Investing in Our Communities
Since the Bristol County Savings Charitable Foundation began, more than $16 million in grants have been committed to 501(c)(3) organizations in our local communities. Last year, for the sixth consecutive year, the Foundation awarded in excess of $1 million in support of organizations that are dealing with some of our area’s most critical issues. To focus our efforts on these issues, we’ve identified three areas of focus that may receive special consideration for funding:
Greater Taunton Community
The Foundation supports many of the non-profit organizations in greater Taunton which are working to build a stronger community in a variety of ways. A few of those that were awarded grants during the past year include: Heidrea for Heroes, Inc.; Katie Brown Educational Program; PRIDE, Inc.; and the Taunton Community Table, Inc.
Children's Museum of Fall River
Brain development in the first five years of life is vital yet only 50 percent of children in Fall River attend Pre-K classes. With that in mind, the Bank and its Foundation presented a $45,000 grant to the Children’s Museum of Fall River’s Pre-K “Education Station” classroom to support expanded programming and outreach and the purchase of educational materials. Through collaboration with the Fall River Public Schools, the model classroom is also used for a Play and Learn program that encourages families to assist with the development of the skill sets required of young children to ensure Kindergarten readiness.
Hockomock Area YMCA
The Hockomock Area YMCA is more than a place to exercise; it is an organization that is committed to strengthening communities. The Foundation has been supporting the mission of the Y by providing funding dedicated to the YMCA’s Adventures in Respect activities and Integration Initiative for many years. Adventures in Respect is an anti-bullying prevention initiative designed to help thousands of area middle school students better understand and respect each other. The Integration Initiative seeks to provide individuals with special needs an opportunity to participate with typically developing peers in Y programs and activities to improve social skills and self-confidence.
In 2015 UMass Dartmouth Law School expanded its Justice Bridge program to New Bedford, an innovative incubator program designed to bridge the gap between recent law school graduates and individuals of modest means who need legal support. The program provides much needed legal advice to an underserved population in the local community while also offering office space, access to technology and mentors to the new lawyers. As the sole benefactor of this program, the Foundation provided a three-year, $250,000 grant.
Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School
The Foundation awarded a grant of $25,000 to the Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College (RINIMC) Charter High School, the first charter school in the United States dedicated to the nursing profession. The grant provides tools and resources to increase hands-on learning opportunities, including online webinars, clinical skill labs with computer monitored simulation manikins, field studies and other resources not covered through the public education formula. Students graduate from RINIMC with a high school diploma, college credits and experience gained through the development of real life nursing skills.