GAR Foundation announces grants totaling more than $2.4 million

Communications \
November 24, 2020

GAR Foundation awarded $2,447,500 in grants to Akron nonprofit organizations at its November Distribution Meeting. This round of funding included another set of proactive, unsolicited grants for nonprofit organizations supporting emergency needs due to COVID-19.

Supporting inclusive economic prosperity in Akron was a key theme, evident in grants to the Elevate Greater Akron collaborative ($445,000), the Akron Urban League ($50,000), and Western Reserve Community Fund ($70,000).

“In addition to supporting critical basic needs during this challenging time, GAR remains focused on the community’s economic health during this pandemic. Our support of Elevate Greater Akron (EGA) is central to our strategy to support lasting, inclusive economic prosperity in Akron,” said Christine Mayer, president of GAR Foundation. “We continue to be impressed and inspired by the work of the many partners in this endeavor.”

The Early Childhood Resource Center was awarded $435,000 to continue its successful partnership with the Foundation’s STARS: Supporting Teachers and Ready Students project. STARS supports 24 Akron-based early childhood centers (preschool and childcare) with teacher education, coaching and ongoing professional development over a two-year period. The new funding will continue the program and add six new Akron centers to the cohort.

“STARS represents one of our initiatives that we believe is supporting the early education and care sector as a whole,” commented Kirstin Toth, senior vice president of the Foundation. “We have seen very positive impact on the children in the care of STARS centers as a result of the Early Childhood Resource Center’s work.”

Other notable grants include $300,000 over three years to the Ohio & Erie Canal Coalition for their work on Reimagining the Civic Commons; $225,000 to Summit Education Initiative for operating support; $75,000 for ongoing DEI efforts at the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga National Park. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio was given a grant of $25,000 for its Akron Club, in honor of Roger Read and in recognition of his service to GAR Foundation as an investment trustee.

A theme running through many of the proactive grants was the need to shelter people during Covid and the coming winter months. Those grants, which totaled just under $300,000, were made to organizations including the following:

• Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
• Battered Women’s Shelter
• Building for Tomorrow
• Community Legal Aid
• Family Promise
• Haven of Rest
• Heart to Heart Communications
• Project RISE, Akron Public Schools
• Shelter Care
• United Way Summit & Medina

Other grantees this quarter include:
• Building for Tomorrow, for SPARK and Parents as Teachers, $170,000
• Crafty Mart, $7,500
• Magical Theatre Company, $30,000
• Progressive Alliance Community Development Corporation, $20,000
• Project GRAD Akron, $80,000
• Rubber City Theater, $15,000
• Salvation Army for the Learning Zone, $80,000
• Tri-County Jobs for Ohio Graduates, $75,000
• Tuesday Musical, $50,000
• Western Reserve Community Fund, $70,000

For more information, contact Rob Lehr, Program Officer, [email protected]