Dec 2, 2020

CRANSTON, R.I. – The Champlin Foundation announced today $18 million in grant funding for a diverse group of organizations filling critical needs across Rhode Island. The Foundation awarded 188 grants to meet pressing demands related to social services, education, historic preservation, arts and culture, and beyond.

“The non-profit community in Rhode Island has navigated the current health and economic crises with extraordinary resilience, while also keeping a firm eye on building for the future. At a time when their services are in greater demand than ever before, so many essential charities have stepped up, their leadership thinking innovatively about how to adjust programming and deliver support,” said Nina Stack, Executive Director of The Champlin Foundation. “The Champlin Foundation is proud to support these agencies and organizations to expand their reach and impact, and to play a part in their vital efforts to help Rhode Island weather this storm and the challenges that await us in the future.”

Of the 188 organizations receiving funding in this cycle, 25 are first-time grantees, joining the ranks of hundreds of mission-driven organizations that have been supported by The Champlin Foundation over its 88-year history. To date, Champlin has awarded more than $600 million to Rhode Island non-profit organizations, primarily to fund capital projects.

Going forward, organizations now can apply in one of two Champlin grant application cycles through their online application portal. The first cycle will be open December 15, 2020, to January 15, 2021; the second cycle will be open June 1 to July 1, 2021.

Meeting People Where They Are

The Champlin Foundation’s key areas of focus include arts and culture, conservation and parks, education, health care, historic preservation, libraries, social services, welfare of animals, and youth services. In reviewing this year’s applicants, Stack noted that many leaders found new and creative ways to connect with their communities.

Higher Ground International (HGI), which provides workforce and community development opportunities to the West African community in Providence, was awarded $48,999 for the purchase of a new van to make deliveries of food, medication, and other essential supplies to at-risk and homebound community members.

“Higher Ground International’s RUKIYA CENTER on the south side of Providence has been a vibrant centerpiece of the West African community in Rhode Island, where immigrants and refugees have found comfort and connection,” said Henrietta White-Holder, HGI Founder and CEO. “With the Center temporarily closed, our seniors, in particular, are at risk of isolation and depression. This new van will help us to meet them where they are, now and for years to come, to deliver supplies and remind them that they are not alone.”

CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, Rhode Island’s largest non-profit provider of substance use disorder treatment, was awarded $225,000 for a mobile medical unit. This unit would allow CODAC to treat individuals, particularly those struggling with homelessness, substance use disorder and mental health issues, and enable access to those living in rural areas for these services.

“In communities across the state, there are low-income, homeless and many other Rhode Islanders facing the pandemic alone,” said Linda Hurley, CODAC President and CEO. “This mobile medical unit will allow our team to respond quickly and to identify individual areas of need as they are identified. The initial goal is to arrest the rising tide of opioid related deaths, substance use disorder, anxiety, and mental illness while facing the challenges that COVID presents.”

The Wilbury Theatre Group, a non-profit professional theater company, was awarded $47,715 for construction of a mobile stage and a vehicle for stage transport. The stage will be locally sourced through The Steel Yard in Providence and will be shared with Wilbury’s partners at the Manton Avenue Project, a children’s theater in Olneyville.

“At a time when joy and laughter are in short supply, it is more important than ever that we find new, creative ways to bring art and entertainment to our communities,” said Josh Short, Founder and Artistic Director. “A mobile stage will allow Wilbury to bring more free performances to Rhode Islanders, and engage new audiences in our inspiring, thought-provoking productions.”

This funding comes on the heels of The Champlin Foundation’s quick action last spring to provide additional relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the Foundation provided $1 million in emergency COVID-19 relief funding to 63 organizations, as well as $600,000 for the state’s nonprofit hospitals and $13,000 to purchase thermal scan thermometers for homeless shelters. The Foundation also provided unprecedented flexibility for a number of existing grantees, allowing them to repurpose $1 million in capital funding to maintain operations during the economic crisis.