by Chelsea Dennis
While May signals the end of spring for many, in the CIP office it signals the ending of the grant year. With that comes a bustling office, increased phone calls and emails from Lodges wanting to know how they can use a Gratitude Grant to best serve their communities. As the Gratitude Grant deadline quickly approaches, applications have been pouring in. I’m excited to tell you that this week we hit a milestone. We have now approved 1,000 Gratitude Grants! Don’t believe me? Check out a picture of the grants dashboard.
As we countdown to May 31, we are excited to see all the amazing projects that Elks are leading in their communities. Here’s a snapshot of some of the Elks-led projects across the country.
· McAllen, Texas, Lodge No. 1402 will be partnering with Hope Family Health Center to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to uninsured patients with chronic diseases. Elks will assist with distributing food and will also host educational luncheons to teach patients healthy eating habits.
· Danielson, Conn., Lodge 1706 will partner with the school district’s Discover Bus program, a mobile library, to distribute books to children throughout the summer. In addition to providing books, the Lodge will lead reading and crafts sessions during the summer day camp at Brooklyn Parks and Recreation.
· To reduce blight within the community, Tipton, Ind., Lodge No. 1012 will work with the city’s park department to construct “Pocket Parks” on abandoned properties. Members will plant flowers, create rock paths and install portable tables and benches for the community’s enjoyment.
Haven’t applied for the Gratitude Grant yet? There’s still time! If you’re unsure of a project and need assistance, feel free to call me (I promise I don’t bite) or check out our Instagrants for ideas for easily, adaptable projects. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for your Lodge’s application. Only 400 more to go!
The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member-giving goal to the Foundation. In addition, Lodges that exceed 15 percent membership support last year may be eligible for a $500 bonus. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit elks.org/enf/cip.
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