Calhoun County Public Health Department
Emergency Funding Grant
Source of Funding: General Grant (Community Fund of Battle Creek)
*This fund was generously funded, in part, by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation*
Unlike in Flint Michigan, where lead poisoning was caused by contaminated water, the main sources of lead poisoning for children in Calhoun County are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. More than 80% of Calhoun County’s housing stock was built before 1978 and may contain lead-based paint. Children under the age of six years old are at the highest risk of poisoning as they tend to put their hands on objects, which may be contaminated with lead dust, and into their mouths. Lead poisoned children are unfortunately at an increased risk of lower IQs and behavioral problems similar to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The Calhoun County Public Health Department, in partnership with the Calhoun County Lead Poisoning Prevention Task Force (a task force with roughly 20 community based organizations), was awarded funds to create a public awareness campaign to increase resident awareness about lead poisoning affecting children. Lead-risk assessments will be conducted in the homes of families with children who have tested positive for lead poisoning; as the home environment is likely the cause. The funding will allow for increased lead testing, lead poisoning education, home visits for families with children tested with elevated blood levels, and temporary and short-term hazard reduction when needed.
These efforts support the goals of the Get the Lead Out: A Plan of Action for Lead Poisoning Prevention & Remediation in Calhoun County, Michigan report published by the Calhoun County Lead Poisoning Prevention Task Force in October 2016. Three task force focus areas included:
- Increase lead testing and reporting of testing in children in Calhoun County
- Increase lead awareness and public education about the threats of lead poisoning in children
- Expand the resources for remediating lead in homes and the environment
Binder Park Zoo Lion Exhibit
Funding Source: Capital Campaign
Binder Park Zoo celebrated the conclusion of its “Lions, Tortoise and Bears…Oh My” Capital Campaign. The Chai Pride exhibit, opened to the public in July 2017, features lionesses Salem and Shelby and a lion named Enzi. The exhibit features a grassy meadow with a watering hole reminiscent of the African plains. A rock formation that will provide shelter as well as a place for the lions to perch and enjoy the sun. There is a close-up viewing area that allows visitors to observe the lions through a glass wall. The viewing shelter resembles an African home and the graphics will demonstrate efforts by young adults to help protect lions in the wild.
New Level Sports Youth Village Project
Funding Source: Capital Campaign Grant & Multiple BCCF Donor Advised Funds
Through a capital campaign grant and multiple donor advised funds, the Battle Creek Community Foundation and many community partners were excited to support the New Level Sports Youth Village project. Through this support, New Level Sports will be able to build football, soccer and lacrosse fields in downtown Battle Creek for the community’s use in 2018!
Fitness in Schools
Funding Source: Mini Grant
On May 18, 2017 Post-Franklin school, in conjunction with Operation Fit, hosted over 200 people for a Family Fun 5k walk/run event. The first of its kind at Post-Franklin, this 5k walk/run event celebrated fitness, healthy lifestyles, reading, and family fun. Students enjoyed healthy snacks, free books, and socializing with members of the community. Prior to the event, students accumulated over 4,100 miles through the Operation Fit Mileage Club.
On June 6th, 2017 families came together to exercise during the Dudley STEM Family Fun Run event. The pre-K through 2nd graders were able to run with their families on a one mile course and receive information about a local farm stand, learned healthy habits (Kellogg Community College nursing students), and visit a real ambulance onsite. Student athletes from Battle Creek Central High School were on hand to encourage younger students and participate in the run.
Color the Creek Street Arts Festival
Funding Source: Arts & Culture Project Grant
The Battle Creek Community Foundation recently made a grant to support the 2017 Color the Creek Street Arts Festival. This is the second annual event. As a week-long street art festival in Battle Creek, the festival aims to build community spirit by promoting community art and the creation of up to 10 new murals across the city during the week of August 6, 2017. Activities will culminate in a celebration festival on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Festival Market Square in Downtown Battle Creek.
Battle Creek Diaper Network
Funding Source: Neighborhood Grant
The Battle Creek Diaper Network was started in August 2016 based on a neighborhood survey of Parkway Manor neighborhood. The top need of residents were diapers/wipes and employment resources. Led by Dr. Michael Glass, the project has voluntarily provided access to diapers/wipes for children in the Parkway Manor neighborhood. The group serves roughly 25 families a month on average and distributes 200-400 diapers a monthly depending on the volume of recipients. Their hope is to expand the project to other neighborhoods with high need. The organization BC Pulse has been instrumental in helping to distribute diapers and organize for group efficiency. During distributions, the group seeks to make connections for parents to preschool and other community resources. The group also organizes events at different times during the year to build community spirit and offer community resources. In the past 7 months, the group has served 100-150 people during these events and invited organizations/groups to offer resources to the community such as Operation Fit, Early Child Development, Battle Creek Public Schools, and BC Pulse. These special events are called parties and are used to connect neighbors and build community in a resource fair style. The group operates out of Parkway Manor building (offered free of charge by the City of Battle Creek’s Housing Commission).
Betty J. Christ Endowment Fund for Sexual Assault Services
Funding Source: Donor Advised Funds/Organizational Endowment Fund
Recently, the Battle Creek Community Foundation rallied a group of donors to honor Betty J. Christ and her lifelong work with Sexual Assault Services (SAS). During the 20th anniversary year of Sexual Assault Services, an endowment fund was established in honor of its founding champion, Betty J. Christ. Since the inception of SAS in 1996, Betty has been a steadfast leader, advocate and supporter for survivors of sexual assault. Her continuous strong support for the work done at SAS has helped the SAS staff reach thousands of people who need help after sexual violence. This fund is set up to support the work of SAS moving forward. If you are interested in supporting this fund and Sexual Assault Services, you can do so at: giving/Betty-Christ-SAS.
Kellogg Community College
Funding Source: DeVries Partners in the Arts Grant
DeVries Partners in the Arts Grants are utilized for funding a broad range of arts projects in the greater Battle Creek area. Relevant projects incorporate art components such as dance, theatre, music, or visual arts. A recent grant approved was the joint effort for Kingman Museum Archive Photography Project with Kellogg Community College.
The KCC Photography and Multimedia Program requested funds for materials to scan and exhibit a selection of negatives, slides, and prints from the Kingman Museum photography archive using KCC facilities and resources. Sixteen students from this class will scan glass plate negatives, magic lantern glass plate slides, celluloid/cellulose acetate negatives or silver prints. They then will print some of these images as large-scale murals that will be hung in windows. The intent is for viewers to enter a gallery with these restored pictures and be immersed in photographic history of reginal, national, and international turn of the twentieth century culture.
Haven of Rest Capital Campaign Grant
Funding Source: General Grant (Community Fund of Battle Creek)
*This fund was generously funded, in part, by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation*
The Haven of Rest Ministries was founded in 1956. Its mission is to clothe, feed, and shelter the homeless in order to become functional members of society. These ministries include emergency shelter, food, transitional housing, and substance abuse treatment. Over 80% of the residents entering programs at the Haven have annual incomes below $10,000.
The Haven of Rest operates several important programs for the homeless population including a men's shelter; women, children and family shelter; child life skills program; adult foster care program for mentally ill men; the Men’s Life Recovery Program, a long-term transitional housing program for single men; Women in New (WIN) Life transitional living program; and community outreach. One of the most notable programs of the Haven is the Men's Life Recovery Program; the Haven receives 4 applications for every 1 spot available in this program. In 2015 alone, the Haven served 2,383 individuals and provided over 53,000 nights of shelter (150 people per night) and over 80,000 meals.
Recently, BCCF funded the first phase of the Haven of Rest’s capital campaign as match dollars for a federal grant. The funding will be used to support construction and related costs for the Haven's building renovation.
Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center
Funding Source: Kendall Matching Grant
The Kendall Owner-Associate Matching Gift Program (KMGP) is a matching gift program established by the Kendall Electric Company to provide their employees with a philanthropic avenue to give back to organizations that they are passionate about. The Kendall Company matches employee donations dollar-for-dollar on donations to nonprofit organizations within the United States. Owner-Associate donations can be made in the form of stocks, cash, check and credit card.
Recently a $500.00 donation by an employee was matched and granted to Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center. The Cheff Center is an organization that aims to improve the emotional and physical well-being of special needs individuals through the therapeutic use of horses, and to serve as an international training and education center for therapeutic riding programs
Food Bank of South Central Michigan Health Grant
Funding Source: Health Grant
The mission of the Food Bank of South Central Michigan (FBSCM) is to feed hungry people by collecting and distributing food and grocery products, advocating for hunger-relief programs, and collaborating with others who address basic human needs. The FBSCM has an 8 county service area that includes Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee and St. Joseph Counties.
In 2015 alone, the FBSCM distributed 1.9 million pounds of fresh produce to roughly 46,000 Calhoun County residents through 120 different partner agencies; including food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, churches, and community centers. As part of their continued efforts to feed those in need, the FBSCM partnered with the Michigan Food Bank Access to Nutrition program and Michigan Agricultural Surplus System to receive funding to increase the amount of fresh produce offered to families and to teach them nutrition education. Through this newly formed collaborative, partners from the MSU Extension, Firekeepers Casino, and Feed the World Cafe Kalamazoo will continue to provide in-kind food demonstrations, samples, and nutrition education materials.
Seniors and individuals in low-income neighborhoods have unique nutritional needs and challenges that often need to be considered; access to fresh produce is often limited and low-income families are not trained how to use/cook fresh produce. This often leads to a forfeiture of fresh produce; parents would rather by something they know how to cook/prepare. Convenience stores and fast food restaurants are typically abundant in low-income neighborhoods and the tendency is to stock inexpensive items that are high in calories (high-fat and high-sodium) but have little nutritional value. Families living with these types of options face obesity and hunger simultaneously, along with corresponding health issues.
BCCF recently funded a General Health Grant to the Food Bank of South Central Michigan to provide fresh food and nutrition education to low-income families in Calhoun County. A major focus of this grant is to assist in feeding seniors and children; 31% of the Food Banks clients are children and 18% of their clients are older adults and seniors.
S.A.F.E. Place – Annual Celebrity Server Dinner & Auction
Funding Source: Sponsorship
Along with grants, the foundation also awards sponsorships to nonprofit organizations. These sponsorships range from $100.00 to $1,500.00 and must be used to support fundraising events. Recently, S.A.F.E. Place received a $700.00 sponsorship from the foundation in support of their 11th Annual Celebrity Server Dinner & Auction.
At this event, organizations from the area buy tickets for tables, decorate the table with a theme, have a member of the table be a “celebrity server”, participate in the silent auction, and above all have a good time for a good cause.
This year was the most successful fundraiser to date for S.A.F.E. Place. Thanks to the community, they raised over $70,000.00 in net proceeds to better benefit the shelter and its services for domestic violence victims. For more information about this organization please follow the link below.