Photo Courtesy of Maryland Therapeutic Riding
As the first half of 2021 comes to a close, Phillips Charitable Foundation is excited to announce our recent grant awards. Seven grants were awarded, totaling $180,313. Each grant aligns with our focus on humanitarian and educational endeavors, especially those that serve the most vulnerable of society.
Maryland Therapeutic Riding
Maryland Therapeutic Riding (MTR) provides equine-assisted services to the special needs community and beyond. Their aim is to improve the quality of life of children, adults, and active military and veterans with special needs by connecting humans and horses in a healing environment.
MTR was awarded $21,000 to support the sustainment and expansion of equine-assisted services on its farm. Specifically, the grant will fund the construction of an outdoor covered pavilion for groups and psychotherapy services. The addition of this space enables MTR to provide a place where mental health professionals can meet with clients confidentially and without interference from other, ongoing programs on the farm. The hope is that the space can serve a variety of other needs as well such as hosting meetings or motivational events.
New York, NY and Annapolis, Maryland
The mission of Comfort Cases is to inspire communities to bring dignity and hope to youth in foster care.
There are approximately 437,500 children in foster care in the United States. When they are removed from their home it's typically with just the clothes on their back. If they do have any personal belongings, they're given a trash back in which to carry them.
Comfort Cases is working to change the system by providing packed Comfort Cases and Comfort Extra-Large duffels to youth entering traumatic and uncertain periods in their lives. Each comfort case is packed with pajamas, a stuffed animal, personal hygiene items, a blanket, a book, and other items.
A $39,660 grant was awarded to cover the costs of 600 packed Comfort Cases for children up to 10-years old and and 1,200 Comfort XLs for youth 11-years and older. All of these will be distributed in New York and Maryland.
Sisters of St. Joseph
Brentwood, New York
The Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ) are the largest order of Catholic women on Long Island with more than 300 members. The Sisters operate three schools for girls in New York, the CSJ Learning Connection for Adult Education, Maria Regina skilled nursing facility, an Organic Garden
and Land Initiatives to promote ecological conservation. They also have programs to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children in Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester.
CSJ was awarded a grant of $50,953 for two separate programs. The first is a new Certified Nursing Program. The program will provide training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Participants who successfully complete the course and requirements will meet criteria to sit for the state certification examination. The grant covers the first year start-up costs including working with a consultant who will assist with program development, state requirements, educational materials and equipment, hiring and training staff. The program should be officially launched in January 2022.
The grant also provides funding for five new SmartBoards for the Learning Connection. This program aims to provide the tools for the empowerment of women who are undereducated, lack a high school diploma, or speak languages other than English. Participants learn to listen, speak, read and write English using state of the art educational materials. The SmartBoards used in this program are outdated and in need of replacement.
Variety: The Children's Charity
The programs and services provided by Variety The Children’s Charity are designed to empower children with disabilities so they may gain mobility, confidence, independence, and the chance to have typical childhood experiences.
Variety was awarded a $16,500 grant for the My Stroller and My Bike Programs. The My Stroller program provides adaptive strollers to eligible children with disabilities allowing for easier mobility and participation in daily activities. Variety’s My Bike program provides adaptive bikes to children with disabilities so they can enjoy the freedom and belonging that’s created through riding a bike with friends and family. Each bike and stroller are adapted to the individual needs of the child.
For families with children who have disabilities, traveling and everyday family outings are challenging or even impossible. The adaptive bikes and strollers provided by Variety enable these families to do what other families are able to do. The grant covers the costs of five adaptive bikes and five adaptive strollers.
Langton Green Farm
Langton Green, Inc. (LGI) provides residential housing, personalized support services, and vocational training to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live with as much independence and dignity as possible. LGI has a 20-apartment complex, 15 additional homes throughout Anne Arundel County, and a 13-acre farm in Millersville. The farm provides vocational training in agriculture and animal care and the opportunity for people to do meaningful work with fair wages.
LGI was awarded $28,200 for the construction of a professional grade wash station adjacent to the newly renovated rancher on the 13-acre farm. The rancher is the activity and welcome center for the farm. It is also where they prepare, process and package produce grown on the farm.
The wash station will increase the utility of the farm with approximately 480 sq. ft. of covered space with appropriate drainage to clean produce. It will also be used to clean up after working with the many animals on the farm.
The Light House
The Light House serves people who are impacted by homelessness and poverty with housing, food, clothing, employment programs, and comprehensive support services. Their work became even more vital during the pandemic as they continued to provide services and programs.
Safe, transitional housing is one of the many services offered by The Light House. The Light House owns and operates 12 transitional housing units in five properties throughout Annapolis, providing 1-2 year stays for clients needing additional supports after transitioning from emergency shelter. A $20,000 grant was awarded for transitional property case management support as well as costs for related utilities, rental assistance, tenant background checks, and eviction prevention.
GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis opened its doors in 2018. The organization helps parents to understand, accept and positively embrace the Down syndrome diagnosis, and support their child in achieving success in education, well-being, fitness, social and life skills throughout their entire lives.
GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis was awarded with $4,000 for costs associated with the GiGi Prep program. The program is designed to assist adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the work environment through innovative, educational, goal-development and small group skills instruction, health and wellness, career skills, empowerment, community engagement and exceptional work opportunities.
Congratulations to our new grantees. We are honored to support the good work that each of you do.