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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

Foundation Drives Nearly $700,000 in Grants

July 22, 2020

2nd Quarter Awards Include More Than $450,000 for Relief Efforts

The Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds provided nearly 320 grants worth $694,000 during the second quarter of 2020, with nearly two-thirds going to regional COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.

“This is a stressful and demanding time for many regional organizations as they work to support the most vulnerable people in our communities,” said Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation president. “Our goal was to work quickly to help child care providers and essential workers, those experiencing lost wages, those who struggle with food access and those who risk losing housing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our grants won't solve these problems completely, but we can help cushion the financial impacts during this pandemic so that these organizations can focus on providing critical services.”

The following organizations were among those that received Initiative Foundation grant funding during the months of April, May and June 2020:

  • Central Minnesota Relief & Recovery Fund Award Highlights
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe—Elder Food Sustainability: $15,000
  • The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe—COVID-19 Food Security: $15,000
  • Islamic Center of St. Cloud—COVID-19 Essential Workers Care Project: $5,000
  • Anna Marie’s Alliance—Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence: $2,500
  • Horizon Health, Inc.—Food, Technology for Older Adults Struggling Alone During COVID-19: $5,000

Innovation Fund Award Highlights

  • City of Little Falls—Childcare Facility Planning—DOD Grant Application: $3,000 to support design and planning for a child care facility to align with the Department of Defense—Community Infrastructure Program serving Camp Ripley.
  • Sherburne County—St. Cloud Airport Planning Study: $5,000 to work with the counties of Benton and Stearns and the city of St. Cloud to form a Regional Airport Authority.
  • Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce—Lake Country Cares Public Safety Campaign: $10,000 to support a COVID-19 safety campaign designed to build trust among residents, visitors, and local businesses. This model program that other chambers can emulate shares easy and effective practices that businesses can adopt to prevent transmission and build customer confidence.

Partner Fund Award Highlights

The Initiative Foundation hosts a variety of Partner Funds for families, businesses, nonprofit organizations and volunteer-led groups. The following organizations were among those that received grant funding during the months of April, May and June 2020:

  • Three Rivers Community Foundation: $5,000 emergency relief grant to the Big Lake Community Food Shelf.
  • Rum River Community Foundation: $1,000 emergency relief grant to support Milaca senior dining.
  • Greater Pequot Lakes Community Foundation: $1,000 emergency relief grant to support the Lakes Area Food Shelf.
  • Morrison County Area Foundation: $4,000 emergency relief grant to support Oasis of Central Minnesota and its clients.
  • Cambridge Area Community Foundation: $2,000 emergency relief grant to support Family Pathways and its clients.

Relief & Innovation Fund Highlights   Partner Fund Highlights



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