Callahan Foundation Announces Spring 2022 Grant Recipients

The Callahan Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded $390,000 to 24 Northeast Ohio nonprofits and initiatives in its Spring 2022 grant cycle. These organizations embody the Callahan Foundation’s mission, demonstrating superior leadership and creating value for those in need through programs in higher education, the arts, and social services.

Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio (BGCNEO) has a mission to inspire and enable young people who are most in need to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens. While access to the arts for youth has been shown to improve education, health, and security outcomes, it is far less accessible to youth from low-income homes. BGCNEO bridges this opportunity gap by providing consistent after-school and summer experiences for thousands of low-income youths. Through the organization’s Opening Track program, BGCNEO youth are able to experience the performance and education offerings of local arts organizations, giving them the inspiration, knowledge, skills, healing, opportunities, and motivation that comes through music. BGCNEO’s Opening Track program was awarded $7,500. 

Communities Assisting Residential Elders (CARE): Communities Assisting Residential Elders’ (CARE) mission is to help older adults age in place with dignity. The organization primarily serves low-income senior homeowners who are at 200% of poverty across Greater Cleveland cities. As senior homeowners are increasingly entering poverty—and the cost of living increases as their income remains the same—seniors are also increasingly becoming more vulnerable and disadvantaged. A first-time grant recipient, CARE was awarded $2,500 for its Project Completion Fund for Low Income Seniors, in which volunteers help senior homeowners with completing projects around their homes and properties.

CWRU Inamori Ethics Prize Events: The Callahan Foundation supports the Inamori Ethics Prize events through an annual award honoring the year’s recipient. The Inamori Ethics Prize honors those who embody ethical leadership, and exemplifies founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori’s philosophy: “People have no higher calling than to serve the greater good of humankind and society.” The 2022 Inamori Ethics Prize recipient was Dr. Paul Farmer, a physician and medical anthropologist who championed global healthcare for those most in need. The Callahan Foundation joins the CWRU Inamori Center, Partners in Health, and millions around the world in mourning the death of Dr. Farmer, who passed away much too early in February 2022. As the Inamori Ethics Prize is not awarded posthumously, in the 2022-23 academic year the Inamori Center will return to their Conversation on JUSTICE series. The series will convene past Prize winners with local and global experts to explore inequities in healthcare, as well as include a tribute to Dr. Farmer’s legacy and the impact of Partners In Health.

Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC) Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): CFACC was founded in 2016 to serve local children and youth in the foster care system, with a mission of making a difference for each child through advocacy, education, and collaborative alliances. CFACC’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is a national child-welfare intervention model proven to reduce the risk of further abuse and neglect to children involved in the juvenile justice system. CASA volunteers conduct investigations into children’s safety and help to provide independent assessments and informed recommendations to the Juvenile Court regarding services, placement decisions, family preservation, and permanency. CASAs augment the work of Guardians ad Litem, DCFS child protection specialists, and the Juvenile Court, adding another caring adult to the life of a vulnerable local child. A first-time grant recipient, the CFACC CASA program was awarded $10,000 to help recruit, train, and support up to 30 new and 70 existing CASA volunteers in 2022.

Children’s Museum of Cleveland: The Children’s Museum of Cleveland’s (CMC) mission is to promote learning through play using innovative exhibits and programs designed for all children from birth to age eight. CMC is dedicated to being a valued resource to parents, families, and community institutions that serve young children. The organization was awarded $5,000 to support its capital project to produce a new outdoor exhibit on CMC’s front lawn, allowing CMC to better serve its audience of visitors with an accessible and engaging outdoor space. The exhibit will be designed to highlight and promote early childhood development, featuring components that promote the development of gross motor skills, encourage collaborative play, create opportunities for risk-taking and mastery, offer spaces for sensory play, and expose children to nature.

City Year Cleveland: City Year Cleveland’s mission is to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership, and social entrepreneurship to help students and schools succeed. City Year partners with Cleveland schools in resource-limited communities, providing the extra capacity that many schools need to provide individualized support to students. The organization’s Whole School Whole Child (WSWC) program offers a clear vision for student achievement and provides supports that are needed for their lifelong success, helping more students get—and stay—on track for on-time high school graduation. City Year Cleveland was awarded $5,000 for its WSWC program, leveraging the power of young people through AmeriCorps to ultimately serve 2,500 students in Cleveland schools. 

Cleveland Clinic Center for Maternal & Infant Health: The Cleveland Clinic, along with its philanthropic partners, aims to make a significant impact in the lives of women and children in the community. The Clinic established the Center for Maternal & Infant Health in response to the infant mortality public health emergency: sixty percent of infant deaths occurring before the first birthday are attributed to the mother’s health. The Center was awarded $50,000 over the course of three years for its home visiting program, in which Community Health Workers and Social Workers address the top causes of infant mortality by providing accessible healthcare during the prenatal, perinatal, and post-partum stages.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History: The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s mission is to inspire, through science and education, a passion for nature, the protection of natural diversity, the fostering of health, and leadership for a sustainable future. The Museum serves 375,000 annually, including 80,000 students, through permanent and special exhibits, educational programs, and research. The Museum was awarded $50,000 over the course of three years to support its Transforming the World of Discovery capital project, a transformative expansion that pioneers a new model for how natural history museums engage the public, protect the environment, and empower individuals to create greater health and prosperity for themselves and their communities.

Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA) Board of Trustees: As a support resource devoted to the power of arts learning for young people, the Cleveland School of the Arts Board of Trustees serves to augment the School’s mission to provide opportunities for students to excel in both the arts and academics within a culture of compassion, support, and high expectations. Trustees serve more than 450 high school students, educators, and diverse community members with in-school arts education and public demonstrations of the value of CSA’s arts learning model. The CSA Trustees were awarded $5,000 to advance efforts that support each stage of learning, keep arts curriculum strong, and ensure student success in the 2022-2023 school year. 

Cleveland Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra’s mission is to inspire and enrich lives by creating extraordinary musical experiences at the highest level of artistic excellence. The Cleveland Orchestra reaches over 400,000 people annually through performances at Severance Music Center and Blossom Music Center, education programs for preschoolers through seniors, holiday and family concerts, free community celebrations, a residency in Miami, and international touring. The Orchestra was awarded $75,000 to support operations and programming as it recovers and rebuilds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to address the gap in earned revenue from the loss of ticket sales due to COVID-related shutdowns over the past two years.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL): The Cuyahoga County Public Library’s (CCPL) mission is to empower individuals and communities by providing opportunities for all to read, learn, create, and connect. The most recent Ohio Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) indicated that approximately 48 percent of children were not on track for literacy success in Kindergarten—meaning more children in Cuyahoga County were not on track to enter Kindergarten in 2021 than in any previous year. Research shows that frequent, intensive tutoring is one of the most effective ways to help students make up for academic gaps. CCPL’s 123 READ program addresses poor literacy outcomes for children in grades K-3 by providing comprehensive reading support for students at risk of failing Ohio’s Third Grade reading guarantee. CCPL was awarded $10,000 for their 123 READ program.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA): The Downtown Cleveland Alliance was founded in 2006 to make Downtown Cleveland the most compelling place to live, work, play, and visit in the region. Now in its 17th year of providing services, DCA’s mission is to attract residents, jobs, and investment to the city’s core through market influence, community impact, and creating irresistible experiences. DCA was awarded $15,000 towards its SEEDS Workforce Readiness Program, which provides work experience and training to the clients of a local men’s homeless shelter, helping them overcome significant barriers to employment and housing.

Family Promise of Greater Cleveland: Family Promise is a family homeless shelter that provides families facing the crisis of homelessness with a safe place designed to engage, inspire, and guide them toward a future where they feel empowered to control the course of their lives. Family Promise provides Temporary Housing/Case Management, Employment Services, and Community-Based Services for homeless families, particularly those headed by young parents. Of the families served by the organization in 2021, almost 60% were headed by a young parent(s) between the ages of 18-27 years old. Family Promise was awarded $10,000 to support its shelter and individualized supportive services that it provides for approximately 80 homeless families a year, as well as aid in the implementation of its 2020 strategic plan.

Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB): As the largest provider of emergency food in Northeast Ohio, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank ensures every community member has the nutritious food they need every day, in partnership with its network of volunteers, advocates, supporters, and partner programs. COVID-19 exacerbated the number of individuals who qualify for GCFB services, and GCFB clients are still experiencing the impacts of the pandemic. In the last two years, GCFB has seen steady increases in the number of duplicated households served and the average number of visits made by clients. The organization was awarded $10,000 to help expand its essential hunger relief efforts in 2022. 

The Haven Home: The Haven Home provides emergency shelter to women and children experiencing homelessness, who are awaiting a bed at local family shelters. The Haven Home was awarded $5,000 towards its Volunteer Program, to help engage and retain volunteers critical to providing residents with asset-building resources that can help them find and maintain affordable housing. The organization’s team of volunteers logged nearly 500 hours of volunteer time in 2020, as well as supported through financial donations: 20% of Haven Home volunteers make monetary donations.

Intermuseum Conservation Association: ICA-Art Conservation (ICA) preserves and conserves works of art and objects of cultural heritage that embody the stories of people, communities, and cultures, past and present, that inform our understanding and awareness of ourselves and others. ICA serves local, regional, and national historical societies, museums, libraries, community organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals, as well as thousands of participants of all ages and backgrounds through educational programing. ICA was awarded $30,000 for general operating support, including the development and future implementation of a new internship that will expose students from lower economic communities and students of color to conservation so that they might choose to enter the field.

Karamu House: The mission of Karamu House is to produce professional theatre, provide arts education, and present community programs for all people while honoring the Black experience. Karamu furthers this vision by delivering culturally-responsive arts education programs and services for youth and lifelong learners, including those in the Fairfax neighborhood where Karamu is located. Due to population decline and economic disinvestment, children and adults lack access to high-quality, affordable arts education. The organization was awarded $10,000 to support Karamu’s Arts Academy, which has returned to in-person programming following a shift to virtual programming during the height of the pandemic.

Lake Erie Ink: Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is a writing space that provides creative expression opportunities and academic support to youth in the Greater Cleveland community. In 2022, Lake Erie Ink aims to provide a literacy-rich and inclusive curriculum that celebrates the lives and experiences of BIPOC as well as LGBTQ writers. In addition, the organization continues to engage local artists to support LEI teachers and to engage youth in one-of-a-kind creative writing experiences throughout the year. Through LEI programs, youth learn to value each other as artists, develop confidence and a stronger sense of self, and create a more connected community, whether they meet in person or virtually. LEI was awarded $7,500 for general operating support.

The Legal Aid Society: The Legal Aid Society’s mission is to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for people who have low incomes by providing high-quality legal services and working for systemic solutions. Legal Aid provides free, high-quality legal representation to people with low incomes when representation in a civil legal case can solve an issue that is threatening their basic needs. The organization’s Access to Education program serves families with school-age children facing civil legal issues that negatively impact a child’s academic opportunities, encompassing a wide variety of cases. Legal Aid was awarded $20,000 to expand its Access to Education work.

Nature Center of Shaker Lakes: Every year, the Nature Center of Shaker Lake’s educational programs for Cleveland-area schools serve approximately 13,000 children. The organization’s largest educational program, the Applied Science for Kids (ASK!) Program for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), was created to systemically reform science education within the District and provide place-based, experiential science opportunities for CMSD students. ASK! utilizes a three-tiered approach that includes field experiences at the Nature Center, professional development for teachers, and classroom kits that provide resources and supplies for teachers to continue hands-on science activities throughout the year. The Nature Center’s ASK! Program was awarded $7,500.

Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH): For the last several years, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) has hosted immersive learning experiences for university and high school students that provide a deep dive into the realities of poverty and homelessness. Immersion experiences take participants outside their comfort zone, into communities they would otherwise likely never encounter with the goal of building empathy for people living in poverty and homelessness, increasing understanding of root causes, shifting the narrative from personal responsibility to systemic accountability, and inspiring renewed commitment to take action against oppressive systems. NEOCH was awarded $10,000 to support its immersive learning experiences and monthly educational workshops.

Scranton Road Ministries Community Development Corporation: Since 2001, Scranton Road Ministries has served 20,964 across Cleveland with strategic Educational Enrichment, Workforce Development, Legal Services, Health-related Services, and Digital Literacy Training; while demonstrating measurable results and community impact. Scranton Road Ministries was awarded $15,000 for its Youth Jobs Partnership (YJP), which helps bridge the gap between local employer needs and prospective employee skills while providing Cleveland’s young adults with the training and experience to progress along robust career trajectories. Funding will be used to provide 355 under-resourced Cleveland young adults, with best-practice workforce development services, equipping students with the marketable skills and support needed to transition into viable career and educational pathways.

Towards Employment: Towards Employment empowers people to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment. The organization uses and adapts a rigorously evaluated Career Pathway model to provide critical services that help adults who live in Cleveland neighborhoods impacted by systemic racism and lack of access to employment start a job and career search to become more economically mobile and better able to support family and community. As the economy re-opens, Towards Employment services are focused on improving access to opportunity for workers previously marginalized and most recently burdened by the pandemic. Towards Employment was awarded $10,000 to support their Career Pathways program. 

University Circle Inc. (UCI) Summer Camp: Established in 1957, University Circle Inc. (UCI) is a nonprofit community development corporation responsible for the district in Cleveland, Ohio, known as University Circle. Its mission is to guide the district’s real estate development, services, and advocacy on behalf of its member institutions, which include Cleveland’s major cultural, educational, and health care organizations. In stark contrast to the Circle are its surrounding neighborhoods, where poverty and unemployment have long persisted. UCI was awarded $10,000 for two summer programs that engage children in these surrounding neighborhoods: its six-week summer camp, Circle Explorers, and the six-week festival of learning experiences on Wade Oval for parents and their children, called YAY! Saturdays; both offered at no cost to participants.