NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation announced that 11 local nonprofits will receive a total of $315,000 in Project Innovations 2021 grants. The winning organizations feature programs that are addressing local community issues through innovative solutions in the areas of community engagement, culture of inclusion, next-generation storytelling and youth education and empowerment. This is the fourth consecutive year that NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 along with the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation recognize local nonprofits with Project Innovation grants.
Project Innovation is presented by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC and Telemundo-owned stations located in 11 markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth. Grant applications opened on January 8 and closed on February 12. The stations created and gathered community panels to review grant applications and select final recipients. This year, the program funding levels increased in each participating market to $315,000 up from $225,000 and to $3.475 million across the 11 markets, up from $2.475 million
Local Project Innovation 2021 grant recipients include:
CASA TARRANT COUNTY – $15,000
Recruitment of Diverse CASA Volunteers: Casa Tarrant County advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children with the help of skilled volunteers. The stress and impact of Covid 19 on many families contributed to a 40% increase of children being removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. Many of these children are from diverse backgrounds. Casa Tarrant County will increase the percentage of volunteers who are of diverse racial, ethnic, language and religious backgrounds to advocate for these children in foster care and meet the critical need.
DESIGN CONNECT CREATE (DALLAS) – $10,000
Girls Summer Camp and Mentoring STEM Program: Design Connect serves teenage girls in under-served communities by introducing them to STEM-related programs that lead to professional STEM careers. The summer program will expand to include a virtual coding camp and provide hands-on learning, access to female STEM professionals, opportunities to collaborate and help the students develop stronger problem-solving skills.
ELEVATE DALLAS – $15,000
Summer Adventure & College Program: Elevate Dallas builds long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth. The program will take Middle and High School students on college visits around the state. The model teaches character, leadership, and life skills to help students graduate and explore college options or trade certifications. The summer program addresses the low attendance and participation rates the partner schools are experiencing as a result of the pandemic, and a goal to keep students engaged, especially those who are facing home crises due to family members losing jobs.
HOPE FARM, INC. (FORT WORTH) – $25,000
Young Men’s Leadership Development Program: The Hope Farm Young Men’s Leadership Development Program guides at-risk boys of single mom households to graduate from high school by supporting families with academic tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities and nutritional programs.
HOPE TUTORING CENTER, INC. (ARLINGTON) – $25,000
Free Tutoring Program: Hope Tutoring helps disadvantaged students grades 3 – 8 achieve their full potential by offering free individualized tutoring. After 25 hours of qualified tutoring, students have been able to catch up by a full academic year. The volunteer-driven program provides free summer camps, spelling bees, academic incentives and virtual tutoring.
MEALS ON WHEELS COLLIN COUNTY– $20,000
Senior Safety Net: The Meals on Wheels Collin County Senior Safety Net program provides emergency supplies for seniors and disabled adults. The program fights hunger and isolation by providing nutritious meals which enables seniors who struggle with transportation and mobility challenges to remain healthy and independent.
MINNIE’S FOOD PANTRY, INC. (PLANO) – $50,000
Minnie’s Food Pantry and Learning Lab: Minnie’s Food Pantry (MFP) provides healthy meals and educational resources to children and families in need. MFP has experienced a 400% increase in households served during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has expanded into schools and the virtual space by providing educational programming and resources to give families the tools to transform lives and become self-sufficient. Programming includes financial literacy, health, wellness and nutrition, job skills training, resume building and job placement.
ONE MAN’S TREASURE (DALLAS) – $20,000
Reentry Program: One Man’s Treasure empowers men recently released from prison by providing clothing for job interviews and opportunities for networking to find employment. Clothing for employment has been identified as a critical component of reentry. The clothing provided is personalized and delivered to the individual client since transportation is a key challenge faced during reentry. One Man’s Treasure also provides resources to help the clients navigate critical needs.
RESOURCE CENTER OF DALLAS, INC. – $10,000
Youth First Suicide Prevention Initiative: Resource Center of Dallas empowers the LGBTQ community and all people affected by HIV by improving health, wellness, strengthening families and providing transformative education and advocacy. The Youth First Suicide Prevention Initiative addresses the needs of at-risk LGBTQ youth who experience challenges at home, in school and in their community. The program provides mental health counseling and support to build self-confidence, eliminate isolation and offer a safe, inclusive environment.
TASTE PROJECT (FORT WORTH) – $75,000
Taste Community Restaurant: Taste Community Restaurant provides an innovative opportunity for the community to respond to hunger-related challenges. There are no prices on the menu. Everyone pays what they can, and everyone dines together. No guest knows what another guest pays which brings a level of comfort and dignity to those in need. The program will provide over 100,000 meals to the community with an 80% volunteer staff.
YMCA OF METROPOLITAN DALLAS – $50,000
Imagine Science Dallas: The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas will work with three partner organizations to bridge the gap in STEM programs within the Imagine Science Dallas program. The program serves underserved 4th – 8th-grade youth through hands-on STEM learning and exposure to careers in STEM. It will provide certified teachers, customized curriculum per location and weekly meetings.