Auburn, Calif. -Through a competitive process, the Board of Directors of Placer Community Foundation (PCF) awarded 17 nonprofits with innovative Community Wellness Mini-Grants totaling $260,000.
Funding for this program was provided by the California Department of Mental Health, Mental Health Services Act. PCF was contracted by the County of Placer to manage and administer the grants on its behalf. Grants were awarded to support community-based projects and programs that are helping to promote overall wellness among county residents, and address the needs of underserved populations residing along the western slope of Placer County.
In the current state of the economy, and as more people are moving into rental houses and apartments, people are experiencing hardships and are being further disconnected from the people and comforts they have grown to know. Gardens, while mentally and emotionally therapeutic, have become a luxury. The expense of plants, lumber, drip systems, fertilizer, maintenance, and a lack of space have all contributed to these truths.
Located in the outskirts of Lincoln, California, Emmaus Church Community was awarded a grant for $5,000 to support an organic community garden. While $5,000 might not sound like a lot of money, the impact of this project has been tremendous. It helps provide fresh produce and plants as well as offers a sense of community and connection to the environment.
Emmaus started this project with only 10 plots. And while new plots tend to take about 3 years to fill up, Emmaus’ plots were full in less than a year. “We knew that tasks associated with gardening have a healing component,” said Lori Tracy who oversees the garden, “but we had no idea that our community had such a need for this type of gathering.”
Due to the success of the community garden project, Emmaus currently has a waiting list. One of the newest members who was on the waiting list, but was able to get a plot, is a recent widow of 3 young children, whose husband recently passed away of cancer. She is working on activities she can do this year with the kids and reached out to the church for support. “Everyone in our community is aching to make this time easier on her and her kids,” said Tracy. “In times like these, we sincerely appreciate the help of the Placer Community Foundation and all that it has done to help us preserve this project.”
“The success of the community garden project with Emmaus, and the impact in this and other grassroots projects is exactly what we were hoping to accomplish,” said Veronica Blake, CEO of PCF. “The growth that we are seeing and the request for increased funding, is a direct reflection of the critical need to invest in our region.
Other grantees awarded include: A Touch of Understanding, KidsFirst, Latino Leadership Council, Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center, Lilliput Children’s Services, Placer Counseling Center, Placer County Peer Court, Golden Sierra Life Skills, Seniors First, Sierra Forever Families, Sierra Vista Community Center, The Soldiers Project, The Gathering Inn, Roseville Home Start, Granite Springs Church, and Community Recovery Resources.
About Placer Community Foundation
Placer Community Foundation provides confidential philanthropic services without pressure or obligation. They are a local expert, personalized service provider, and a community catalyst for donors and professional advisors in Placer County. With a mission of growing local giving to benefit the community, they are known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector. They continuously monitor their community to better understand the nature of local needs, so that they can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, and the environment. Since 1948, they have granted over $3 million and currently have assets of $8.5 million. To learn more about PCF, visit www.placercf.org.