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Local nonprofits receive grant money from Anne Arundel Community Foundation’s fourth round of crisis response funding

Campers partake in Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park's 2020 summer camp
Campers partake in Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park's 2020 summer camp (Courtesy Photo)

The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County announced Thursday grant funding totaling $32,000 for 15 county nonprofits to help those organizations serving the county’s at-risk population.

The announcement was part of the fourth grant cycle since April, bringing the organization’s total to more than $219,000 spanning 100 grants since March. The foundation has provided funding for nonprofits helping seniors, children, low-income or food-insecure families and the recently unemployed, according to a news release from the foundation.

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Over $181,000 in grant funding remains, according to the release.

“We hope to continue receiving funds from donors to support the Community Crisis Response Fund and we don’t know what’s going to happen next in terms of the pandemic, but we hope to be there for our community for as long as it takes,” Mary Spencer, CFAAC President and CEO, said.

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The Community Crisis Response Fund was created in the days immediately following the June 2018 Capital Gazette newsroom shooting to provide donations to the families of victims, Spencer said. Since then, the fund lay dormant –– with donors not actively contributing –– until the start of the coronavirus pandemic, at which point donations began to flow.

Among the recipients was Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park, which received $2,500.

The grant will pay for eight to 10 underprivileged children to attend the organization’s summer camp, said Alice Estrada, CEO and president. The organization offers roughly 10 to 12 summer camp scholarships each year. Estrada said she hopes the grant will double that number.

“We know that they’re going to find and have some joyful, normal summertime moments,” Estrada said. “Summer camp is just a memory for every child. So we’re really excited that we can offer some of these children their first-time-ever, summer camp memory.”

The camp is held primarily outdoors, offering campers the chance to explore the museum’s 12-acre campus that features trails, a cove and a marsh habitat on the shores of Back Creek, according to the museum’s website.

Tammy Khamvongsa, a mother of five who homeschools her children, said the scholarship she received this summer enabled her to send three of her children to the summer camp, an experience she knew would help them to grow.

“I want to be able to know that they could go out there and be independent, be without me and survive and enjoy themselves,” she said.

The museum’s camp began in June, at reduced capacity to abide by social distancing guidelines, and will run through the end of August.

The Light House homeless prevention center also received a $2,500 grant. The funding was used to provide food for shelter residents and for food-insecure clients who rely on the organization’s Safe Harbour Resource Center, said executive director Jo Ann Mattson.

The Light House applied for and received funding in two previous grants cycles as well, Mattson said. The $2,500 received in each of those cycles was either used for the organization’s food program or funneled through the Safe Harbour Resource Center to help people remain at home during the pandemic.

Mattson said she imagines her organization will apply for additional funding when the next grant cycle begins Monday.

“Our need is not going away,” she said. “I’m confident that we will continue to provide for all the grants that can help us serve the needs of our population.

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The fifth grant cycle will focus on nonprofits providing support for basic human needs or services to those facing homelessness or housing insecurity as a result of the pandemic, according to the release. Each grant cycle has lasted about one month, with two weeks for the application process and another two for determining who will receive funding.

Spencer said that, while the CFAAC has continued to receive donations, the influx has slowed.

Funding for the grants, comprising more than $400,000, comes from the foundation’s advised funds, individual donors, foundations and local businesses, according to the release.

Those looking to contribute can make an online donation at www.cfaac.org or can make a check payable to “CFAAC” with “Community Crisis Response Fund” in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to 900 Bestgate Road, Suite 400, Annapolis, MD 21401.

Organizations seeking funding should visit www.cfaac.org/community-crisis-response-fund.html-0 for more information.

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