Success Stories –
Meet Our Grantees

Thousands of individuals and organizations have been supported by The Community Foundation over the last several decades. We’re proud of the fact that we’ve made $640 million in grants since we began in 1964.

But sometimes it’s easier to understand our impact by learning about just one person, one group or one organization that has benefitted from our donors’ largesse. Meet a few of our grant recipients, see what they’ve accomplished, and know that there are countless other victories out there just like theirs.

Defeating Hunger in St. Johns and Putnam Counties

Feeding Northeast FloridaFood insecurity was a critical issue in Northeast Florida before the pandemic, and got exponentially more dangerous during 2020. We have had an ongoing relationship with Feeding Northeast Florida, the area’s largest food bank, and have helped facilitate a relationship between FNFL and other newer entities, like Epic-Cure in St. Augustine. As an outcome of work we began in 2019 bringing together nonprofits working on food insecurity in St. Johns and Putnam counties, there is now a food distribution hub in Palatka, efficiently distributing food to the residents of Putnam County. We also invested $20,000 to help with refrigerated space in Palatka so that Epic-Cure could accept perishable foods in addition to shelf stable items.

Art Ventures: Clamour Theatre in Clay County

Transportation Program-Norma PhilipsClamour Theatre Co. hosted its first ever playwright's retreat, 'Clay & Water 2019,' thanks to a lead grant from The Community Foundation.

Six aspiring playwrights from across the country spent a week in Green Cove Springs mastering their craft each day and providing public readings at night. After the retreat, an excerpt from one of the works in progress, 'Lost Sock Laundromat,' was scheduled to be performed in Brooklyn, NY, and two other plays were attracting notice for further public perfomance.

“The experience was invaluable,” noted Elaine Smith, Clamour's artistic director.

“Our enthusiasm for our mission is strengthened thanks to witnessing the forward-motion of these new plays, the joy of the writers and actors in participating, and the enthusiasm of the audience members at being exposed to the process of developing a new play."

Ensuring That Seniors Don’t Face Isolation

Transportation Program-Norma PhilipsA 2018 grant to Florida Christian Center helped support their Transportation Program and the purchase of a new 14-passenger van (affectionately called Grace). The van enabled access to reliable transportation as well as additional community services for 300 residents at Florida Christian Apartments and Sundale Manor. Residents can now go to the zoo, attend workshops for seniors at the Prime Osborne Center, and go to the grocery store to shop for their medications and grocery needs.

“We prayed for it [and] we worked hard for it” — said Norma Philips, pictured.

“The transportation we provide is one of the most significant aspects of our ministry...this dreamwould not have come to fruition were it not for...The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.” — said Kimberly Weir, Executive Director of Florida Christian Center.

Supporting Grassroots LGBTQ Initiatives in Northeast Florida

Fernandina Beach Pride Festival and ParadeFernandina Beach Pride Inc., a recently incorporated nonprofit, received the first ever LGBTQ Grassroots Grant in 2019. The small grant helped seed the operations of the organization as they geared up to host the inaugural Fernandina Beach Pride Festival and Parade on May 8, 2019. The effort was an incredible success with over 1000 people in attendance at both the parade and festival. Throughout the course of the festival, 38 vendors set up stations in support of PRIDE and AHF (Aids Health care Foundation) conducted 108 HIV test; their previous high for testing in the region had been 12. In addition, all five Fernandina Beach city commissioners either walked the parade or served as speakers during the festival.

“It was the [LGBTQ Community Fund] that gave us the momentum to go forward...and plan for an amazing day of Pride and Love” — Quote from Genece Minshew, President of Fernandina Beach Pride Inc.

Putnam County: Veteran’s Village

Putnam Habitat Vet VillageSafe and affordable housing is a big need in Putnam County. For the more than 7,000 veterans who live there, the housing issue can be further complicated by unique challenges. In 2019, through the Frank V. Oliver Jr Fund for Putnam County, The Community Foundation provided $30,000 in seed money to Putnam Habitat for their initiative, Veterans Village, so an access road into this emerging community can be built for veterans and their families. Over the next three years, the dream is to build five houses for veterans who need safe, accessible affordable housing.”

Here To Help

Kathleen Shaw

Kathleen Shaw, M.Ed
Senior Vice President, Program and Initiatives

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The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

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