June 28, 2019
By Julia Arenstam, HoumaToday.com
Nearly 30 nonprofits in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes received more than $200,000 in grant money today as part of the Bayou Community Foundation’s annual awards.
The foundation supports nonprofits in the two parishes and in Grand Isle. Since the program began in 2013, the foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million in grants, Foundation President Stephen Peltier said.
“That’s a remarkable accomplishment for our local area,” he said.
This year, the foundation received over 60 applications for more than $595,000. Of those, the foundation board selected 28 groups to share just over $200,000.
One of this year’s grant recipients is We Can All Ring Inc., which received $3,000 to purchase specially designed pads for its performance bells.
We Can All Ring supports the Bayou Bells, a bell choir made up of adults with special needs and handicaps.
The group is celebrating its 25th anniversary this December, said Aaron Champagne, the group’s music director.
“We use the music as a therapeutic model as a catalyst to help our individuals to grow and achieve,” he said. “They use the successes they have with our group in their whole lives.”
Some of the other grant recipients include the Louis Children’s Crisis Center, which received $10,000 to spend on neuropsychological testing for children in their care. The crisis center has three homes for children under state care, all of whom have suffered from some type of physical or sexual abuse, Executive Director Carolyn McNabb said.
The neuro testing allows the center to know how the trauma is affecting each child and help guide the child into foster and adoptive families, she said.
Many of the grant recipients spoke about how humbling it was to be in a room full of other nonprofits and advocates from the community.
“In these challenging economic times, the number of local residents in need is growing rapidly,” Foundation Director Jennifer Armand said. “With gifts to BCF, donors here and outside of our area have opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to help sustain many critical nonprofit services.”
Peltier also announced that the Bayou Community Foundation was officially established as an independent, federally recognized nonprofit. The group had previously been working under the umbrella of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
The new status will allow the board to collect and disburse grant money in the name of the foundation.
The foundation will be hosting the second annual Bayou Region Conference for Nonprofits from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Fletcher Technical Community College. The conference is aimed at helping nonprofits strengthen their operations, communications and fundraising. Information is online at www.bayouconference.org.