Area ventures earn grants from Wean Foundation

WARREN — The Raymond John Wean Foundation directors have announced grants made “in response to the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and persistent systemic racism, through the lens of race equity and inclusion.”

Community investment grants totaling $1,210,000 were awarded to six organizations for operating support:

• Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, which works to empower residents and promote sustainable community development in Warren;

• Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, which focuses on improving the quality of life in Youngstown by building and encouraging investment in neighborhoods of choice for all;

• Boston Avenue Neighborhood Association, which is creating safe and beautiful spaces and inspiring neighbors to contribute to neighborhood revitalization in the South Side neighborhood;

• Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. to continue its Neighborhood Law Project in Youngstown and an expand into Warren;

• Economic Action Group, which provides economic development and entrepreneurial assistance programming within Youngstown and Warren;

• Paradise Gardens Development to repurpose land where houses have been torn down by turning the vacant lots into productive community gardens and enhance the physical landscape.

“Investment from The Raymond John Wean Foundation has made it possible for us to grow as an organization and continue to serve the community through our programming. We remain committed to equitably addressing challenges facing residents in the Mahoning Valley,” Nick Chretien, executive director of Economic Action Group, said.

“We are profoundly grateful to receive the foundation’s community investment grant. With the cost of materials, tools, compost and seed growing exponentially, the grant will allow us greater financial flexibility to acquire the things we need to further our mission of combating hunger and urban blight,” Samuel Carr, CEO of Paradise Gardens Development, said.

According to research from The Center for Effective Philanthropy, general operating support can help foster grantee stability, while multiyear funding encourages stronger, trust-based partnerships between the grantee and funder, giving the grantee time to grow, invest in their organization and plan for their future so that they may focus on improving programs that address systemic and social issues.

“As many individuals and organizations have faced challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wean Foundation recognized an opportunity to provide general operating support to organizations in order for them to continue to build capacity and sustainability which in turn can increase the impact they can have on their communities,” Jennifer Roller, foundation president, said.

The Wean Foundation is dedicated to community building that promotes a racially equitable future through a dynamic combination of grantmaking, capacity building and partnerships in the underresourced communities of Warren and Youngstown. It supports organizations through four strategic priorities: Community revitalization, educational opportunity, economic opportunity, and public and civic leadership.

The Wean Foundation is now accepting grant applications for 2022. There is no deadline and submissions are reviewed year-round.



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