Lawrence Township Community Foundation marks 20th anniversary; awards grants to 17 nonprofit groups

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Seventeen nonprofit groups that serve Lawrence Township were awarded $31,850 in grants through the Lawrence Township Community Foundation.

The funds were distributed among the groups ranging from the Lawrence Township Environmental Education Foundation to HomeFront and the Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association at the spring grants awards ceremony.

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The Lawrence Township Environmental Education Foundation will use its grant to pay for “Tuesday Night is Family Night” at the Anne Demarais Lawrence Nature Center on Drexel Avenue. Local naturalists will lead hands-on programs about nature for nine consecutive Tuesday nights during the summer.

HomeFront will use its grant to pay for scholarships for young homeless and at-risk, very-low-income Lawrence residents to attend summer camp at Camp Mercer. It is held at the Lawrence Community Center at 295 Eggerts Crossing Road. The HomeFront organization helps the homeless and the working poor.

The Lawrence Hamnett Soccer Association will use its grant to provide financial assistance to financially disadvantaged Lawrence families, enabling the children to take part in the youth soccer program.

The Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County grant will provide funding toward the mobile food distribution program, which stops at locations in Lawrence Township.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Mercer County plans to use its grant for a youth mentoring program linking Lawrence High School students with children at the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. Students from Rider University and The College of New Jersey serve as mentors to children at the Lawrenceville Elementary School and the Lawrence Middle School.

The Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County’s grant will be applied toward the summer camp’s supplemental education program for 50 low-income and at-risk children in Lawrence Township.

The Bridge Academy plans to use its grant for a day-long program that teaches Lawrence residents about the significant American Revolutionary War battle that took place in town.

A group of American soldiers fought several skirmishes in Lawrence that delayed British troops on their way to Trenton, prior to the Second Battle of Trenton in January 1777 during the war, according to the academy.

CASA of Mercer Inc. – Court Appointed Special Advocate – plans to apply its grant in support of the advocate recruitment and training efforts. It wants to ensure that as many foster children as possible are provided with a CASA volunteer, according to the organization.

NAMI Mercer will use its grant toward the Harvest of Hope Wellness Conference in the fall. NAMI – the National Alliance on Mental Illness – works with people who are affected by mental health issues.

Project Freedom’s grant will be used to connect with Heart to Hearts, which will provide a wellness program for the residents of the development off Princeton Avenue. Project Freedom is a nonprofit group that develops affordable, barrier-free housing for people with physical disabilities.

PEI Kids provides crisis intervention for child victims of sexual abuse. It provides immediate, short-term crisis counseling to child victims of sexual abuse between ages three and 18, and their non-offending supportive family members.

Womanspace, which helps the victims of domestic violence, will use its grant to repaint the second floor of the “safe house” emergency shelter.

Dress for Success will apply its grant toward a financial literacy program for students in the Every Child Valued program’s tutoring and mentoring program. Every Child Valued is based at the Eggerts Crossing Village affordable housing development.

GI Go Fund provides emergency financial assistance to military veterans in an amount of up to $500 to help pay rent or make mortgage payments. The money can be used to pay for automotive, food and/or utility bills.

Interfaith Caregivers sponsors the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program that links volunteer caregivers with homebound elderly persons and adults with disabilities.

Lawrenceville Main Street will use its grant toward the cost of the 2022 summer festival series and the “First Friday” programming for this summer.

Finally, Lawrence High School Project Graduation used its grant to pay for the food for the high school seniors’ breakfast and for Project Graduation, which provides recreational activities for seniors after the graduation ceremony.

The spring grants ceremony marked the Lawrence Township Community Foundation’s 20th anniversary. Since its inception in 2002, the foundation has distributed more than $1.2 million in grants to nonprofit groups in Lawrence Township and neighboring communities.

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