Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

Midland Area Community Foundation Grants Over $350,000 in the First Quarter of 2023

May 5th, 2023

The Midland Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently approved fifteen grants, including six Midland Area Youth Action Council grants.

The Community Foundation’s first-quarter grants range from $10,000 to $80,000, each focusing on one of four significant areas of community improvement: (1) building our livelihood, (2) developing our talent, (3) caring for our people, and (4) enriching our community. Successful grant applications articulated which of these areas would be benefited through the acquisition of funding, using various measures and indicators to illustrate success.

Sharon Mortensen, the President & CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation, stated, ” Positive change comes as we partner with community organizations. Our grantmaking is approached with great care and diligence, recognizing that the projects and organizations we support bring about long-term transformation for Midland County.”

First-quarter grants for 2023 include:

  • Mid Michigan Community Action Agency – $40,000

This grant supports the Special Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Midland County, which provides families with an opportunity to attend Nutrition Education courses, along with resources and supplies for preparing healthy meals using WIC-approved ingredients. By offering this program, Mid Michigan Community Action Agency aims to boost engagement and participation in the WIC program and its associated clinic while ensuring that families receive the maximum benefits from their WIC enrollment.

  • Our Lady Grace Parish of Sanford – $40,000

The parking lot of Our Lady of Grace (Saint Anne site) requires re-pavement. Three fire departments use the parking lot for emergency helicopter staging and firefighter training. FEMA used it during the historical 2020 flood that caused extensive damage in both Midland & Gladwin counties. It is also used by nonprofit organizations (e.g., AA and blood banks). Our Lady Grace will use this support to fund the cost of repaving this helpful resource.

  • Midland’s Open Door – $50,000 ($40,000 Quarterly Grant & $10,000 Youth Action Council Grant)

In December 2022, Midland’s Open Door signed a purchase agreement for the property at 1610 W. Carpenter Street, intending to become the new women’s and children’s shelter. This new facility will double Open Door’s capacity to house women and children in crisis, expanding from 18 beds to 32 beds with an emergency capacity for 36 individuals. Moving services within the city limits will remove current transportation barriers for shelter residents.

  • The Arc of Midland – $10,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

This Youth Action Council Grant is to support the iCan Bike program. iCan Bike programs are for people with disabilities, ages eight and up. Approximately 80% of camp participants learn to ride a conventional two-wheel bike independently by the end of the five-day program. This ability also brings confidence, independence, and inclusion to youth.

  • Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum – $9,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

The Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum will utilize support for their newest exhibit: Mid Michigan Mechanics! This exhibit allows little mechanics to step into a pretend auto shop equipped with all the tools they need to perform maintenance on a kid-sized car mounted on a lift. The exhibit’s hands-on activities encourage cooperative play and stimulate the development of fundamental skills in young children.

  • Midland Young Life – $10,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

Midland Young Life requested this grant in response to the Legacy Center’s 2021 Youth Study, which revealed a declining number of assets in Midland’s youth, leading to poor mental health and increased risk-taking behaviors. They are expanding training and programming to focus on asset building through mentoring adolescents in our Young Life (high school), WyldLife (middle school), YoungLives (teen moms), and Fatherhood (young dads) programs.

  • Shelterhouse – $10,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

This grant supports Shelterhouse’s Children’s Counseling Program, which provides mental health services to children impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault, including primary and secondary victims. Young survivors up to 17 are encouraged to rebuild confidence, process trauma, and learn healthy coping skills through one-on-one counseling and support groups. Specifically, this program utilizes play therapy, a trauma-informed method of connecting with children through their language: play.

  • Girls on the Run – Underground Railroad – $10,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

The Girls on the Run (GOTR) program inspires girls in 3rd-8th grades to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun curriculum that creatively weaves in running, walking, and physical activity for girls of all levels and abilities. We seek funding to ensure GOTR remains an inclusive and accessible opportunity by expanding programming in 2023 to include 100 Midland County participants on eight teams and provide additional scholarship assistance to 40% of these participants.

  • Helping Hands Dental Center – $80,000

Helping Hands Dental Center serves economically and physically challenged community members who rely on Medicaid for dental insurance. This grant will permit Helping Hands to further its mission and impact in Midland County.

  • Mid Michigan Community Fire Board (St. Louis Area Fire Dept) – $15,000

The St. Louis Area Fire Department applied for this grant to help support the purchase of a new rescue truck. The rescue truck is essential for transporting medical first response tools, extrication tools, gas meters, gas analyzers, water rescue tools, and lifting airbags.

  • Disability Network of Mid-Michigan – $20,000 (Quarterly Grant)

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan will serve as fiduciary for processing payments for purchasing, acquiring, and installing equipment that provides access to restroom usage by various users at prominent recreation venues. The recipient will coordinate equipment purchase, installation, and maintenance. Products suggested by the approval committee or equivalent substitutes must be purchased with these funds.

  • Coleman Community Schools – $24,000

Media Centers are the hub of instruction and learning in schools through 21st Century Maker Spaces, providing moveable, sufficient, and varied furniture. This allows the entire student body access to move furniture for extensive group activities and to promote the learning of every student, from those at-risk, those in need of alternative/flexible seating, and those gifted and talented for specialized study spaces.

  • Jerome Township Fire Department – $24,235

This project will purchase three positive-pressure ventilation fans and one pulse carbon monoxide oximeter. These tools are designed to limit carbon monoxide exposure and early detection of carbon monoxide poisoning. These purchases increase the safety of firefighters and residents of Jerome Township and the surrounding area with mutual aid agreements.

  • Affordable Housing Alliance – $15,000

This project facilitates an inspection of each unit’s furnace and air conditioner by a certified company, cleaning, and any maintenance needed. Yearly furnace and air conditioning unit inspections and cleaning are a simple but often overlooked proactive energy conservation practice. Cleaning the filter system, blower, and motor can dramatically increase efficiency and provide a cost saving to our low-income residents and a longer life for the appliance.

Competitive grants are offered quarterly. Grants are open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies, nonprofit educational organizations (schools, colleges, etc.), and government entities in Midland County. To inquire about donating, establishing a fund, or applying for a grant, contact the Community Foundation at (989) 839-9661 or