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Healthcare Foundation of La Porte Invests $1.4 Million in 2023 Grant Cycle 2

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) announces that 33 grants totaling $1,416,149 have been awarded in cycle 2 of 2023. Each year, HFL makes grants during two grant cycles to advance the strategic priorities of Healthy Children, Healthy Living, and Healthy Minds. Additionally, HFL makes Healthy La Porte grants to respond to community needs outside of the strategic priorities that demonstrate a connection to HFL’s mission and vision: empowering La Porte County residents to live healthy and well so that La Porte can be one of the top 10 healthiest communities in Indiana by 2030.


2023’s grant cycle 2 brought a diverse array of grant requests for projects and programs. Thirty-three grants totaling $1,416,149 were awarded: 11 Healthy Children grants totaling $687,423; 7 Healthy Living grants totaling $274,680; 5 Healthy Minds grants totaling $334,300; and 10 Healthy La Porte grants totaling $119,746.


With this latest round of grants, HFL has invested more than $41 million in the community since its first grant cycle in November 2017.


Read on for a sample of grants awarded in 2023 cycle 2.


HEALTHY CHILDREN



Friends of the La Porte County Public Library’s Books in the Home of Every Child – Dolly Parton Imagination Library - $45,000 over 3 years ($15,000 per year)

The Friends of the La Porte County Public Library applied for a grant to expand their community literacy efforts through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library mails a free book each month to children enrolled in the program from birth through age five, no matter their family’s income. Each book includes parent reading tips to increase interaction and strengthen family bonds during book time. The 3-year, $45,000 Healthy Children grant will allow The Friends of the Library to increase enrollment from 25% of eligible children to 50% of eligible children in La Porte County.


The first five years of life are critical for healthy child development. Reading to children helps to build language skills, stimulates their imagination, expands their understanding of the world, and provides an opportunity for parents and children to connect. Through this grant, the Friends of the Library will get age-appropriate books on the nightstands of La Porte County children.


On behalf of Friends of the Library, Dr. Krystal Simpson stated, “Without funding, this project would not be able to grow and may have been at risk of being discontinued. We are grateful to HFL for helping us with this endeavor so that more children in our area can benefit from this wonderful program.”


To enroll a child in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, visit https://imaginationlibrary.com/usa/affiliate/INLAPORTE/.

Dental Equipment for HealthLinc’s new Michigan City Clinic - $75,000

A $75,000 2023 Cycle 2 Healthy Children grant was awarded to HealthLinc to provide 12 dental chairs for a new state-of-the-art clinic in Michigan City. The new clinic, which is currently under construction, will allow HealthLinc to expand access to care in La Porte County as HealthLinc’s current clinics in La Porte and Michigan City can no longer meet patient demand. With this project, HealthLinc will further implement its services to provide vital dental care to La Porte County patients and families.


This project aligns with HFL's strategic priority of Healthy Children and the work of Partners for Healthier Babies as research suggests that there may be a link between oral health and premature birth and low birth weight, which are associated with higher infant mortality risk and increased risk of long-term health issues for baby.


“Many of our patients lack access to quality dental care, which is vital to preventing serious health issues,” states Beth Wrobel, CEO of HealthLinc. “We are grateful for the generous support from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte.”


The new HealthLinc clinic is located at 200 Alfred Avenue, Michigan City, and is scheduled to be completed in early 2024. For more information about the HealthLinc Michigan City clinic, contact Jodie Wexelberg at jwexelberg@healthlincchc.org.




HEALTHY LIVING




Knapp Elementary All “IN”clusive Playground - $192,794

HFL awarded a grant to Michigan City Area Schools (MCAS) to support Knapp Elementary’s All “IN”clusive Playground. Knapp serves 383 students and is home to a developmental preschool and two Autism programs. Although many of the students at Knapp have physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges, neither of Knapp's two existing playgrounds, one for younger children and one for older children, are ADA compliant nor inclusive.


The HFL grant will support the revamping of both playgrounds. The project includes replacing the school’s existing playground for older students and building it closer to the school to increase safety and security. The project will also add inclusive playground pieces to the playground for younger children to increase accessibility. Finally, pour-in-place rubber surfacing will be installed for both playgrounds, making the playgrounds accessible and safe for all children.


The goal is to break ground in the summer of 2024 with all projects completed before school resumes for the 2024-25 school year.

“As Knapp lies within the city limits, it is enjoyed daily not only by Knapp's students but the surrounding community members as well,” said Chris Kiser, MCAS Occupational Therapist.  “Becoming an inclusive playground with updated safe and stable equipment will benefit the physical and mental health of many residents. The staff, students, and families of Knapp Elementary are excited for this endeavor to come to fruition soon.”





HEALTHY MINDS




Citizens Concerned for the Homeless Sand Castle Shelter for Homeless Families Renovation Project, Phase 2 - $50,000

Citizens Concerned for the Homeless (CCH) received a Challenge Grant for phase 2 of the renovation project of the 110-year-old Sand Castle Shelter for Homeless Families building. Sand Castle Shelter is a residential facility that serves homeless families and single women in La Porte County.


Phase 1 of the renovations focused on exterior improvements, with a new roof, complete tuckpointing, and a new concrete driveway and patio. The work of Phase 1 was completed in summer 2023.


Exterior work on the Sand Castle Shelter building, done during Phase 1


Phase 2, set to begin in early spring 2024, will focus on the building's interior, upgrading plumbing and electrical, remodeling four bathrooms and the kitchen, and restoring all original floors and woodwork within the building.


This $50,000 award is a Challenge Grant, meaning Citizens Concerned for the Homeless needs to raise $50,000 from the community in support of the project to receive the grant funds from HFL. CCH plans to launch a fundraising campaign to unlock this opportunity and dollar-for-dollar match for the project.

CCH Executive Director Jim Musial said, “HFL has been an unbelievable partner to CCH. In addition to funding CCH with general operation support, HFL helped us launch our food rescue program, helped us purchase a refrigeration truck, funded the build-out of a teaching kitchen at CCH's Grace Learning Center, and many other projects. HFL is much more than just a funding organization. They are a proactive community partner and one we are proud to call our friend.”

To view the full list of grants awarded during 2023 Grant Cycle 2, visit https://www.hflaporte.org/post/2023-grant-cycle-2-grants-awarded.

HFL’s 2024 Grant Cycle 1 will open January 12. Learn more about timelines and eligibility at https://www.hflaporte.org/grant-opportunities.

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