The Main Street Community Foundation announced that grants totaling $376,500 were awarded from the Bradley Henry Barnes & Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust to seven organizations working to improve the health and wellbeing of Southington residents.
The organizations provide programs that enhance community wellness, support local seniors and improve access to behavioral health services.
Five of the seven grants were provided to continue programs, while two were awarded to organizations for programs that are being funded by the Barnes Trust for the first time.
A grant of $115,000 was awarded to LiveWell Alliance, Inc., to continue the Dementia Friendly Southington Initiative, whose goal is to decrease the stigma and isolation of dementia, increase meaningful community engagement and quality of life for people living with dementia, and to teach communities to become more accommodating and knowledgeable.
“Part of this movement is to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia,” said Katy Bannister, director of community development at LiveWell. “The curriculum will teach communication tips, you’ll learn a little about healthy brains and what it looks like when affected, and you can see why it’s so disruptive to an individual. By the end of the session, you’ll have learned several simple ways to help create a dementia friendly community.”
A grant of $80,000 was awarded to Wheeler Clinic to continue the Southington Health Outreach Project. The project employs a three-tiered approach to serving individuals and families, including outreach and health education, system navigation assistance, and efforts to reduce barriers to care such as transportation, child care concerns and others. Since its inception, the project has reached hundreds of Southington residents.
The United Way of Southington is to receive $40,098 to support the Senior Transportation program in collaboration with Senior Transportation Services of New Britain.
“We found that there is a glaring need for rides for seniors in town. Services like the Calendar House transportation and Dial-A-Ride serve an important role, but can be restrictive,” said Jack Eisenmann, director of the United Way of Southington, earlier this year. “Now, clients can receive rides for free with no membership or ride fee. We are so pleased to offer this service to the town.”
Director of STS Nancy Morrissey said number of rides for seniors nearly doubled from last fiscal year to the current.
Living in Safe Alternatives (LISA), Inc. received $45,900 for their 1-2-3 prevention, intervention and recovery program for teens, educators and parents to reduce the risk of substance abuse and disrupt the use of current users.
“Funds will cover costs to provide critical information to parents and educators, intervention groups for youth, individual assessment and referrals to treatment, and hope and recovery to support groups for parents of addicted youth,” said LISA, Inc. director Kim Selvaggi. The project is a collaboration between LISA, Inc., Southington STEPS, Bread for Life and Winifred House.
A grant of $25,000 was awarded to Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington (ECCS) to support a well-being initiative to provide five educational seminars that support Southington’s young children and their caregivers during 2019.
The two newly awarded grants include $37,500 for Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, and $25,000 to Easter Seals of Greater Waterbury.
“We are thrilled to be announcing $376,500 in grants. We are honored to carry out Bradley Barnes’ legacy through these important health initiatives,” said president and CEO of the MSCF Susan Sadecki in a press release. “The advisory committee’s thoughtful review of all proposals to ensure feasibility, sustainability and impact as well as their commitment to honoring donor intent is commendable.”
The Bradley Henry Barnes and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust was established in 1973 at the Southington Bank & Trust Company upon the death of Bradley Barnes and has been administered by the MSCF since 2004. Grants are awarded to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving the Southington community for capital projects, programs or initiatives that will improve the health and wellbeing of Southington residents.
MSCF is a philanthropic organization committed to assisting donors who wish to build charitable endowments. The organization supports the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
To learn more about MSCF grants and scholarships, visit www.mainstreetfoundation.org.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.