Jun 3, 2021

CRANSTON, R.I. – The Champlin Foundation announced today $5.8 million in capital funding to support charities serving Rhode Islanders in meaningful ways. Through grants for equipment, renovations, construction or land acquisition, funding will enhance classroom learning, provide social supports, promote access to equitable health care, invest in under resourced communities, and beyond.

This is the first of two grant cycles in 2021, with a second cycle open to accept applications until July 2, 2021. Rhode Island non-profit agencies and organizations now have a choice of which grant cycle they wish to apply to each year, one of many modernization efforts the Foundation has undertaken to provide non-profit leaders more flexibility and support.

“In our annual report, we reflected on 2020 as a year of resilience and looked ahead with optimism for 2021. The organizations funded in this round of grants have affirmed that sense of hope,” said Nina Stack, executive director of The Champlin Foundation. “Rhode Island’s robust network of non-profits continues to serve our state’s families and communities with courage and creativity. As the state slowly emerges on the other side of the pandemic, the leadership and vision of this group will help us to build back in ways that are better, stronger, and more inclusive.”

Of the 77 organizations receiving funding in this cycle, 13 are first-time grant recipients. The greatest number of applicants came in the social services category, and included a number of innovative approaches. For instance, the latest job training initiative at the Genesis Center, the Culinary Hub of Providence (CHOP), will allow participants to develop culinary skills and gain business experience while operating a café inside the Providence Public Library.

There were first time applications from two organizations serving people of all abilities: the neurodiverse Spectrum Theatre Ensemble, and Gnome Surf, which provides surf therapy, art therapy, eco therapy and yoga therapy to children and families on the autism spectrum and with Down Syndrome. Another notable grant went to Community MusicWorks, enabling this education and youth serving anchor in South Providence to break ground on its new Community MusicWorks Center. This $9.2 million facility will increase access to music education and hands-on training programs in addition to creating a dynamic performance hub.

Non-Profit Leaders Look to Reach, Support, and Empower More Rhode Islanders

The Manton Avenue Project (MAP), which nurtures creativity and imagination in Olneyville youth, is another first-time Champlin grantee that will be working in a unique shared approached with another youth-serving organization, Movement Education Outdoors (MEO). Grant funding will enable the purchase of a new van for transporting youth to MAP programs and MEO’s outdoor activities.

“Transportation is a major barrier to access for the families we serve, especially on the weekends and evenings when our students are eager to visit the theater or attend play festivals. As we look to serve more students and inspire the next generation of creators, playwrights, and innovative thinkers, having more reliable transportation has the potential to be a game changer for our organization and our ability to better serve our community,” said Meg Sullivan, executive artistic director of The Manton Avenue Project.

In recent years, the work of Newport Mental Health has expanded as clients’ needs have grown due to the opioid addiction crisis and the pandemic. A grant for the organization’s ongoing facility expansion will better integrate physical and mental health care services for patients. The expansion will also allow them to strengthen and expand partnerships with partners like CODAC.

“Mental health was at a crisis point before COVID-19, and the isolation and stress of the pandemic only served to further exacerbate the anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges being felt by too many Rhode Islanders,” said Jamie Lehane, President and CEO of Newport Mental Health. “Our person-centered recovery approach has long been a lifeline for the children, adults, and families we serve, and this this expansion will allow us to not only provide critical mental health services and for even more people in need in our communities but also to better address their medical needs.”

Recognizing the power of education in transforming lives, The Champlin Foundation continued its long support for The Community College of Rhode Island with a grant to upgrade its clinical simulation laboratory on the Lincoln campus. This hands-on classroom equipment upgrade will include the addition of racially diverse manikins to more accurately reflect the patient populations with whom students will work.

“CCRI trains and graduates more healthcare professionals than any other college in the state,” said CCRI President Meghan Hughes. “These future nurses, EMTs, and other care professionals will be on the frontlines of expanding access to health care, so equity and diversity must be fully integrated into our courses. With this new racially diverse manikin simulation system, our students will be better prepared to adequately represent, advocate and care for all patients.”

Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $600 million to fund capital projects for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. Its nine area of focus cover Arts & Culture, Conservation & Parks, Education, Health, Historic Preservation, Libraries, Social Services, Welfare of Animals, and Youth Services.

The full list of Cycle 1 grantees can be found here.