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Together We Give: Community Foundation Initiative Grants 113K to Local Nonprofits

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Sturgis Bank President Eric Eishen joined Executive Director Lindsay Richardson to kickoff this year's event at WBET.

About the Initiative

On Tuesday, December 1, Sturgis Area Community Foundation and its affiliates hosted Together We Give 2020, the Foundation’s first-ever Giving Tuesday event. With support from Sturgis Bank, Oakleaf Financial Services and Super Hits WBET 99.3FM, the Community Foundation announced more than $100,000 in grant funding for local nonprofits and charitable programs throughout St. Joseph County.

“Our goal for this initiative was to bring community members and Foundation donors together in a positive way, and to connect that support to our nonprofit partners who we know need this funding more than ever,” says Lindsay Richardson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation.

To be considered for a Giving Tuesday grant, organizations were nominated by community members throughout the month of November. More than 600 nominations were submitted on behalf of dozens of organizations.

Though only one nomination was necessary for an organization to receive funding, Sturgis Bank and Oakleaf Financial Services provided awards for the two organizations receiving the most community nominations. This year's top-nominated group was ROOTED of St. Joseph County, winning an award of $5,000 with 78 nominations received. Youth for Christ of Southwest Michigan was runner-up with 66 nominations, winning an award of $2,500.

"No matter the number of nominations received, those nominations that did come in were incredibly meaningful and reflect the important, impactful role that nonprofits play in our local communities," says Richardson.

In total, 34 organizations received grants totaling $113,885. Grant dollars will support charitable programs during a time that has been extraordinarily difficult for nonprofits to fundraise.

Participating Funds

Grant funding was made possible through the collaborative effort and support of the following Community Foundation funds:

· Paul and Jean Casault Family Fund

· Constantine Area Community Foundation Fund

· Doe/Felt Fund

· Raymond H. Dresser Jr., and Gretchen M. Dresser Fund

· Newell A. and Grace A. Franks Fund

· Graydon C. and Marion R. Fox Fund

· Adele M. Gray Fund (of the White Pigeon Area Community Foundation)

· Sturgis Kiwanis Endowment Fund

· Mighty Matt Keyser Fund

· Spirit Fund

· Windy City Fund

· Youth Advisory Council Fund

Grant Recipients

In total, 34 nonprofits received grant funding to support their work serving local communities. Here's a summary of this year's recipients organized by the category of their work:

Arts & Culture

· Open Door Art Center—$8,000

· Sturgis Historical Society—$10,200

· Sturges-Young Center for the Arts—$10,400

Recreation & Well-Being

· Amigo Centre—$5,000

· Camp Fort Hill—$13,635

· Doyle Community Center—$1,000

· Sturgis Community Pool—$6,000

· Sturgis Athletic Boosters Club—$2,418.17

Youth & Families

· Court-Appointed Special Advocates of Southwest Michigan—$2,000

· St. Joseph County United Way Adoption Fund—$1,000

· KidsCare of Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County—$1,000

· ROOTED of St. Joseph County, Inc.—$6,000

· Youth for Christ of Southwest Michigan—$2,750

· St. Joseph County Child Abuse and Neglect Council—$1,000

Health & Human Services

· Constantine Food Bank—$250

· Constantine Soup Kitchen—$250

· White Pigeon Food Bank—$500

· Pregnancy Helpline of Sturgis—$2,000

· St. Vincent DePaul—$500

· Sturgis Helping Hands—$1,000

· Salvation Army of Sturgis—$2,200

· Keystone Place—$1,000

· Operation 6:12—$500

· Thurston Woods Village—$5,000


· Austin Stemen Scholarship For the Trades—$5,000

· Wenzel Elementary School—$1,500

· SABEA (Sturgis Area Business/Education Alliance)—$1,000

Vibrant Communities

· Sturgis Neighborhood Program—$10,200

· Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce—$1,000

· Sturgis Fire Department—$5,000

· Sturgis Police Department—$5,000

· White Pigeon Township Library—$1,000

· Meeks Mill Garden Club—$250

· Village of Constantine—$250

As a resource and leader in local philanthropy, the Community Foundation always seeks to connect local residents like you to meaningful projects and causes you care about. If you are interested in learning more about Foundation funds, programs, or current partnerships, email us at

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