The Akron Community Foundation has approved $50,000 in grants as part of its first On the Table Community Impact Awards.
The grants will be distributed to 26 local nonprofits for projects that address issues discussed during last October’s On the Table Greater Akron event. More than 6,500 people participated in the conversations. The foundation will host On the Table Greater Akron again this year Oct. 3.
“On the Table gave us the pulse of the community, and now the grants being offered are going to help mobilize the ideas that emerged into action,” John Garofalo, foundation vice president of community investment, said in a prepared statement.
Five topics were discussed during the 2018 On the Table conversations: economic issues and poverty; equity and social inclusion; drugs and addiction; education and youth development; and public safety and the judicial system.
The On the Table Community Impact Awards support the following ideas that emerged during 2018 conversations:
• Akron Area YMCA, for a career exploration program for summer day camp participants in sixth through eighth grade, $2,000.
• ARC Recovery Services, to provide child care for children whose parents are attending recovery meetings, $2,000.
• Autism Society of Greater Akron, to provide sensory-friendly movie viewing opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, $2,000.
• Better Block Foundation, to encourage cross-cultural connections through a two-part community meal featuring translated panel discussions, $2,000.
• City of Cuyahoga Falls, to add a multicultural festival to the Falls Downtown Fridays event series, which already includes the popular Oktoberfest, Irish and Italian festivals, $2,000.
• Collide: Cuyahoga Falls, to display curated works by minority artists in local businesses throughout the month of July as part of The Prism Project: Awakening Cuyahoga Falls Through Art, $2,000.
• ConxusNEO, to work with a consultant to identify best practices for hiring candidates with criminal backgrounds, $2,000.
• Engineers for a Sustainable World, for the development of a bike-powered renewable energy project, $500.
• Fairlawn-West United Church of Christ, for the Flags of Diversity project, which will celebrate Flag Day in June by covering the church’s yard in flags that represent the ethnic, sexual and gender diversity of people in the community, $2,000.
• Friends of Metro Parks, to support “Many Voices, One Akron,” a Kenmore program aimed at making the city more welcoming and inclusive, $2,000.
• Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, for monthly community gatherings in the Middlebury and University Park neighborhoods, $2,000.
• LEOnARTi LLC, to support neighborhood block parties in Summit Lake, $2,000.
• LINKS Community and Family Services, for Middlebury Drug Reprieve Day, which will provide a safe space for individuals struggling with addiction to receive resources, onsite counseling, a clean needle exchange, free clothing and personal hygiene items and a hot meal, $2,000.
• Main Street Wadsworth, to launch a downtown art mural project, $1,500.
• Norton Firemen's Association, for the Panther Project, which will bring students together for after-school activities in a safe environment, $2,000.
• Portage Path Behavioral Health, to create a peer-led outreach program in economically challenged neighborhoods about the benefits of mental health and substance abuse treatment, $2,000.
• Project GRAD Akron, to support the Bridge to Technology program, which will help parents and caregivers better understand the technology used in schools, $2,000.
• Proyecto Raices, to empower the voices of refugee and immigrant children through a collection of poems that explore cultural identity, connections to family and more, $2,000.
• Revere Community C.A.R.E., to support mental health awareness and substance abuse prevention programs in Revere schools, $2,000.
• Salvation Army of Summit County, for the Family Engagement: Healthy Eating program, which encourages families to eat nutritious meals by providing them with fresh produce and healthy recipes, $2,000.
• South Street Ministries, to partner with Conxus to engage local manufacturing, construction and technology companies in conversations about re-entry hiring practices, $2,000.
• Steel Academy, to partner with Ohio State University Extension, Let’s Grow Akron and Ohio Construction Academy to build an urban garden that students, parents and staff will plant, grow and maintain, $2,000.
• Summit County Community Partnership, to provide free training sessions for small-business owners that will equip them to identify and support employees with mental health and substance use disorders, $2,000.
• Summit County Court of Common Pleas, to create an educational video about addiction, its effect on the body, and the stigmas surrounding this issue, $2,000.
• Summit Food Coalition, to partner with AxessPointe Community Health Centers and Countryside Conservancy to develop a menu of budget-friendly recipes and fresh, local food resources families can use to incorporate nutritious foods into their diet, $2,000.
• West Creek Conservancy, to identify and revitalize priority green space locations throughout the city of Akron, $2,000.
In addition to the grants, the foundation also released the survey results from the 2018 On the Table conversations. More than 2,000 adults and 400 youth completed surveys, providing insight into how residents feel about the community. For more detailed information on the survey results, visit www.onthetableakron.com/results.