Due to an increased presence in the county and more donation money coming in, the Rockland Community Foundation has increased its annual grant awards to twice yearly, and this week the group presented grants of $500 each to three local agencies.
The organizations that were awarded the grants were Jawonio, the Center For Safety & Change and Meals on Wheels. Rockland Community Foundation President Patrick Byrne said nine organizations applied for the fall grant, and the foundation’s grant committee sorted through all the applications and picked those three organizations.
Debbie Taylor, the preschool coordinator for Jawonio, said the grant money will help feed children in Jawonio programs whose families are struggling financially.
“As we get more families in the preschool program, we’re seeing more families struggling to feed and clothe children,” Taylor said. “Last year we helped over 30 families, and this year we’re helping even more. This grant will help us stock the food pantry and give out vouchers.”
Taylor said members of Jawonio were appreciative of the grant because it will allow them to better serve the needs of Rockland residents.
Julika von Stackelberg-Addo, the director of development at the Center For Safety & Change, said the grant money will go toward transportation.
“The funds that we just received from the Rockland Community Foundation for the Center For Safety & Change will be used for transportation of our clients who are currently residing at our emergency shelter, which is for battered women and their children,” she said. “And they need transportation to doctors’ offices, the courtroom, other appointments with schools, etc. In order for these women to be able to rebuild their lives, they need to be able to be mobile, and we’ll use the grant to help to offset some of the cost of the transportation.”
The Center For Safety & Change was formerly named the Rockland Family Shelter, and von Stackelberg-Addo said the name was changed to let people know they offered just more services than the shelter.
Madelyn Schiering, grant writer for Meals on Wheels, said the grant money her organization received will go toward its homebound meal delivery program, which she said has a waiting list of about 20 to 25 people and serves about 400 daily. She added that it serves more monthly, though, as not everyone in the program receives a meal daily.
“The grant is for the homebound meal delivery program for subsidized meals to help seniors in need who would otherwise not be able to afford meals,” she said. “We have a waiting list, fortunately it’s decreased over the years because we’ve been able to acquire funding from generous funders, but we do still have a small waiting list and this grant will help reduce that even further.”