The Laurens County Community Foundation (LCCF) is pleased to announce its second annual 2017 Community Enrichment Grant awards given in support of local organizations that enhance or benefit the lives of citizens in Laurens County. Five outstanding local organizations have been selected as recipients of this year’s grant funding from the many application proposals received. The LCCF’s strategic grant making focus is to invest in innovative, collaborative approaches and solutions to community needs by supporting projects that have the potential for the greatest impact on the quality of life and positive outcomes for individuals and families living in Laurens County. The Foundation makes grants through an application process that involves local citizens serving on the Board of Directors in the review and evaluation of request for funds. The specific areas of consideration for the 2017 grant awards were focused on support of K-12 public and private education efforts; job training and professional development; development of ethical and civic character; leadership building; and enhancing the quality of life for Laurens County residents, especially those who are most at risk.
The following organizations and projects were approved by the Laurens County Community Foundation Board of Directors as 2017 LCCF Community Enrichment Grant award recipients. Each 2017 LCCF grant recipient will provide a final report which will be presented at the Laurens County Community Foundation’s annual meeting on May 31, 2018:
Clinton Community Garden Project (CCGP):
The CCGP’s overall goals are to promote the benefits of self-sufficiency, eating food communally, and the health benefits of eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in season. Partnering with the Greenville Health System and the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy, the Laurens County Community Foundation’s grant to CCGP will, in the Bell Street and Lydia communities of Clinton (designated by the US Department of Agriculture as a “food desert”), offer dietary and cooking instruction, communal meals, and health screenings in an effort to promote behavioral change.
Ford Elementary School / District 55:
The LCCF grant is to provide funding to offer experiences to the Ladies and Gentlemen’s Club members at Ford Elementary School through off-campus field trips that the students may not otherwise have opportunity to experience. Students will learn appropriate behavior and etiquette for a variety of settings and how to dress appropriately for those settings. Field trips will be preceded by weekly after-class lessons.
Main Street Laurens:
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low income seniors (age 60 or greater) with market vouchers that may be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at approved farmers’ markets. In 2017, Laurens County received 200 vouchers but the distribution suffered from a lack of advertisement of the availability of the vouchers and the health benefits of a healthy diet. The LCCF grant award will be used to broadcast the news about the program and its benefits to Laurens County seniors who will use their vouchers at the Main Street Laurens Downtown Farmers Market.
MS Bailey Child Development Center / District 56:
The M. S. Bailey Child Development Center is home to the Laurens County School District 56 CDEP 4K Program. Presently, 64 of the 80 children registered for 4K meet CDEP eligibility, an annual family income of 185% or less of the federal poverty guidelines as promulgated annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or Medicaid eligibility. The majority of the registered children are substantially behind in cognitive, reasoning, and language skills. These skills are prerequisites for reading and reasoning skills that are the basis for academic success. The Laurens County Community Foundation grant will provide project funding for field experiences for MSB CDC children to address the lack of educational experiences which are directly related to school readiness and school success.
Rotary Club of Laurens:
Each school year since 2013, the Rotary Club of Laurens has provided weekly bags of food to help provide weekend meals for impoverished children attending E. B. Morse Elementary School. These bags of food are called backpacks because they are strategically sized so that students can easily fit them in their backpacks to carry to their homes. For the 2017-18 school year, the Laurens County Community Foundation grant will help provide 30 to 35 meals per week to needy students at E. B. Morse Elementary School.
The Laurens County Community Foundation is committed to furthering its mission of enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of Laurens County by supporting organizations that are making a positive impact in our community and encouraging the practice of philanthropy. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on what's happening at the Laurens County Community Foundation or email us at LCCF@laurenscountycf.org.