SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Some Upstate non-profits are getting a big boost, thanks to more than $100,000 worth of grants distributed by the Spartanburg County Foundation.
$123,000 has gone out to multiple non-profits as part of the foundation’s Spring Continuous Improvement Grant Cycle.
One of many on the list is Jump Start, a non-profit dedicated to helping those who are incarcerated transition back into normal life.
“We can impact a lot of lives with that type of generosity,” said Don Williams with Jump Start.
Williams said with these extra funds, they can help even more people.
“Since our inception in 2008, we’ve had 5,500 program participants to go through our program. 3,600 of those have graduated and only 4% of those 3,600 have returned back to incarceration,” said Williams.
He said the 40-week, inmate-led program is faith based. He said the program is completely voluntary for inmates who are going to be getting out in a two-year time period. It begins when participants are still behind bars and continues when they’re released.
“We provide mentorship, housing, employment assistance, financial literacy, and a host of other services,” he said.
Jump Start is receiving $16,500 and they said they’re going to put it to good use.
“It’s going to help us launch what we call, ‘Employment Initiative.’ Offer those opportunities and services to those that maybe didn’t get the opportunity to go through the program while incarcerated,” said Williams.
Troy Hanna with the Spartanburg County Foundation said they focus the grants where they see the greatest need.
“Grants that were affecting quality of life, educational achievement, economic mobility and non-profit effectiveness,” said Hanna.
He said their board of trustees approved the list of recipients.
“These funds are coming from unrestricted dollars that are given by generous donors, to the foundation, for responsive grant-making back into the community,” he said.
Williams said receiving money like this makes all the difference.
The Spartanburg County Foundation is currently reviewing the fall cycle grant applications. Hanna said those awards will be announced in October. To apply, click here.
Besides Jump Start, the Foundation provided a list of the multiple organizations which are getting their share of the grants.
Quality of Life grants were awarded to:
- Play, Advocate, Live Well (PAL) received $13,000 toward the installation of a 100-foot bridge that will span Lawson’s Fork Creek, as part of the completion of the River Birch Trail, part of the larger Daniel Morgan Trail System.
- SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, now Project R.E.S.T., received $16,500 to support a full-time, bi-lingual therapist to work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in underserved communities.
Educational Achievement grants were awarded to:
- The SC School for the Deaf and Blind Foundation received $7,500 to support classroom and mobile libraries to improve grade-appropriate literacy.
- The Upstate Family Resource Center received $12,500 to reinstate its Family Solutions Program focused on impacting family behavioral health, improving educational success, and strengthening families.
- The YMCA of Greater Spartanburg received $12,500 to support academic tutoring for students in six afterschool locations.
Economic Mobility grants were awarded to:
- Jump Start SC received $16,500 to expand its Employment Placement Program that matches those with a criminal record to second chance employers.
- Upstate Warrior Solution and Warriors Once Again have partnered to better serve homeless veterans in Spartanburg County and received $10,000 to support transitional housing.
Nonprofit Effectiveness grants were awarded to:
- Ballet Spartanburg, Inc., received $10,000 to update their technology, printers, and donor database.
- Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg, Inc., received $8,449 to renovate its boardroom to create more offices.
- Shepherd’s Center of Spartanburg, Inc., received $6,150 for Board training and strategic planning.
- Spartanburg Juneteenth received $10,000 to support the Juneteenth Festival and Festival best practices research.