(HOUMA) The Bayou Community Foundation (BCF) has awarded eleven grants totaling $110,000 to local non-profit organizations as part of its second annual grant-making program. The grants will fund innovative programs focusing of mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment, education, youth mentoring services, care for the elderly, and coastal preservation in Lafourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish, and Grand Isle.
“Our Bayou Region is blessed to have so many wonderful non-profit groups implementing creative solutions for some of our region’s most pressing issues like health care, education, and coastal preservation. Bayou Community Foundation is once again delighted to support these great efforts with our annual grants program as we all work together to build a sustainable community for generations to come,” says BCF Chair James J. Buquet, III.
For this year’s open, competitive grants program, BCF initially received 27 grant requests for more than $480,000. Applications were reviewed by a volunteer grants committee, who selected the final eleven grantees for the $110,000 available based on factors such as critical needs addressed, population and communities served, and long-term impact of grant funds. Once again in 2014, mental health and substance abuse treatment is the focus of much of the funding, aligning with the most critical community need identified in BCF’s 2013 Community Needs Assessment.
Grant recipients include:
• South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority – $15,000 to support the ongoing Mobile Outreach Program providing outpatient mental health counseling and treatment for residents who lack transportation to attend scheduled clinic appointments.
• Options for Independence – $15,000 to continue a telecommunication child psychiatry program to address the overwhelming need for youth psychiatric services in our region.
• START Corporation – $15,000 to implement a Functional Family Therapy program, an intervention and counseling initiative for youth ages 11-18 suffering from behavioral disorders and substance abuse.
• Assisi Bridge House/Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma/Thibodaux – $5,000 to purchase drug screening supplies to conduct regular substance abuse monitoring and counseling of residents, and to purchase an automated external defibrillator for medical emergencies.
• Gulf Coast Social Services – $5,000 to support ongoing mentoring, education, and career counseling programs for at-risk youth ages 10-20 referred by juvenile justice authorities.
• St. Vincent de Paul Tri-Parish Pharmacy – $15,000 to support ongoing program providing free medication to the poor and elderly who qualify.
• Terrebonne Council on Aging– $5,000 for “Take a Bite Out of Winter” Program, providing personal, energy-efficient space heaters to low-income elderly.
• Lafourche Parish School Board – $4,000 to purchase a 4-Wheel Hydraulic Brake Trainer to provide Central Lafourche High School automotive students with job training.
• Hope Extreme – $3,000 to support ongoing after-school and summer reading programs for low-income students in kindergarten – 6th grade.
• Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program– $23,000 to purchase a shallow-water vessel that will transport plants and planting volunteers to inner-tidal marsh areas along our coast as part of BTNEP’s restorative planting programs.
• The Nature Conservancy – $5,000 to support the Grand Isle Community Outreach and Education Program, which incorporates environmental education in school curricula and makes Grand Isle residents, students and teachers more aware of local environmental resources and issues.
A donor advised fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the BCF was established in 2012 by a group of business leaders and philanthropists from Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes who, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2010 Gulf oil spill, recognized the need for a community foundation to strengthen our area and to attract national and international assistance in the event of a future emergency or natural disaster.
In 2012, the Gheens Foundation awarded BCF a 5-year, $500,000 challenge grant, which, combined with contributions from local donors, has provided the seed money for BCF grant-making programs focused on addressing the region’s most critical needs. The Foundation is seeking both local and national contributions and grants to match this Gheens award and to expand the foundation’s grant-making capabilities in Lafourche, Terrebonne and Grand Isle.
“We are proud of the tremendous progress BCF has made since the organization was formed two years ago, and we also know that our continued ability to address the needs of our community relies on our efforts to build our grant-making fund,” Buquet says. “I encourage businesses, individuals, and family foundations interested in supporting our work to contact us. The Bayou Community Foundation was formed specifically to serve our entire community and there are many opportunities for you to participate in our efforts.”
Members of the BCF Board of Directors include Buquet, Vice-Chair Stephen Peltier, Secretary/Treasurer Ed Bouterie, Bonnie Brady Babin, Charlotte Bollinger, Al Danos, Jr., Alexis Duval, Berwick Duval, Dr. James Leonard, and Bernadette Pickett.
For more information on the Bayou Community Foundation, visit www.BayouCF.org or contact Coordinator Jennifer Armand at (985) 790-1150.