14 mini-grants awarded

Heart and Soul of Essex supports community members and organizations

The Heart and Soul of Essex has awarded 14 mini-grants to community members and organizations whose work or ideas embody one or more of the six core values – Local Economy, Health and Recreation, Education, Safety, Community Connections and Thoughtful Growth – that were identified during the 2011-2013 community engagement process.

A total of 27 proposals were submitted. While all of them had merit, a limited amount of funding was available, making the selection process very competitive.

Mini-grant applications were reviewed and grants awarded by a committee comprised of six residents: Three from the Town Outside the Village (Including one Selectboard member) and three from the Town Inside the Village (including one Village Trustee). This team assessed which values were being addressed, how many community members would be served and in which part of the community would the work take place. The committee was delighted with the creative thinking generated by this opportunity.

These grants will be awarded to:

  1. Child Care Resources ($1,500) for developing and expanding the dialogue with Bhutanese families in Essex Junction to help build stronger connections with their neighbors. (Education, Community Connections)
  2. Five Corners Farmers Market ($500) for forming a new system of financial management. (Education, Health & Rec, Community Connections)
  3. Essex Town School District ($500) for hosting a Harvest Dinner this winter, via its Child Nutrition Program and Farm to School Committee. (Education, Local Economy, Health & Rec, Community Connections)
  4. Essex Town School District ($650) for a performance to educate teachers at Essex Elementary School about students challenged by dyslexia. (Education)
  5. Essex Eats Out ($200) for software in support of their program to provide meals for people who hunger for food, relationships and connection. (Health & Rec, Community Connections)
  6. Essex Junction Fire Department ($540) for the purchase of an iPad Air to connect through an app with their Firehouse data service on emergency calls. (Safety)
  7. Village of Essex Junction ($1,500) for a Planning Charrette that will allow residents to directly participate in determining the potential future growth and development of downtown Essex Junction. (Thoughtful Growth, Community Connections)
  8. Grace Hsiang (EMS student) ($500) for the creation and distribution of bags that contain daily necessities for our increasing homeless population. (Education, Community Connections)
  9. Kemerer Family ($1,460) for a bike-powered hauling business to gather and remove junk, leaves, trash, recycling and compost from their neighborhood. (Education, Thoughtful Growth, Health & Rec, Community Connections)
  10. Essex Junction Children’s Summer Lunch Program ($1,500) for providing nutritious food on a weekly basis to the homes of EJ school children who qualify to receive free school lunches during the academic year. (Local Economy, Health & Rec, Community Connections)
  11. Essex Free Library ($1,000) for purchasing four Toshiba laptops for its Digital Literacy for Seniors program. (Education, Community Connections)
  12. Lucy’s House for the Prevention of Homeless Pets ($1,500) for purchasing food for the animals of low-income residents. (Local Economy, Community Connections)
  13. Brownell Library ($750) for jump-starting a new Playaway Audiobook Collection of fiction for youth. (Education, Community Connections)
  14. Summit Street School PTO ($900) for purchasing and planting three mature trees for the Summit Street Natural Playground. (Education, Health & Rec, Community Connections)

An additional $500 will be awarded through a community vote at our Annual Heart and Soul Community Celebration on Dec. 5.  Each grantee has been asked to create a five-minute presentation to be delivered that evening. Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to vote, using a wireless, instant audience voting system. The presenter with the most votes will receive an additional $500 to be used on an activity or service that supports one or more of our community values.

For more info, contact Liz Subin at 310-0194 or lizsubin@gmail.com