While $31,540 may not seem like a lot of money, for the 12 nonprofit groups that serve Lawrence Township, it’s a windfall.
That’s how much money was distributed among the groups – ranging from the Lawrence Lacrosse Club to Meals on Wheels Mercer County and Lawrenceville Main Street – 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.
The Educational Testing Service and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. gave their support to the fledgling foundation, whose organizers realized that the needs of Lawrence Township residents could be met by a community foundation. The Lawrenceville School also supports the foundation.
Capital Health System is among the awardees in the fall grant cycle, and will use its grant to buy 130 bicycle helmets for underserved students in Lawrence Township and to offset the costs of safety education material through its Pedal Power program.
The Pedal Power program teaches children about bicycle safety, and encourages children to wear a helmet when they ride a bicycle or any other “wheeled” vehicle, such as a skateboard, a scooter or in-line skating. It ensures that children have a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
The English School at the Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church, which helps immigrants learn the English language, will use its grant to pay its teachers’ salaries for the winter and spring 2022 semesters.
The English School pivoted to remote learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Student enrollment declined, but it is expected that more students will sign up for the winter and spring semesters to become more proficient in English, and to take a citizenship class.
The GI Go Fund, which helps New Jersey military veterans, will use its grant to help about 20 Lawrence Township veterans who need emergency financial assistance to pay rent, a mortgage, or automotive, food or utility bills. It will work with the veterans to prepare a resume and look for work.
A grant to the Big Red Race will be used to sponsor a camp for a dozen Lawrence Township children.
HomeFront’s grant will be applied toward its Food Plus Pantry, which buys, prepares and distributes food, diapers, clothing and other basis supplies – as well as case management services – to about 500 clients.
The focus of the Meals on Wheels Mercer County grant also is food and nutrition. It will cover the costs of meals for participants in the subsidized meal program, helping about 100 Lawrence residents who are homebound.
Interfaith Caregivers plans to use its grant for Project Healthy Bones, which is a weekly exercise and wellness program for seniors who either have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis. It will serve about 20 Lawrence Township senior citizens.
Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Mercer County intends to use its grant to help pay for food distribution stops in Lawrence Township. Its mobile food pantry is expected to help about 1,050 Lawrence residents.
The Lawrence Lacrosse Club will buy 18 helmets for scholarship players to use.
Lawrenceville Main Street will apply its grant toward the summer Music in the Park series and the winter Holiday Lights, maintaining a spirit of community and helping people who are feeling isolated to be able to gather safely. Those activities will help to promote the local small businesses in the village.
NAMI Mercer expects to use its grant toward its Family-to-Family and “amily & Friends educational programs for caregivers and others who are in supportive roles for those who dealing with mental health challenges.
Womanspace will apply its grant toward support services for children and women who are living at its Safe House emergency shelter and at Barbara’s House, which is transitional housing for victims of domestic violence.