Women Giving for Spartanburg – 2012 Grants

Children’s Security Blanket – Camp Victory

Women Giving for Spartanburg 2012 Grantees Video   

Women Giving for Spartanburg awards grants in five core areas: arts and culture, education, environment, health, and human services. The following programs are designed to make a positive impact on the Spartanburg Community Indicator Goals, thus improving the quality of life for Spartanburg County citizens.

Planting Seeds for the Future Program – $25,000 to the Bethlehem Center

Bethlehem Center’s Planting Seeds for the Future Program consists of three core programs targeted to serve low income families in the Highland community: establishment of a 4-H Club,   development of a youth apprenticeship program and creation of a community garden, “Harvest of Hope.”  Benefits include the development of leadership/life training skills, gardening and a focus on healthy food choices, exercise, civic duty, environmental stewardship and community engagement.  This program will equip participants with the tools and skills needed to be successful and productive members of the community leaving a tangible impact on the community and environment.

Culinary Job Training Program – $25,000 to The Butterfly Foundation

The Butterfly Foundation’s Culinary Job Training Program provides culinary skills to unemployed, underemployed, previously incarcerated, and homeless adults for careers in the food industry. The twelve-week culinary curriculum covers all facets of work in a professional kitchen, and twelve students participate during each session for a total of 24 students served per year. Students will be Servsafe certified and participate in a 40 hour internship with local restaurants and businesses. With an 85% success rate, the Butterfly Foundation is committed to ensuring that program graduates succeed in the workforce.

 Independent Living through Technology – $30,082 to The Charles Lea Center Foundation

The Independent Living Through Technology project includes a) I-Pad computers for creating personal biographies on persons served for more personalized interactions/services and allowing non-verbal clients to communicate through pictures and symbols, b) voice command electronics in two adult group homes allowing individuals who previously needed staff to respond to their every need to perform basic living functions for themselves, such as opening doors, turning on lights, controlling thermostats, operating electronic beds and chairs, and obtaining self-service beverages and snacks, and an electronic monitoring station allowing fewer staff to oversee and respond to multiple group homes located in close proximity, and c) a fully handicap-accessible stage replacing a 35-year-old riser that cannot be accessed by individuals in wheelchairs or with mobility issues.

Wrapped in Hope and Love – $36,500 to The Children’s Security Blanket

The Children’s Security Blanket works with Spartanburg County families who have children with cancer by helping with unforeseen expenses such as meals, travel, and lodging when they must travel outside the county for treatment. A collaborating community partner assists with gas vouchers for these families. In 2011, Children’s Security Blanket financed 445 trips to treatment centers, and 700 or more trips are anticipated for 2012. This grant will provide aid for these trips, as well as summer camp, support group, and field trip experiences.

Grounded in Play: A Playground with a Purpose – $35,662 to Project Hope Foundation

This new outside playground project, Grounded in Play: A Playground with a Purpose , expands the learning environment for children with autism as they engage in healthy physical activities while developing play skills, increasing social interaction, and practicing “real-life” communication. Currently, outside play at Hope Reach is limited to a small, concrete courtyard. This program provides a unique outside play experience at Hope Reach for autistic children/youth who have difficulty interacting in other playground settings. The playground combines traditional playground equipment and the experience of interacting with trained therapy dogs.

Adoption Outreach Coordinator – $28,000 to Spartanburg Humane Society

A new Adoption Outreach Coordinator at the Spartanburg Humane Society (SHS) will focus on expanding two primary areas: working with local and out-of-state adoption partners and promoting pets for adoption at strategic offsite locations.  This position will work to increase adoptions that serve both pets and potential adopters.  Successful adoptions require input from many departments, including Shelter Operations, Veterinary Services, and Behavior and Training.  Volunteers enhance efforts through enrichment, foster, and transport to adoption partners.  This new position will coordinate with staff and volunteers to maximize good adoptions, sharing successes to better engage new volunteers and supporters in our efforts.

StEP to Success – $42,000 to Spartanburg Science Center

StEP(Scientific Enrichment Program) to Success is a program designed to offer inquiry based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning for 1300 of Spartanburg’s most disadvantaged and underserved youth through the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Upstate’s after school centers. Through a combination of field trips, fun, hands-on standards based programs, and the development and completion of science fair projects, StEPto Success will increase participants’ science grades and PASS test scores, improve their attitude toward STEM fields and careers, increase confidence, and motivation in science.  Data from studies indicate that science-rich after school programs are successful in exciting and engaging at-risk youth about STEM fields and careers.

Ready, Set, Learn, and Earn Program – $35,129 to Upstate Workforce Future’s Corporation

The Ready, Set, Learn, and Earn Program serves high school dropouts and students identified as at risk of dropping out of high school by preparing students for success, eliminating barriers, providing GED instruction or tutoring, and exposing students to real-world work experiences.  Through participation in one of three collaborating workforce programs, at-risk students will be afforded employability skills training utilizing state-of-the-art technology; all of the tools necessary to complete college applications or apply for jobs; access to driver’s education courses and clothing scholarships to reduce barriers to continuing education or employment; and the opportunities to gain valuable skills through placement with local employers for short-term work experiences.  These services alone may keep these students from ever becoming part of the drop-out indicator or remaining part of the 13.2 percent of Spartanburg County residents over the age of 25 without a high school diploma or GED.