While $29,100 may not seen like a lot of money, for the 22 nonprofit groups that serve Lawrence Township, it’s a windfall.
That’s how much money was distributed among groups by the Lawrence Township Community Foundation during its fall grant cycle.
Since its inception in 2002, the Lawrence Township Community Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants to nonprofit groups in Lawrence Township and neighboring communities.
With its awarding of more than $29,000 in grants at the Dec. 12 grant awards ceremony, the Lawrence Township Community Foundation is now embarking on its second million dollars in grants.
The Lawrence Township Community Foundation was the brainchild of Eleanor Horne of the Educational Testing Service, Becky Taylor of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and Pam Mount, the co-owner of Terhune Orchard.
The three women realized that the needs of Lawrence Township residents could be met by a community foundation.
The Educational Testing Service and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. gave their support to the fledgling foundation, along with attorney Daniel Haggerty of the Stark & Stark law firm and Conrad Druker of the Mercadien Group accounting firm.
The Lawrence Township Community Foundation gives money to nonprofit groups and organizations that help to serve the needs of Lawrence residents, and to support community improvement and development programs in the township.
Among the awardees in the fall 2019 grant cycle was Lawrenceville Main Street. It is a volunteer-driven nonprofit group that was formed in the 1990s to reinvigorate the Main Street business district in the historic Village of Lawrenceville.
Lawrenceville Main Street will use its grant toward supporting activities such as the free “Music in the Park” series, and also to potentially add restrooms.
“We are grateful for your support,” said Kelly Edelstein, the executive director of Lawrenceville Main Street.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Mercer County will use its grant to pair Lawrence High School students with younger children who attend the Ben Franklin Elementary School to serve as mentors. It is part of an ongoing program by Big Brothers/Big Sisters to pair high school students with elementary school students.
Special Treasures, which mentors girls from 11 – 18 years old, also received a grant. The mentoring program helps them to shift their perceptions so they realize they can succeed. It connects young girls with women in business who have been successful.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Mercer and Burlington Counties received a grant from the Lawrence Township Community Foundation. It provides young people in the foster care system with an advocate who develops a long-term relationship with the child and is available to provide consistent adult support.
CASA’s specially trained volunteers stay in touch with the child until he or she is adopted or reunited with their biological family. The volunteers perform a wonderful service for children who are really in need, said a CASA of Mercer and Burlington Counties representative at the grant awards ceremony.
HomeFront, which helps the homeless and the working poor, will use its grant award toward its food pantries. The nonprofit organization operates a food pantry at the Lawrence Community Center at 295 Eggerts Crossing Road and at its headquarters at 1880 Princeton Ave.
The Lawrenceville Job Training Partnership was given a grant for its Cookwell program.
The 14-week-long program teaches ex-offenders culinary skills so they can find jobs. Based at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, the program also teaches life skills such as financial literacy, computer skills and goal-setting.
Meals on Wheels of Mercer County also received a grant. Meals on Wheels had operated a stand-alone program in Lawrence Township, but merged to form Meals on Wheels of Mercer County. It provides one hot meal weekdays to homebound senior citizens and others who are unable to leave the house.