Community Foundation awards monthly $500 mini-grants


The Community Foundation of Switzerland County, Inc.’s board of directors has announced the 10th Anniversary Mini Grant awards for May. Each organization will receive $500 to implement its project or program.

This month’s grant winners include:

– Community Mental Health Center, Inc/Supported Housing Program on Pearl Street will implement a Life Skills Group Activities program. It will facilitate weekly group meetings that teach basic daily living skills that many of its participants lack, such as cooking, hygiene, healthy living, nutrition, etc.

It will also encourage its group members to engage in community-based activities, as many persons with serious mental illness tend to isolate and withdraw from society in general. All residents are either with zero income or very limited (average $630 a month).

– Easter Seals KYSOC Summer Camp for those with disabilities will provide a summer camping session at little or no cost to a family from Switzerland County with demonstrated financial need. Actual per day cost per camper for an eight-day stay is $2,256. This allows for 1:2 or 1:1 staff to camper ratio, to ensure a true camp experience regardless of his or her disability.

Easter Seals Kentucky provides each family with a 38-percent subsidy, which brings the total fee down to $850. Even with this subsidy, on an average year, three-fourths of all families’ request assistance with the camper fee.

– Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana Regional Annual Meeting to be held in Vevay. Vevay has been chosen this year to showcase its Main Street revitalization.

Enthusiastic partners at the Historical Society, Main Street and Tourism are helping to create a true destination affair. Featured venues include: “Linger on the Lawn” at Rosemont Inn; dessert at the Schenck Mansion; touring the Historical Society Museum; “Climb for the Wine” at Luhr’s Gallery; program at the Hoosier Theater; and a Rural Cool Dinner at the Grisard Building.

Ticket costs usually cover the expenses, but local sponsors usually support libations and food incorporated into the tour. This year, Historic Landmarks is going extra lengths to create an attractive and memorable occasion in Vevay. It will use the Community Foundation grant to cover costs of food and printing.

– Historic Vevay Inc./Historic Hoosier Theater will purchase a beverage air cooler for the theater to supply cold drinks during performances at the theater. Currently it uses picnic coolers with ice. Selling refreshments during performances is an income-producing project for the theater. With the increased performances this year with the “Second Saturday” program, the demand for refreshments has increased.

– Three Strand Chord Ministries, Inc. Switzerland County Area Youth “Big Stuf”. Each summer for the past seven years, volunteer leaders in the community have taken a group of high school students to the Big Stuf Youth Camp in Panama City Beach, Florida. This year’s camp will be held from June 16th-20th. There are 127 spots reserved for this year’s trip. Cost to each participant is $468. Each year the students are given one “free time night”. This grant will be used to ensure that everyone will have a meal that evening.

– Troop 741 Boy Scouts of America was awarded a grant to cover the costs for the boys of Troop 741 to go on an educational trip to West Virginia. This trip will have educational programs ranging from astronomy to zoology with emphasis on outdoor activities.


“We are very pleased at the response we have gotten with this mini grants program.” said Pam Acton, executive director. “Our plan to strengthen relationships with those organizations we know and build new relationships with those organizations that have never approached us for grants before is working well. This program has been such a success that grant dollars are going to become very limited soon.”

The intent of the 10th Anniversary Mini-Grants is to encourage more organizations to apply by making the grant application process easier. Any organization with a 501(c)3 or any organization that provides a program with charitable intent and has a fiscal agent is eligible to apply. All that is required is a one-page letter explaining the request.

“Now is the time to be creative.” said Pam Acton. “The volunteers are looking for ideas from organizations serving Switzerland County that may have been on the back burner or in the ‘dream file’.”

To make grant dollars available on a timely basis, there are no deadlines. Grant letters will be reviewed and decided upon monthly. Any request in by the first of each month will be notified of a decision no later than the 20th of the month. The typical spring and fall grant cycles will not be held in 2008.

Applying for a mini-grant is simple. Write a one page letter explaining: who will be doing the requested program/project; what will be done (program, purchase, training, etc); when it will be done; where it will be done; and how much it will cost (short budget). If the cost is more than being requested from the Community Foundation, indicate where the rest of the money will come from.

Grants may be requested up to $500. Since there is no match required for these mini-grants, a program or project can be totally funded by a request or it may be part of a larger project.

To allow organizations to provide programs and services on a timely basis, once a grant is awarded, the award letter will be sent with a grant agreement. Once that agreement is signed, the check can be released.

For more information on the 10th Anniversary Mini-Grant and the Community Foundation of Switzerland County, Inc., please go to the Community Foundation of Switzerland County’s website at; or contact Pam Acton or Melissa Andrew at 427-9160; or visit at 303 Ferry Street.