Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

Midland Area Community Foundation Grants Over $1 Million in Fourth Quarter of 2022

February 6th, 2023

The Midland Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees recently approved sixteen grants, including seven American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants. Total fourth quarter grantmaking was $1,075,890. ARPA grantmaking accounted for $590,890. These grants impact local nonprofits, enabling them to continue providing vital services to Midland County residents. The Foundation also approved four Midland Area Youth Action Council grants and five grants from the Community Investment Fund.

The Community Foundation’s fourth-quarter grants range from $11,000 to $125,000, 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.

“We understand that the best things happen when we work collaboratively with the community and our partners to create dialogue, advocate for change, and act on important matters that impact this area. The grants we approve address issues that are critical, helping our neighbors and partner organizations to thrive,” said Sharon Mortensen, President & CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation. “We approach grantmaking diligently, understanding that the projects and organizations we support can provide long-term transformation for Midland County.”

Fourth-quarter grants for 2022 include:

  • Home to Stay – $80,000 (ARPA Grant)

The Housing Stability Services case manager will utilize the funds from this grant to cover up to 3 months of rental assistance to help an individual or family maintain housing. Funding may also be used to help pay security deposits and the first month’s rent to rehouse a household into a sustainable rental unit that is more affordable or to assist in removal from a homelessness situation.

  • The Bridge Food Center – $125,000 (ARPA Grant)

This gift to The Bridge Food Center (Bridge) is to support a one-time building project. The Bridge has served 6,392 households within the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population over the last 5 ½ years at 1539 Washington St. The need for affordable food is growing due to high inflation on food, fuel, and more. The Bridge has purchased a building on Saginaw Road for a future location, so they may increase capacity to serve more customers, offering more options to help revitalize Midland.

  • The Breaking Bread Village – $55,000 (ARPA Grant)

The Breaking Bread Village will utilize grant funding to assist with the implementation of a progressive program called “Breaking Bread Together While Offering Hope.” The goal of this program is to connect people from a background of vulnerability and abuse (domestic violence, substance abuse survivors, and people from the LGBTQIA community) and those who work in the social and human service industry (police, social workers, judicial services, and the medical field). The program will have a three-tier effort (cultivated speaker panel programs, strategic meetings, and community building).

  • Great Lakes Bay Foundation – $50,000 (ARPA Grant)

Due to the negative mental health repercussions of COVID-19, the Great Lakes Bay Region Mental Health Partnership (GLBR-MHP) requested these funds to advance the iMatter Anti-Stigma Campaign for Midland County residents to help reduce stigmas. Through iMatter videos, articles, large-sized mailers, flyers, and geo-targeted social media ads, the campaign will encourage individuals and families within Midland County to develop a Mental Health Wellness, Support, and Care Plan that connects them to currently existing resources in the community.

  • Midland County Educational Service Agency – $100,000 (ARPA Grant)

This grant supports a public education and marketing campaign to create a shift in the community, bringing value to the field of early childhood education. This effort is to bring the community together to address the challenges faced amid this childcare crisis. This grant will also support lunch and learn development sessions for Midland County business leaders addressing early childhood education’s economic value and impact and a reimbursement program for approved individuals pursuing the Child Development Associates Credential to support building an educated early childhood workforce.

  • Creative 360 – $55,000 (ARPA Grant)

This grant is to provide the initial funding to offer the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program to 2-3 individuals from nonprofit entities that serve Midland County. During the program, the student and instructor will work on-site at the student’s nonprofit, meeting with staff and clients to create an on-site program tailored to that nonprofit’s clients’ unique needs. The instructor will continue to consult with the organization throughout the year, providing resources, knowledge, time, and vision to help the organization create a yoga-based wellness plan that serves that specific community.

  • United Way of Midland County – $125,890 (ARPA Grant)

This grant intends to support the Leveraging Income for Tomorrow (LIFT) program. Over 144 people from over 70 families have received financial support through LIFT for various needed supports like rental and mortgage assistance; home repairs; appliance vouchers, dental, utility assistance, and car repairs. These funds will be 100% directed to providing financial support to the vulnerable ALICE families throughout Midland County. United Way, serving as the backbone, has secured and is committed to providing for the LIFT program’s marketing, staff, and overhead needs.

  • Coleman Community Schools – $110,000 ($100,000 Quarterly Grant & $10,000 Youth Action Council Grant)

The “Coleman Culinary & Hospitality/Business Management at the Depot” Development Project provides high-quality, long-standing, and widely recognized Career-Technical Education at the former “Depot Restaurant.” This project supports start-up costs for the first three years as the program gets off the ground, emphasizing an authentic “Farm to Table” career training experience for any Midland County high school student through its proximity to the school’s Regional Agriscience Center.

  • Midland Center for the Arts – $110,000 ($100,000 Quarterly Grant & $10,000 Youth Action Council Grant)

Midland Center for the Arts is updating its 50-year-old facility, restoring, refreshing, highlighting the Alden B. Dow architecture, and repurposing seldom-used spaces to house innovative and entertaining STEM and arts programming. This project is transformational and opportune. Damage from the 2020 flood was significant and remains largely unrepaired. Building anew with renovations will ensure The Center is accessible and welcoming to all populations.

“We are grateful to the Midland Area Community Foundation and the Youth Action Council for these grants supporting our Capital Campaign. This investment will enable us to continue toward full funding of our renovation project, specifically to help us create a welcoming and accessible Center for all,” noted Jon Loos, President and CEO. “The Center transformation will include vibrant educational and innovative experiences in the museum and in classrooms. We know that interactive engagement in STEM education is essential for improving the quality of life in our community. By supporting this project, the Foundation is helping us to provide more access to our diverse community, including equitable, inclusive, and accessible exhibits, classrooms, and public spaces, improving the quality of life for our entire region.”

  • The Little Forks Conservancy – $100,000 (Quarterly Grant)

The Little Forks Conservancy is utilizing grant funding to support the Nelson Woods Acquisition and Improvement Project. The Nelson Woods Acquisition and Improvement Project is to facilitate the acquisition of 106 acres of land along the Tittabawassee River, upstream from Downtown Midland. Nelson Woods will provide a space for residents and visitors to the area to connect with nature, learn through outdoor engagement, and facilitate recreational opportunities for physical health and wellbeing.

“Little Forks Conservancy, since our inception, has worked to conserve land along the Tittabawassee River,” commented Elan Lipschitz, Executive Director. “Support from the Midland Area Community Foundation will help us protect and improve a unique property along the river just upstream from Downtown Midland which will provide access to nature for our entire community to enjoy.”

  • Andy’s Place – $100,000 (Quarterly Grant)

Andy’s Place in Jackson, Michigan, was the first housing project in the nation created to serve the long-term recovery needs of Drug Court participants. Andy’s Place is developing another project in Midland in partnership with Midland Recovery Court. This housing development will facilitate affordable and supportive housing units for recovery court participants and graduates needing sober housing as they rebuild their lives.

  • The Rock Center for Youth Development – $50,000 (Quarterly Grant)

This grant intends to achieve the objective of the Community Health Assessment and Improvement committee and the long-standing goal embraced by the community to assist with out-of-school programming for youth. Discover You will continue the work firmly established in Midland County to include individuals who work with youth in out-of-school time programs. Workers in these spaces in Midland County will become certified as Positive Youth Development Specialists, enhancing programs and partnerships that are already established.

  • Resonators Competitive Drumline of Mid-Michigan – $10,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

This grant supports the Resonators’ Programming & Equipment Expansion Project to build innovative and comprehensive programming for youth. In the US, there are established youth performance organizations that will be used as a model. Through funding, the resources allow the Resonators to support programming using instructional experts, updated instruments and equipment, a floor covering, a sound system, and uniforms.

  • Sanford Santa House – $10,000 (Youth Action Council Grant)

The Santa House in Sanford aims to provide a structure that can be used forever. This grant is to offset the cost of gas and electrical utilities that were used during the Santa Express event. Altogether with other gifts, it is the goal to sustain the operations of the Santa house for a minimum of 17 years.

Competitive grants are offered quarterly. Grants are open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies, public schools, 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