Change happens when bold leadership meets opportunity. Our Community Foundation is dedicated to addressing our communities’ most challenging issues and providing hope for the future. By bringing together the dedication of community members and the generosity of philanthropic partners, we work to be a center for progress and a catalyst for change.
Individually, we drive our community forward. Collectively, we have the power to change it forever. Reaching our full potential starts with ensuring every individual has the opportunity to succeed. We partner with nonprofits, stakeholders and donors to cultivate thriving and collaborative communities, celebrate diverse perspectives and create clear paths to economic security and well-being for all.
The Sturgis Area Community Foundation is a $25M foundation committed to serving the charitable needs of our community and enriching the quality of life for all people in the Sturgis area.
Igniting passion for transformational change
Our grantmaking framework is the vehicle that provides funding to nonprofits creating impact, empowering the people and organizations that best understand how to serve their communities with the resources they need. These investments are powered by the generosity of donors who have entrusted the Foundation to meet our community’s needs.
Recognizing Outstanding Educators
in Memory of John E. Oster
Sturgis Area Community Foundation is currently accepting nominations for the 2020-21 John E. Oster Award for outstanding teaching and community service by a Sturgis Public Schools teacher. The award is presented annually in honor of the late John E. Oster. John was a Sturgis attorney, who placed a high value on both education and community service. This year's award will be the thirty-ninth given in recognition of Sturgis teachers since the 1981-1982 school year.
Competitive Grant Awards Announced
Sturgis Area Community Foundation is excited to announce the recipients of 2020 Competitive Grant Awards. In total, more than $100,000 was awarded this month in support of charitable programs and projects serving Sturgis and surrounding communities. Here’s a closer look at look at some of this year's funded projects.
News & Updates
Downtown Development Authority
The goal of this project is to foster a robust city center in Sturgis. Grant funding will support opportunities for residents and visitors to engage with their community through outdoor events and cultural experiences planned in downtown Sturgis.
Sturges-Young Center for the Arts
Road to Restoration: Acoustic Panels
For more than 50 years, the Sturges-Young Center for the Arts has served as a key cultural asset to local communities. As the Sturges-Young continues its “Road to Restoration”, grant funds from the Community Foundation will provide new acoustic panels that will improve the sound quality of future events in this beloved space.
City of Sturgis
Grant funding will support the installation of an outdoor public fireplace in downtown Sturgis and contribute to the overall goal of creating a “sense of place” in our community, including spaces that make people want to experience our downtown. The fireplace is part of a “Power of 10+” placemaking strategy. The idea behind this concept is that places thrive when users have a range of reasons (10+) to be there. These might include a place to sit, playgrounds to enjoy, art to touch, music to hear, food to eat, history to experience...or in this case, a fire to gather around.
Sturgis Helping Hands
Helping Hands Backpack Program
For 11 years, Sturgis Helping Hands has helped meet some of the most basic needs of local children and families. Through its “Backpack Program”, Sturgis Helping Hands provides backpacks of food and essentials that ensure students in need have access to meals on weekends and over the holidays. The program is run by volunteers which ensures 100% of funds granted will directly support food for local children and their families.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southwest Mich.
CASA for St. Joseph County Foster Childre
There are currently 177 children in foster care throughout St. Joseph County. With grant funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southwest Mich., we hope to improve outcomes and give some of our county’s most vulnerable children the support they need to thrive.
Research shows that children who have been assigned CASA volunteers are:
more likely to be adopted permanently
50% less likely to re-enter the foster care system
performing better in school
spend, on average, 7.5 fewer months in foster care than those without a CASA
90% less likely to have their own children in the foster care system
St. Joseph County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
"Welcome Home" Baby Bags
St. Joseph County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect will receive funding to provide “Welcome Home" Baby Bags to new parents throughout our county. In collaboration with the Great Start Collaborative, these bags will provide new parents with children’s books aimed at promoting connections between babies and caregivers while also enforcing safety messaging and education with parents.
Sturgis Historical Society
Sturgis Historical Museum Educational Booklets
This grant will fund interactive, educational booklets for Sturgis youth who visit the Museum at the Depot as part of an effort to make the museum more attractive to local educators. Booklets were designed in partnership with local educators who contributed to the content, design and layout.
Doyle Community Center
Summer Adventure Club
Funding will provide program support for the Doyle Community Center's Summer Adventure Program. Summer Adventure provides area youth with eight full weeks of summer recreational activities at little to no cost. This grant will be used to expand summer field trips and provide supplemental supplies for activities.