Community Impact Grants support the mission of the Community Foundation by providing grants to nonprofit-led initiatives that enrich the quality of life in Sturgis and the surrounding area in St. Joseph County.
The SACF Community Impact Grants program currently prioritizes funding for projects that address the following:
Vibrant Communities: Arts & Culture, Public Spaces, Parks and Recreation, Community Engagement, Neighborhood Revitalization, etc.
Educational Attainment: Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education, Adult Education, Career Preparation, Youth Programs, Vocational Education
Community Development: Housing, Talent Attraction & Retention, Workforce Development
Micro-Grants are perfect for smaller organizations that seek programming or project support. These opportunities are presented for consideration to donors with funds at the Sturgis Area Community Foundation. Micro-Grants may be funded at any time throughout the year based on the giving interests of the fund holder. Historically, our donors support requests for initiatives that directly benefit residents of the Sturgis area and surrounding communities.
Community Impact Grant Recipients
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Southwest Michigan
Project: Formula for Impact
For more than twenty years, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Southwest Michigan has been helping kids aged 6-18 create Great Futures. Known for their recreational and extracurricular activities, Boys & Girls Club also provides after-school "tutoring to help put kids on a path to academic success, mentoring to guide members to build good character and strong leaders, and proven programming so youth have access to healthy lifestyles."
In the Fall of 2022, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Southwest Michigan introduced area youth in Sturgis to Formula for Impact programs such as Project Learn, Triple Play, Smart Girls, and Passport to Manhood. These programs aim to create an optimal club experience for local youth and teen members. In addition, Sturgis Public Schools serves as a collaborating partner by helping provide a location and food program.
City of Sturgis DDA
Project: Building Stabilization (Open Door Gallery & Art Center)
The Sturgis Downtown Development Authority is addressing a severe obstacle at The Open Door Gallery and Art Center. The building, owned by the DDA, is in need of stabilization. While volunteers were cleaning an area in the basement, a large hole in the concrete floor was discovered. Upon further investigation, the substrate under the concrete floors revealed other voids besides the revealed hole, likely caused by poor soil. Funds will help to test the soil, remove the existing floor, infill new soil, and pour a new concrete floor. If left alone, the building could suffer further structural damage.
Over the years, the Open Door Gallery has maintained regular maintenance and successfully fundraised for large renovations such as replacing windows. By providing these funds for building stabilization, The Open Door Gallery and Art Center can continue to serve as a regional cultural center and an important part of downtown Sturgis and the surrounding arts and culture community.
Glen Oaks Community College
Project: GOCC First-Generation College Celebration
Glen Oaks will host a multi-day event celebrating first-generation students in conjunction with the National First-Generation Celebration. This initiative advances the narrative of first-generation students and their experiences and outcomes, as well as encourages communities to understand the barriers these students might face. Glen Oaks works within the TRIO Student Support System Program, where students may qualify for services and support.
Glen Oaks currently has approximately 500 first-generation students. The special event will help provide education and support in a fun, celebratory way focusing on accomplishments and a sense of belonging. Along with other students, staff, faculty, and community, the program will highlight the joys and struggles of first-generation students through a series of events and celebrations. Social media posts and emails will be sent to share resources and success tips about the barriers first-generation students may face.
Hope United, Inc
Hope United is a network of local churches and agencies coming together to provide support, help, and encouragement to those in need in St. Joseph County, Michigan. These different entities working together provide the resources and programs that can result in true transformation for individuals who themselves in cycles of brokenness. Programs like Amanda's House and Hope United Mentor Programs work to arrange to find recovery homes for people suffering from addiction while giving guidance in tackling the obstacles in life that keep people in cycles of pain.
The financial assistance from donors and organizations like the Sturgis Area Community Foundation enables Hope United to help make lasting changes in individuals' lives!
Constantine Area Community Foundation Micro-Grants:
Constantine Public Schools
Project: Instruments for Riverside
Constantine Riverside Elementary School will expand its music program which serves 3rd through 5th grades. Currently, the 5th-grade students learn the ukulele, but the third and fourth-grade students do not have an instrument to learn. Recently, the Constantine Area Community Foundation has provided a grant to purchase bucket drums for the 3rd-grade music curriculum and recorders for the 4th-grade curriculum. The purchase of these instruments will enrich the musical growth of students moving through Constantine Public Schools for years to come.
Constantine High School
Project: Geometry Mini-Golf Course
Constantine High School's geometry classes are teaming up with the Advanced Wood Shop students to create a Geometry Mini Putt-Putt Golf Course. The grant given provides the materials to physically make the course. The students will apply what they have learned about angles in class to figure out ways to make holes-in-one for the actual course on each hole. Specifically, the students will be utilizing transformational geometry to golf. The project will require 37 students from both disciplines to finish.