Otto Schoitz Foundation Announces Inaugural Grants - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Otto Schoitz Foundation Announces Inaugural Grants

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The Otto Schoitz Foundation is honored to announce the award of $1.75 million to 16 organizations aligned with its mission of improving the health and well-being of the Cedar Valley. The projects funded by these grant awards impact over 25,000 citizens, with a focus on community betterment, education and development, and health and human services.  

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley was awarded $1 million to construct a new Teen Center in Waterloo, largely designed by input from our community’s teenagers.  The Teen Center will be located near East High School establishing dedicated space for tutoring, computer and digital graphics skill development, music creativity, SAT/ACT testing preparation, counseling, direct homework assistance and supervised recreational space. 

“This announcement marks the culmination of our Foundation’s first grant cycle.  The sixteen organizations we are providing funding to each fulfills a vital supporting role in this community,” said Dennis D. Clark of DC Industries in Waterloo, Foundation Chairman, “In particular, our grant to the Boys and Girls Club of the Cedar Valley signifies our belief that this organization has more than demonstrated its great value to the youth of this city.  Its ongoing services for our youth are more critical today than any time in the past.  Our Foundation’s $1 million grant will provide a cornerstone to a new facility to meet these growing needs well into the future.”

Camille Hogan of Short’s Travel Management and Vice-Chairwoman of the Foundation added, "It was equally important that we balance that commitment by recognizing many other outstanding nonprofit organizations that have put forth a path to also achieve successful visible change, resulting in an ever-increasing sphere of improvement."  

The remaining Fall 2017 Grant Award Recipients and their projects include:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa was awarded $36,000 from the Otto Schoitz Foundation to extend their programming of providing one-to-one mentoring to additional youth in the Cedar Valley.

Christian Community Development DBA House of Hope will expand its mission of providing homeless, single moms with transitional housing and individualized support to assist them achieve self-sufficiency with an award of $200,000 from the Foundation. 

Covenant Medical Center will receive $250,000 to renovate space within their emergency department to better serve stable behavioral health patients while they are awaiting acceptance to an inpatient setting; providing a safe and secure area to avoid or diminish escalating harmful behaviors in this vulnerable population. 

EMBARC | Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center was granted $30,000 to support their efforts in developing an interpretation and community health worker social enterprise for refugees residing in Waterloo. 

Grin and Grow’s mission is to provide safe, nurturing, quality early childhood care and development services to a diverse community.  The Otto Schoitz Foundation awarded $10,000 to Grin and Grow to provide upgrades in the learning environment and to meet both state and national standards for quality early childhood services.

Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity received $25,000 to assist in the organization’s Neighborhood Revitalization Project, focused on new construction homes or rehabs in the Church Row Historic and Walnut Neighborhoods of Waterloo and additional repair projects over the next year. 

Iowa Legal Aid's mission is to make hope, dignity and justice available to low-income Iowans through legal assistance and education.   The Foundation awarded $20,000 to continue the Iowa Legal Aid Parent Representation Project, which provides free legal and supportive services to custodial parents who are at risk of being involved or are already involved in the juvenile court system through a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) proceeding.  

The Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls of IA received $8,000 for its League's Lockers Project, providing uniforms, school supplies and basic hygienic items in a discrete and respectful manner to Waterloo high school students who may not otherwise have access.

Leader Valley Foundation received $100,000 for the Leader in Me Project, to be implemented in all Cedar Valley schools by 2020, impacting every student in the metro area.  Leader in Me shifts the culture of our schools in a way that creates leadership and future-ready opportunities for all children.  Leader in Me helps all students develop both strong character & competence that ensures they have skills, attributes, and habits of personal effectiveness, leading to a more effective life. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Black Hawk County works to improve the quality of life for all people affected by mental illness.  The Otto Schoitz Foundation awarded $3,000 to NAMI for its programmatic support of free classes, support groups, trainings and educational programs which help people who have the illness and their families. 

Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging will develop, promote and implement a local fall prevention coalition with its award of $6,600 from the Otto Schoitz Foundation; training both staff and  interested volunteers to bring fall prevention programs - approved by the Administration on Community Living as evidence based - to more locations, particularly rural areas with under-served populations.

Operation Threshold’s Home Based Parent Education Program provides parents with effective programming that supports child development knowledge and positive parenting skills and family supports.  The Otto Schoitz Foundation awarded $16,800 to support the costs of providing group parent education classes.   

Quota International of Waterloo was awarded $5,000 for its Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program, a partnership with Quota, the Waterloo Police Department and the Waterloo School District which provides for distribution of books to youth at multiple events.  Books are distributed at school events, summer free lunch programs, by police officers from their squad cars and from the Waterloo police station – creating a positive relationship between the youth and the officers.

University of Northern Iowa Foundation received $35,000 for its work at the Center for Violence Prevention (CVP).  The CVP's mission is to advance a comprehensive and systemic approach to preventing violence and all forms of abuse, harm, oppression and bullying across the state.  The CVP, with a team of law enforcement and social service professionals, violence prevention specialists, victim service advocates and civic leaders, will begin implementation of a multi-tier prevention within the Waterloo community.  

The Waterloo Writing Project was awarded $4,600 for its Youth Leader Project, intended to enhance its mission of providing space for youth authors/creatives to craft, collaborate, critique, and support each other.  The Waterloo Writing Project believes that every student is an intellectual and has something to share, an idea to develop, an imagination to cultivate.  The Project provides space that is focused on the creative aspects of writing, publishing and performing.

The Foundation is extremely pleased to partner with these organizations in improving life in the Cedar Valley.  

The Otto Schoitz Foundation’s Spring Grant cycle opens December 1, 2017, accepting grant requests through December 31, 2017.  Qualifying organizations may apply for funding via the Foundation’s online grant management system.

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