Giving Circle Members Grant $23,000 to Local Nonprofits
State College, PA – Oct. 20, 2022 – Members of Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle awarded grants to local nonprofits at their annual reception on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Axemann Brewery. Centre Volunteers in Medicine, Out of the Cold: Centre County, and State College Food Bank, were finalists for the grants and presented their proposals as live pitches to the membership.
Each year, Giving Circle members pool their resources to create grants for local nonprofits. Thanks to a sustained increase in donor memberships, the Giving Circle was able to award a total of $23,000 this year, up from $15,000 five years ago.
Following the pitches, members cast their votes and Out of the Cold: Centre County was awarded the top grant of $11,000 for their Permanent Shelter program.
Out of the Cold is a low-barrier shelter where guests are served a hot meal, given a cot, warm blankets, and a place to sleep. Basic needs case management is provided to guests for assistance acquiring housing and other supportive services at their Day Shelter.
With the Giving Circle funding, Out of the Cold will renovate their Meeting House on 318 South Atherton Street to convert it into a permanent 24/7 shelter where 30 individuals can receive shelter, food, and support services.
“Out of the Cold believes that shelter is a human right regardless of the choices an individual is making or has made,” said Kendra Gettig, Interim Executive Director at Out of the Cold: Centre County. She explained that while 25 individuals are currently in their overnight shelter program, over 30 individuals remain on the waiting list.
With this support, Out of the Cold will move closer to its goal of raising $400,000 for this project.
“We believe that the stability of one location will be life-changing for our guests. The generous funds provided through Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle will be used for the required building renovations.”
In addition to the first prize grant, the runners-up each received a $4,000 grant.
State College Food Bank offers many programs that enhance food security for Centre County residents, with the ultimate goal of eliminating hunger in our communities.
Executive Director, Allayn Beck and Business Manager, Heather Lee discussed how the Giving Circle funding will help them expand their No Cost Produce Market into 2023.
“The State College Food Bank is honored to have been selected as one of the top 3 finalists for the 2022 Giving Circle Grant. The grant awarded to us by the Giving Circle will help expand our 2023 No-Cost Produce Market,” said Allayn. “With this funding, we will be able to increase the number of markets next summer. Holding an 8th additional market in 2023 will give us the opportunity to provide over 15 tons of fresh and local produce to Centre County residents.”
Centre Volunteers in Medicine provides free medical and dental care, case management, and medication assistance to uninsured residents of Centre County. Their Breast Health Program provides free early-detection screenings for breast cancer to those who qualify in Centre County.
Executive Director, Cheryl White and Marketing Manager, Darion Shawley discussed the Breast Health Program and how the Giving Circle grant will help support this effort.
“We are so thankful for the funds provided for our Breast Health Program. Our $4,000 grant will provide free access to mammograms and testing. Without this free care – many women and men would not get the regular diagnostic care they need to help identify and treat cancer.”
Giving Circle members can increase their impact at the VIP level. For an additional $250, VIP members receive an extra vote during the reception to award a bonus grant to any of the three finalist organizations.
Votes for the bonus grant were tied between Out of the Cold: Centre County and State College Food Bank, so each organization received an additional $2,000 grant. By the end of the night, Out of the Cold received $13,000, the State College Food Bank received $6,000, and Centre Volunteers in Medicine received $4,000.
Since the establishment of the Giving Circle in 2006, members have distributed over $220,000 in grants, supporting nonprofit organizations throughout Centre County.
Previous recipients of the Giving Circle grant include Jana Marie Foundation, Center for Alternatives in Community Justice, Centre Safe, ACRES Project, Interfaith Human Services, Park Forest Preschool, and more.
Centre Foundation’s mission is to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving to create a vibrant community.