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GLCF Awards Record $152,500 In Community Grants To 30 Local Nonprofits

OARS, Inc.’s volunteer citizen scientist collects water samples in Lowell stream. OARS, Inc. received a 2020 Discretionary Water Resources Initiative Grant $5,000 grant to improve environmental and public health.

Lowell, MA – The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) awarded $152,500 in competitive grants to 30 local nonprofits within a framework of Children’s Services, Elder Services, Racial Equity and Inclusion, as well as Water Resources initiatives. The focus areas collectively work toward creating a better quality of life for Greater Lowell residents and supporting local nonprofits.

These grant awards are part of a competitive grant process in which nonprofit organizations apply for funds, and an independent committee reviews the proposals and selects awardees. The Discretionary Grants Program is one of several competitive grant programs offered through the Community Foundation each year. 

“The Foundation awarded a record number of discretionary grants in this cycle to support the important work of our local nonprofits,” said GLCF President and CEO Jay Linnehan. “Through generous contributions from our community, GLCF can provide critical support that allows our community to thrive and grow.”

Catie’s Closet, of Dracut, received a Children’s Services Grant to assist supplying clothing and toiletries through their ‘stores’ for students in need. “Receiving this grant award means that we are able to provide our homeless students with the clothing and basic necessities they need,” said Mickey Cockrell, CEO & Co-founder of Catie’s Closet.

The Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (Lowell) received a programming grant to address racial equity and inclusion. “The leadership team at the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association is grateful for the opportunity to host our community dialogues and workshops addressing racial equity and inclusion. These are profound topics that affect our everyday lives,” said Lena Sarunn, Executive Director of Cambodian American Literary Arts Association.

OARS, Inc. (Concord) received a $5,000 grant to improve environmental and public health. “This grant from GLCF will make it possible to track down and work to eliminate the sources of bacteria in a polluted stream that runs through a Lowell community,” said Alison Field-Juma, Executive Director, OARS: For the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers. “Eliminating this pollution will allow the community to enjoy a healthy waterway with a clean green open space! Local volunteer citizen scientists learn about water quality while also helping to collect the valuable data.”

2020 Discretionary Grants

Children’s Services Grant:

  • Catie’s Closet, Inc. (Dracut): Catie’s Closet Next Steps Meeting the Needs of the Lowell Community - $5,000

  • Mission of Deeds (Reading): Beds for Kids - $5,000

  • Raising A Reader Massachusetts (Boston): Raising A Reader Massachusetts (RAR-MA) Lowell - $2,500

  • Reach Out and Read (Boston): Lowell Rx for Success - $2,500

Rise Above Foundation, Inc. (Northbridge): Activities for Youth in Foster Care - $2,500           

Leclair Elder Services Grant: 

  • Clear Path for Veterans New England (Devens): A Happy and Healthy Path to Veteran Wellbeing - $5,500 

  • Gaining Ground, Inc. (Concord): Growing Fresh Food for Hunger Relief with Community Volunteers - $1,000 

  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (Westford): Critical home repairs for elders - $5,000 

  • Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts, Inc (Acton): Aging in Place: Improving Health, Achieving Financial Stability, and Increased Socialization - $5,500 

  • Lowell Association for the Blind (Lowell): Adult Services Program - $1,000

  • Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) (Lowell): Lowell Immigrant & Elder Services Program - $2,000 

  • Open Pantry of Greater Lowell (Lowell): Food Pantry - $5,500 

  • Power of Flowers Project (Tewksbury): Power of Flowers Project - $1,500 

  • Project Citizenship (Boston): Citizenship Services for Older Residents in Greater Lowell - $1,500 

  • Lowell General Hospital (Lowell): Lowell General Hospital (LGH) Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) Program - $5,500 

  • Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, Inc. (Harvard): Language Services Supporting Psychosocial Care for Elderly Cancer Patients - $1,500 

Racial Equity and Inclusion:  

  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell (Lowell): Addressing Racial Inequities as a Trauma-Informed Community - $10,000 

  • Budget Buddies, Inc. (Chelmsford): Virtual Financial Empowerment Program for Women with Latinx Community Center for Empowerment - $7,500

  • Building Audacity (Lynn): Say Their Names (in Greater Lowell) - $10,000

  • Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (Lowell): Cambodian American Literary Arts Association Community Dialogue and Workshop Series - $13,000

  •  Cultivate Care Farms (Bolton – serves Greater Lowell): Diversity Training and Consultation - $1,000

  •  Free Soil Arts Collective (Lowell): Hidden in Plain Sight: Stories of Black Lowell - $15,000

  • Kids in Tech, Inc. (Lowell): Afterschool Tech Club Program - $10,000

  • Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership (Lowell): Project Genesis Home Buyer Training Program - $7,000 

  • Project LEARN, Inc. (Lowell): Elevating Stories, Changing Narratives - A Student-Led Antiracism Program - $10,000 

  • Tewksbury Public Library (Tewksbury): Public Library Libraries Working Towards Social Justice - $1,000

Water Resources Initiative Grant:   

  • Mass Audubon (Lincoln): Lowell Leaders in Stewardship TREES program - $2,500.00 

  • Merrimack River Watershed Council (Lawrence): Clean Water for residents of Greater Lowell- a Community-Based Approach - $5,000.00 

  • Nashua River Watershed Association (Pepperell): Water Quality Monitoring for Improved Recreation and Aquatic Weed Control - $2,500.00 

  • OARS, Inc. (Concord): Improving environmental and public health: Source tracking bacteria pollution in Lowell waters $5,000.00                 

The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF), founded in 1997, is a philanthropic organization comprised of over 350 funds, currently totaling over $50MM, dedicated to improving the quality of life in 20 neighboring cities and towns. The Community Foundation annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. GLCF is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from its staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. Our donors’ generosity has enabled GLCF to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community.

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