BCF Awards $115,000 in Grants in 2013

The Bayou Community Foundation (BCF) announced today that it has awarded seven grants totaling $115,000 to local agencies as part of the foundation’s first grant-making program. 

The grants will fund programs serving residents of Lafourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish, and Grand Isle, and focusing on mental health counseling and treatment, education, workforce development, and coastal restoration and awareness.

“These grants mark an exciting milestone for our new Bayou Community Foundation and what we intend to be the first in a long line of strategic investments in our cherished Bayou Region,” says BCF Board Chair Alexis Duval. “It’s all about strengthening our local capacity to build a sustainable community for generations to come.”

The 2013 inaugural BCF grant program aims to address critical needs identified by Lafourche, Terrebonne, and Grand Isle leaders as part of a community needs assessment conducted by the foundation in January 2013.  Grant recipients include:

  • South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority – $40,000 to support a Mobile Outreach Program providing outpatient mental health counseling and treatment for those residents who lack transportation to attend scheduled clinic appointments.
  • Options for Independence – $20,000 to initiate a child psychiatry program and address the overwhelming need for youth psychiatric services in our region.
  • NSU Foundation/Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program– $20,000 to repair the currently impassable Nicholls Farm Bridge to provide vehicular access to the coastal plan production pond, as well as to conduct a volunteer planting event at Grand Isle State Park and/or Elmer’s Island.
  • Lafourche Parish School Board – $10,000 to purchase classroom welding equipment at Central Lafourche High School and South Lafourche High School, which will later be used at the Career Magnet Center, to prepare students for the workforce.
  • Fletcher Foundation/South Central Industrial Association – $10,000 to fund components of the Work It! Louisiana program, which aims to address current workforce needs of our region by making high school students aware of industrial career paths and bringing nobility back to those career tracks.
  • Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence – $10,000 to expand the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Terrebonne Parish, a literacy program for young children birth through age five.
  • South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center – $5,000 to fund wetlands awareness programs for youth, such as Wetland Youth Summit, World Wetlands Day, Mandalay Trail Excursions, and summer programs.

“The agencies and organizations we have selected for grants this year are already doing tremendous work for our community in the areas of human services, education, workforce development, and coastal restoration. We are delighted that the Bayou Community Foundation grants will allow them to expand their services to even more residents of Lafourche, Terrebonne, and Grand Isle, as well as to fund new and existing programs that will benefit our entire region,” Duval says.

A donor advised fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the BCF was established in 2012 by a group of philanthropic leaders from Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. Founders recognized the need for a community foundation to attract national and international grant dollars to the Bayou Region in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

In 2012, The Gheens Foundation awarded BCF a 5-year, $500,000 grant, which, coupled with contributions from local family and corporate foundations, has provided the seed money for BCF grant-making programs. The Foundation is seeking both local and national contributions and grants to match this Gheens award over the next five years and expand the foundation’s grant-making capabilities in Lafourche, Terrebonne and Grand Isle.