The Bayou Community Foundation (BCF) today announced grants totaling $146,600 to 22 local non-profit organizations as part of its third annual competitive grants program, marking its largest grants total to date.
The grants will fund innovative programs providing services such as mental health counseling and treatment, mentoring and tutoring for at-risk youth, pre-school education, medicine and care for the poor and elderly, workforce development, child advocacy, and coastal preservation and awareness in Lafourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish, and Grand Isle.
“These nonprofit organizations are doing tremendous work to address critical unmet needs in our community, and Bayou Community Foundation is delighted to be able to support these innovative, impactful programs,” said BCF Chairman Stephen Peltier. “We thank our donors for making these grants possible and look forward to the continued growth of BCF and our grants program so we can make even more impact on our community in the years ahead.”
In 2013, its first grant year, BCF awarded $115,000 to seven local organizations. In 2014, eleven organizations received grants totaling $110,000. This year, BCF initially received 57 grant requests for more than $590,000. The following 22 organizations were selected by a volunteer grants committee for 2015 grant awards totaling $146,600:
- Bayou Grace – $2,500 for the Estuary Experience Volunteer Program
- Dulac Community Center – $3,000 for the Community Rehabilitation Program Workforce Training Initiative
- Rev. Lloyd Wallace Community Center – $3,000 to purchase kindles for the Beyond the Bell After School Program
- The Nature Conservancy – $3,000 for the Grand Isle Community Outreach, Education and Conservation Program
- Lafourche ARC – $4,200 for safety equipment and supplies at its vocational services facility and residential communities
- MacDonell United Methodist Children’s Services – $4,500 for technological improvements to support the SPARC Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative
- Bayou Council Behavioral Health Services – $5,000 grant for Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol, a program to reduce underage drinking
- Fletcher Technical Community College Foundation – $5,000 grant for the Work It! Louisiana program to provide an opportunity for all sixth-graders in Lafourche and Terrebonne to learn about technology of the oil and gas industry through the Mobile Offshore Learning Unit
- Gulf Coast Social Services – $5,000 for enhanced mentoring services for at-risk youth in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes
- Second Harvest Food Bank – $5,000 for food pantries and mobile pantry food distribution in Lafourche, Terrebonne, and Grand Isle
- Virtual Academy of Lafourche – $5,000 to support the Career Development Service Project
- Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence – $5,900 for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library
- New Life Counseling Center – $6,000 to support the Access to Care mental health counseling program in South Lafourche
- Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center – $7,500 grant for teen programs at local schools and for pregnancy and infant loss support groups
- Hope Extreme – $7,500 grant for the After School Tutoring and Summer Reading Programs
- Catholic Community Center – $9,500 to expand its Thrift Store serving the poor in south Lafourche and Grand Isle
- CASA of Lafourche – $10,000 for a child abuse prevention and child advocate recruitment campaign in Lafourche Parish
- CASA of Terrebonne – $10,000 for campaign to increase number and diversity of child advocates
- Options for Independence – $10,000 for the Youth Tele-Psychiatry Program
- START Corporation – $10,000 for expansion of the Functional Family Therapy Program for at-risk youth and their families
- Vincent de Paul Tri-Parish Pharmacy – $10,000 to provide free medication to the poor and elderly
- South Central LA Human Services Authority – $15,000 to continue Mobile Outreach Program for outpatient mental health treatment
A donor-advised fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the BCF was established in 2012 by a group of business leaders and philanthropists from Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes who, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2010 Gulf oil spill, recognized the need for a community foundation to strengthen our area and to attract national and international assistance in the event of a future emergency or natural disaster.
In 2012, the Gheens Foundation awarded BCF a 5-year, $500,000 challenge grant, which, combined with contributions from local donors, has provided the seed money for BCF grant-making programs focused on addressing the region’s most critical needs. BCF recently reached a milestone of $1 million in local contributions to meet the Gheens Foundation challenge, and continues to seek local and national contributions to expand BCF’s grant-making capabilities in Lafourche, Terrebonne and Grand Isle.