WATERLOO — The Otto Schoitz Foundation has awarded $750,000 to 14 organizations aligned with its mission of improving the health and well being of the Cedar Valley.
Projects funded by these grant awards impact more than 16,500 residents, with a focus on community betterment, education and development and health and human services.
Topping the awards was the Waterloo Schools Foundation, which received $300,000 for Middle School Career and Technical Education Exploration. This grant will be used to create a new, comprehensively aligned exploratory program that expands CTE offerings to middle school students, directly aligned to enhance the 17 programs offered at the high school level.
Other grant recipients include:
- Covenant Foundation was granted $123,500 for its project “Taking Care of Your Family from the Beginning.” The Otto Schoitz Foundation grant will help fund nine additional monitors and carts to equip all 19 labor rooms in the Family Birth Center with fetal monitor technology.
- Diamonds and Fields was awarded $50,000 for the All Play Ballpark in Parkersburg — where all kids, no matter ability or disability, play ball at the same complex.
- Exceptional Persons Inc. received $10,000 for its employment service continuum to find persons with disabilities employment in the general workforce by providing job training, resume building, job interview preparation and support to onboard and maintain a community job.
- Family & Children’s Council of Black Hawk County was granted $30,000 for its programming designed to increase nurturing parenting techniques, provide formal social support and create awareness of community resources and supports that can strengthen the family and aid in the prevention of child abuse.
- House of Hope will expand its mission of providing homeless, single moms with transitional housing and individualized support to assist them achieve self-sufficiency with an award of $100,000.
- Inclusion Connection received $18,000 for its Inclusive Communication Services, the goal of which is to create a communication services department to provide augmentative and alternative communication services especially supported typing that are not currently available in the Cedar Valley. AAC services will be available to individuals who have a communication disorder, including those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
- Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa was awarded $15,000 for its financial literacy programming, whereby students learn from adult role models about the foundational personal finance and work readiness skills needed to succeed. Students also learn how education, career choice and finances are connected.
- Love Inc of the Cedar Valley was awarded $3,500 for its project “Bridging the Medical Gap,” which provides medical equipment/supplies and medically related transportation to vulnerable people, helping prevent worse health crises and improving the health and well being of the client, their family and the community.
- Lutheran Services in Iowa was granted $10,000 for Healthy Families America-HOPES in Black Hawk County. LSI’s HOPES program provides evidence-based prevention services to at-risk parents of children ages 0-5 in Black Hawk County. The program works to reduce abuse and promote healthy, safe and self-sufficient families.
- North End Cultural Center Inc. received $10,000 for the Hip Hop Summer Literacy Program, an eight-week summer literacy program utilizing the medium of hip hop poetry and music to teach literacy skills and build self-confidence and educational engagement.
- Northeast Iowa Food Bank was awarded $35,000 for the Black Hawk County Elderly Nutrition Program. The Elderly Nutrition Program offers elderly and homebound seniors supplemental food assistance through senior congregate meal sites and a partnership with the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging.
- The Job Foundation was awarded $25,000 for its Financial Stewardship Mentoring Program, which teaches Cedar Valley K-12 students essential financial and leadership knowledge, skills and tools to help them attain financial stability in adulthood. The Job Foundation works together in community to elevate the financial position of all children.
- Waterloo Housing Trust Fund was given $20,000 for its work in supporting affordable housing in Waterloo that serves low to low-moderate income population by focusing on three activities: funding shelters, owner-occupied home repairs and housing rehabilitation for accessibility.
The Otto Schoitz Foundation’s fall grant cycle will open Monday, accepting grant requests through July 11. Qualifying organizations may apply for funding via the foundation’s online grant management system found on its website at www.ottoschoitzfoundation.org.