Three Rivers Community Foundation awards grants to 42 local nonprofits

Pasco school children will continue to have a safe, nurturing after-school retreat thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Three Rivers Community Foundation to the YMCA at the Martin Luther King Center.

The award was one of 42 grants totaling $152,899 presented to a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Tri-Cities Dec. 10.

“The YMCA program at the MLK Center is a wonderful place for children to go after school for a healthy snack and get help with their school work. The can also do crafts and the soccer program, which involves the whole family, is awesome,” said Carrie Green, the Foundation’s executive director.

The Three Rivers Community Foundation also gave $15,000 to the Lourdes Foundation in Pasco, $10,864 to the Grace Clinic and $10,000 to the Safe Harbor Support Center/Friends Place, in Kennewick.

The Lourdes Foundation runs a summer program for young children who have developmental and behavioral issues.

“The children get help when schools are in session but then, in the summer, when the schools are closed, they tend to slide backwards and forget what they’ve learned,” said Green. “It takes them nearly until January to catch up again. Lourdes provides a summer program that runs through June and July that helps keep them on track, so when they’re back in school they don’t have that steep learning curve to overcome.”

Grace Clinic plans to use its grant money to hire a mental health translator to complement the medical translator they hired with the help of a previous Three Rivers Community Foundation grant.

“Yes, sometimes Hispanics can bring in a family member or friend to help translate, but unless that person knows medical terminology, it just doesn’t work out. Especially if your translator is your child,” Green said.

Grants for several thousand dollars went to organizations that provide assistance to seniors, students, the physically and mentally disabled and gardeners.

The Master Gardener Foundation of Benton and Franklin Counties received $2,000 to help fund their efforts to establish additional vegetable gardens in the Tri-Cities.

“They help neighborhoods and organizations put in food gardens, teach the people involved how to care for the plants and how to harvest the produce. Each of those gardens — and there are over a dozen — can produce at least 100 pounds of food,” said Green.

Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin counties also received $3,222 to fund their efforts to help low-income youths. The program is now established in the Richland School District, but has plans to extend into neighboring districts as well.

“The program has volunteer site coordinators at the schools who watch for youths at risk. Students who don’t have warm coats or shoes or who may not have food at home on the weekends so they go hungry. The site coordinators discreetly make sure they have what they need. They get them footwear, send food home with them that they can easily prepare themselves, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” Green said.

Green said the Foundation received 61 applications from local nonprofits during this funding cycle, and the committee had to make some tough choices.

“There are so many good causes out there, it’s hard to turn some applicants away,” she said.

Other nonprofit organizations receiving grants this year included: Academy of Children’s Theatre, $1,000; Benton Franklin Community Action Connections, $2,000; Benton Franklin Legal Aid Society, $1,000; Blue Mountain Wildlife, $2,000; Boys & Girls Clubs, $6,000; Camerata Musica, $500; Catholic Family & Child Service, $5,000; Cavalcade of Authors, $2,500.

Center for Sharing, $2,853; Children’s Developmental Center, $5,000; Columbia Industries, $5,000; Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin, $3,222; Crossroads Tri-Cities, $1,000; Domestic Violence Services, $4,925; Edith Bishel Center, $2,500; Elijah Family Homes, $5,000.

Fields of Grace, $1,000; GLSEN Washington State, $1,000; Grace Clinic, $10,864; Jericho Road Ministries, $1,000; Lourdes Foundation, $15,000; Lutheran Community Services, $2,500; Kadlec Foundation/NICU, $1,500; Master Gardener Foundation, $2,000.

Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, $1,000; Mid-Columbia Symphony, $1,000; Modern Living Services, $4,000; Perfect Image Leadership Foundation, $2,000; Rascal Rodeo, $5,000; Safe Harbor Support Center, $10,000; Senior Life Resources Northwest, Inc., $4,828; SHAKE, $1,000; Skills Development Mission, $2,000; Society of St. Vincent de Paul, $1,000.

The American Legion Post No. 34, $1,000; The Chaplaincy, $2,577, The Children’s Reading Foundation, $1,500; Therapeutic Riding of Tri-Cities, $5,000; White Bluffs Quilt Museum, $1,630; Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities, $2,500; World Relief Tri-Cities, $2,500; and YMCA of the Greater Tri-Cities, $20,000.

For more information about Three Rivers Community Foundation visit www.3rcf.org.

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