ESL awards nearly $9 million in grants to nonprofits

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ESL Federal Credit Union gave $8.8 million in grants to nonprofits during the first quarter. A total of 119 awards were made to organizations that provide critical services and programs for individuals, children, youth and families.

“At ESL we are committed to helping our community thrive and prosper and a key way we live up to that is to support nonprofit organizations that work to lift people up to achieve their goals,” says Ajamu Kitwana, vice president and Community Impact director at ESL. “These organizations are helping to improve the quality of life for thousands, and we look forward to the results that will come from their hard work.”

The Community Impact team has three areas of focus: expanding individual opportunity through quality education and employment; building strong neighborhoods that are affordable and connected; and strengthening organizations. Grants are given to services and programs that align with these areas.

For example, Wayne County’s Clyde-Savannah Central School District will be able to continue its afterschool program, Growing and Thriving Outside of School. The district has more than 700 students in grades K-12.

“ESL’s impact upon Wayne County is immeasurable,” says Mark Miller, community schools sustainability specialist at Finger Lakes Community Action. “ESL’s generous funding and continued collaboration daily lifts our way of life. More families now live in safe and warm homes; young at-risk adults have self-sustaining work and career skills; youth across the county are more resilient to poverty, trauma, and stress; our children have safe havens outside of school time programming; literacy rates have increased amongst our youth and adults; and we have been able to reduce equity gaps.

“ESL helped us learn how to better leverage our resources, work collaboratively, and make our rural community a place where we can thrive.”

Here is a sampling of organizations that received grant commitments from ESL: 

Children’s Institute ($375,000)

The Enhanced Parent Engagement and Longitudinal Evaluation to Promote the Wellbeing of Young Children project aims to increase family education and engagement to promote school readiness, social emotional development, and family adjustment through supportive relationships for their young children and their families. It also advances partnerships that develop multitiered supportive and connected community systems that promote equity in socioemotional development and wellbeing of young children and their families and create capacity for assessing early childhood education policy and practices in Rochester, and its effects over time through the creation of longitudinal datasets and analyses. 

Clyde-Savannah Central School District ($25,000)

The Growing and Thriving Outside of School Program, one of several programs in Wayne County funded by ESL, provides a safe, enriching environment for youth to grow after school hours and during summer and break vacations. Program includes soft skills workforce preparation, character building through the arts, community and family events, and STEM activities.

Dress for Success ($48,475)

In partnership with Rochester’s Hope Service Rodeo, Dress for Success will market, recruit and serve 100 women with coaching and suiting services. The organization also helps with job searches, resume reviews, access to laptops, and computer skills training. 

Encompass Resources for Learning ($375,000)

The Youth Workforce Consortium will provide equitable access to the quality education, life skills, career development, job placement, and behavioral health services youth need to graduate from high school, enter careers, participate in the local economy, and become a skilled workforce.

Father Tracy Advocacy Center ($50,000)

ESL funding will support the increased number of people who need assistance that includes direct outreach where staff members and partners walk the streets in multiple defined zones surrounding the center and offer basic assistance through providing masks, food, water, socks, hygiene kits, and answer questions.

One Soldier at a Time ($7,000)

Hygiene Packages of Hope for Veterans show veterans they are valued by boosting their self-esteem and confidence with essentials that are needed for daily living. The packages also include a handmade card sharing how valuable and appreciated they are by others in the community.

Rochester Housing Development Fund Corp. ($400,000)

The organization’s HOME Rochester and Make Monroe Home 2023 will support 10 properties, help reduce the vacant housing stock, convert low-quality, single-family structures into high-quality homes. It will make homeownership available to low- and moderate-income qualified families.

Turkish Society of Rochester ($10,000)

General support for earthquake relief in Turkey will help the families who have been impacted by the earthquake that hit Turkey (and Syria) where more than 56,000 people died in the two countries.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

One thought on “ESL awards nearly $9 million in grants to nonprofits

  1. This is worthy of a written appreciation. It seems that we always appear to have plenty of criticism to dole out on the negativity. When news items like this hit the news, take the time to “pencil” a thank you. That said, thank you ESL for your distribution of funding to well deserved organizations doing the “boots on the ground” work toward making the Rochester community a better one.

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