Earlier this month, the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation announced that 21 nonprofits in Oak Park, River Forest and neighboring communities were the recipients of its 2022 Community Grants.

This year’s grants, which total $228,000, were designed to advance the Foundation’s “strategic priorities of addressing education; health care; mental health; wealth and representation; and safety and housing through a race and equity lens,” Foundation officials explained.

The Foundation last distributed the grants in 2019.In 2020 and 2021, the Foundation pivoted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and awarded Rapid Response and Recovery Fund grants to a variety of social impact organizations “that were on the front lines providing daily, ongoing support to the community’s most vulnerable members during the pandemic, including the elderly, the economically at-risk and those with health concerns,” Foundation officials explained. 

Tony Martinez, Jr., the Foundation’s president and CEO, said area nonprofits are still experiencing demand for their services and that the Foundation received more applications for the Community Grants than ever before.

“It is very important during these stressful times to continue supporting the organizations that uplift our community and provide essential resources to so many in need,” Martinez said.

“The Community Grants recipients help maintain and enrich the social fabric of our communities, and we are grateful to the generous donors who have entrusted us with their philanthropic legacy, which makes these grants possible,” said Denise Burns, the chair of the Foundation board’s Grants and Programs Committee. “This is a powerful measure of how we can work together to positively affect the lives of residents throughout the west Cook region.”

The following are the 2022 Community Grant recipients:

Education

  • African-American Parents for Purposeful Leadership in Education (APPLE)
  • Chicago West Community Music Center
  • Race Conscious Dialogues
  • Silk Road Rising (Fiscal Sponsor: Gilloury Institute)
  • Welcome to Fatherhood (WTF)

Health Care/Mental Health

  • African American Christian Foundation
  • Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H)
  • Resilience
  • Youth Crossroads, Inc.

Housing

  • Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness (Fiscal Sponsor: Michael Reese Health Trust)
  • New Moms, Inc.

Wealth Inequality

  • Defy Ventures, Illinois Chapter
  • Equity and Transformation (EAT)
  • Iskali

Youth Development

  • West Cook YMCA, Inc.
  • Y.E.M.B.A., Inc.

Cross-Cutting Themes

  • Austin Coming Together (ACT)
  • Cicero Independiente
  • Friends of the Children – Chicago
  • Pro Bono Network (PBN)
  • Revolutionary Oak Park Youth Action League (ROYAL)

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com

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