Thanks to nearly $57,000 in funding from the Eden Prairie Community Foundation (EPCF) and one of its charitable fund holders, at-risk young people, older adults facing hardship, victims of domestic violence, and people with special needs are among Eden Prairie residents who will be helped this year.
Recently, the EPCF approved direct grants totaling $22,650 that will:
- Assist victims of domestic violence by supporting the Sojourner Project shelter and community programs, including the Crisis/Help Line.
- Fund a MoveFwd effort to help local teens and young adults with transportation costs so they can get to school, work, shelter, housing, and resources.
- Provide fresh produce in meals delivered to homebound residents by Bloomington Eden Prairie Meals on Wheels.
- Fund PROP’s Senior Services, which includes food, subsidized transportation, and other wrap-around services.
- Support Mothers Tutoring Academy’s work to tutor, mentor, and develop local students from immigrant families.
- Fund tutoring provided to teenagers by Eden Prairie TreeHouse.
- Promote literacy and education by providing at least one book to every child, ages 3-5, who goes through the Eden Prairie Schools’ early-childhood screening process.
- Engage young people living in apartment complexes with free recreation programming and equipment use in an outreach program provided by Eden Prairie Parks and Recreation.
- And, preserve local information and reporting by helping launch the nonprofit Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN).
At the same time, a generous Eden Prairie family that holds a charitable donor-advised fund at the EPCF agreed to provide $34,320 for eight additional projects that are beyond the organization’s budget for direct grants. Those projects:
- Support of the YMCA of Greater Twin Cities’ Neighborhood Centers program at Briarhill Apartments in Eden Prairie.
- Development of Onward Eden Prairie’s fundraising capacity by helping fund a grant writer.
- Mentorship and leadership development of young people from immigrant families through the Academy for Young Leaders.
- Support of Mission Animal Hospital’s work to provide veterinary services to local residents with low incomes.
- Improvements to a Mount Olivet Rolling Acres community home in Eden Prairie that serves adults with special needs.
- Mental-health support to PROP volunteers who encounter stress while serving clients in hardship.
- Support of True Friend’s Camp Eden Wood, which provides recreation and other services to people with special needs and their families.
- And, funding for a collaborative leadership-development program by CHOICE, Inc. and True Friends, both of which service people with special needs.
At the same time, the Foundation approved a $2,000 grant from its ongoing COVID-19 Response Fund to help Senior Community Services provide COVID-related services to older adults trying to remain independent in their homes.
The EPCF has an annual cycle for its direct-grants program, in which organizations with projects benefiting Eden Prairie residents in need make funding requests. These requests are then reviewed and scored by the all-volunteer EPCF Grant Committee and weighed against Eden Prairie’s biggest needs.
But granting takes place throughout the year from other Foundation programs, including its donor-advised fund holders, the community-impact organizations that have the Foundation’s fiscal sponsorship, and at Prairie Brewfest.
Combining all of these, the Foundation has generated more than $1 million in philanthropy over the last five years. The dollars come from generous Eden Prairie individuals, families, and business.
The work of the EPCF over the last year and during 40 years of operation will be celebrated at the organization’s EP Gives event from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, April 29. This is a virtual celebration of the community’s work to help people in need, and will raise dollars for the EPCF’s work in 2021 and beyond. Admission is free, and people tuning in will be invited to take part in an auction and fund-the-need.
More information about EP Gives and the organization overall is on the EPCF website, www.epcommunityfoundation.org.