Berrien Community Foundation is giving a boost in funding to nonprofits across Berrien County through For Good Grants to help them continue doing Good work locally.
Mosaic CCDA and the Box Factory have each earned a portion of the $116,000 awarded through BCF’s For Good Grants this cycle; A For Good Grant will help send 10 people through Mosaic’s Job Training Institute to learn skills to be successful in the workplace, and Berrien Artist Guild at the Box Factory to support a performing arts collaboration.
“The For Good Grant has been responsible for transforming lives to provide the soft skills people need to succeed in the workplace through our Job Training Institute,” Mosaic CCDA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Robinson said. “This also is giving them confidence that they can succeed in anything.”
The Job Training Institute is a 10-session workforce development program that provides job training, life skills coaching, mentorship, and work experience. The people who come to Mosaic often have little to no workplace experience and may have a low view of their life prospects. Mosaic teaches that person (both inside and outside the classroom) skills needed to be successful to gain meaningful employment like communication skills, understanding the value of teamwork, interview skills, trust-building and conflict resolution. To date, more than 650 people have been through their employment-building programs and over 80% of their graduates remain in full-time employment.
The For Good Grant is also setting the stage for a partnership between the Box Factory and Twin City Players to perform eight shows this summer.
"We are grateful to the Berrien Community Foundation for its support of our partnership with Twin City Players in bringing theater to the Box Factory," said Judy Sokolowski, president of the Box Factory board. "The For Good Grant will be used to help underwrite the expenses of two theater productions in July and August on the Box Factory for the Arts stage. We thank the foundation for continuing to recognize our efforts and provide the funds to nurture and bring creativity to the public."
The partnership between the guild and Twin City Players will allow the community to enjoy two shows this summer: “Scotland Road” from July 28-31 and “Women of War” from August 4-7. Twin City Players will provide the manpower needed for the performances while the Box Factory will provide the stage, sound and lighting equipment, seating, and ticket sales.
“One of the really great things about our For Good Grants is that we are able to award so many grants to a number of diverse nonprofits that touch every part of Berrien County,” said Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “Each round, we are always encouraged by the great ideas these organizations are working on and what they are doing. We’re excited to partner with them to better serve our communities and make a longer, lasting impact.”
Donor advised fund holders and community volunteers reviewed all grant applications as requests covered a broad range of community needs including the arts, children, community development, education, environment, health, seniors, and youth leadership and development. Also reviewing grants is T.E.A.M. (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds), the youth advisory committee for BCF, which is made up of high school students from across Berrien County.
For Good Grants recipients are:
The Acorn Center for the Performing Arts — to purchase sound equipment for outdoor venues
Benton Harbor Public Library — to purchase new public access computers
Box Factory — to help defray expenses for two productions
Caring Circle/Lory’s Place of Spectrum Health Lakeland — to support one year of the Community Grief Alliance Work
Community Healing Centers — to support Niles Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder programming
Eau Claire Public Schools — to provide food for Lybrook Elementary School students on the weekends
Fairplain Presbyterian Church — to house 300+ teenage volunteers
Friends of Berrien County Animal Control — to purchase supplies to neuter 40 feral cats
Michiana Metro Lighthouse Chorus — to purchase sheet music and CDs to learn new songs
Mosaic CCDA — to continue developing their job training institute
One Buchanan — to facilitate educational forums
Performing Arts Workshops — to rent space for the Musical Theatre Experience workshops and scholarships
The Salvation Army – Niles — to purchase food for the weekend nutritional backpack program
Three Oaks Township — to aid in the restoration of the 1886 one-room schoolhouse
YMCA of Greater Michiana — to support their educational summer camp program
For Good Grants awarded by T.E.A.M.
Buchanan Art Center — to provide free chamber music concerts
Oronoko Charter Township — to support construction of a new community park
Watervliet Public Schools — to purchase new drumline instruments and equipment
There are two grant cycles of the For Good Grants every year. Applications for the next round are due September 30, 2022. For questions or more information, please contact BCF Program Director Susan Matheny at firstname.lastname@example.org.