustainability Grant was given to the OutCenter. The $75,000 grant will be paid out over three years and be used toward the nonprofit's development planning and community education efforts.

The Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant is given to a Berrien County nonprofit that addresses a crucial community needs and positively impacts the lives of Berrien County residents. This year, the $50,000 grant was presented to Present Pillars, which helps build strong fathers that are present in their children's lives.

Diane Young received this year's Golden Acorn Volunteer Award for her work with the Berrien Community Foundation and her efforts in promoting vaccinations in the black and brown communities in the Benton Harbor and Niles areas. Young will receive a $1,000 gift toward the nonprofit of her choice.

The $4,000 Golden Acorn Award for Excellence was given to HOPE Resources for their Crocks Rock! Program, which helped lower-income families make nutritious meals.

Over $10 million in grants has been awarded in 2022, according to Berrien Community Foundation Program Director Susan Matheny.

The foundation itself received a $60,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to reduce the impacts of drug addiction in Berrien County.

It was also awarded $200,000 from the National Network to Innovate for COVID-19 and Adult Vaccine Equity grant to help address vaccine hesitancy among minority populations.

“An evening like the Annual Meeting is a great reminder of how we can change lives here in Berrien County when we all work together,” said Matheny. “We have been doing that for 70 years and are now looking forward to 70 more!”

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