For Such a Time as This Grants

Our Capital Campaign Mission Grants Program 

2019 GRANTS AWARDED

As a component of the Capital Campaign, First Church committed to provide a tithe of 10% of the congregation’s pledges to be devoted  to mission grants. The Grants Committee of First Church‘s Capital Campaign has made a second and final round of awards to ten projects that will help us to extend our mission beyond our Garden Street home.  The Executive Council voted on June 3, 2019 to accept the recommendations of the Grants Committee, and we are very excited now to announce the grantees and their projects! 

Black and Pinkis a family of LGBTQ prisoners and outside allies dedicated to the abolition of the prison industrial complex. Founded in Boston in 2005, it has grown to serving nearly 17,000 prisoners via 14 chapters across the US. Grant funds will augment a bail fund and cover incidental expenses for transportation and meals for members facing court dates.

Building the Beloved Communityis a First Church group that engages the congregation in racial justice work. Grant funds will be combined with two private donations to engage a design firm or public artist to facilitate local community engagement in the design of a public remembrance project. This project will help us commemorate the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century enslaved members of First Church and take steps to address ongoing racial inequality in Cambridge.

Community Resources for Justice (CRJ)helps to support adults transitioning from incarceration, young adults transitioning from foster care, and individuals with developmental disabilities. CRJ received a grant from First Church last year to fund a demonstration project for extending the time that formerly incarcerated individuals may be housed by CRJ’s step-down program, helping them to find independent housing and begin employment. Funds from the second grant cycle will provide additional case management support and help the program move to sustainability and attract longer-term funding by evaluating and creating communications materials.

The Congregational Library is a center for academic historians, church members, and other researchers that works to advance the study and deeper understanding of the Congregational tradition. Grant funds will support long overdue renovations to the physical facility, including a welcome area and a manuscript processing space.

Empowering People for Inclusive Communities (EPIC) provides community service and leadership development programs for youth with disabilities in the Boston area as part of its mission to challenge ableism. Grant funds will provide seed money to expand the successful Service Warriors program to the Worcester area. 

The First Church Shelter serves a group of fourteen men experiencing homelessness by providing a safe space, home-cooked meals, and counseling/coaching. Grant funds will go toward lighting, painting, and other refurbishments to the Shelter’s physical space in the First Church basement, last renovated and improved in 2002.

FoodLink is an Arlington-based food rescue group that picks up food from large cafeterias, grocery stores, and restaurants, redistributing it to food pantries, weekend backpack programs, and others. As part of a recent expansion of their mission and operations, FoodLink has moved from a cramped shared space to a larger dedicated facility. Grant funds will help improve accessibility to this space for the volunteers who process the donations for distribution. 

First Church’s Friday Caféhosts homeless guests and volunteers each Friday during the program year in a safe and spirit-filled place, providing food, toiletries, clothing, and other resources. This grant will go toward a fund-raising consultant, who will support Friday Café’s efforts to secure sustainable external funding.

Kids4Peace Boston operates residential summer camp and school year programs to educate, train, and inspire Christian, Jewish, and Muslim youth from diverse backgrounds to become interfaith peace leaders. Grant funds will support a pilot 3-day immersive overnight program for a diverse group of teens who have not been involved previously in ongoing activities.

The Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healingat Roxbury Presbyterian Church’s Social Impact Center pioneers a community based approach to supporting individuals and families impacted by urban violence. This grant will fund clinical services, peer leader stipends, and food for weekly and monthly support groups for individuals impacted by gun violence, homelessness, and racism.

We are so grateful to be a part of the work these organizations are doing.  In the coming months the Grants Committee hopes to provide opportunities for First Church to become better acquainted with these organizations and projects. It was an extraordinary field of applicants, and we thank all the organizations that applied.

The Grants Committee,

Aaron Hume

Caitlin Anderson

Jean Carr

Jean-Dany Joachim

Beth Spaulding

 

2017 GRANTS AWARDED 

The Grants Committee of First Church‘s Capital Campaign has made a first round awards to five projects that will enable us to extend our mission beyond our Garden Street home. The Executive Council voted on September 25, 2017 to accept the recommendations of the Grants Committee, and we are excited to announce the grantees and their projects!

Community Resources for Justice (CRJ) helps to support adults transitioning from incarceration, young adults transitioning from foster care, and individuals with developmental disabilities.  This grant will fund a demonstration project for extending the time that formerly incarcerated individuals may be housed by CRJ’s step-down program, helping them to find independent housing and begin employment.   

Food for Free is a food rescue group that picks up food from large cafeterias, grocery stores, and restaurants, redistributing it to food pantries, weekend backpack programs, and our own Friday Café.  This grant will allow Food for Free to refrigerate another truck in their fleet.

First Church’s Friday Café hosts homeless guests and volunteers each Friday during the program year in a safe and spirit-filled place, providing food, toiletries, clothing and other resources.  Losing our stage in the Capital Campaign, the Friday Café also lost their storage area.  This grant will allow Friday Café to purchase a hoist system to raise and lower supplies into Margaret Jewett Hall from a new storage area in the former Archives space.

LGBT Asylum Support Task Force is a ministry of Hadwen Park Congregational Church in Worcester that supports LGBTQI individuals seeking asylum in the US. The First Church grant will allow the Task Force to support one additional legal immigrant for 12 - 15 months, while he or she goes through the asylum process in the US, helping to obtain work permits, finding employment, connecting with social services, and applying for asylum.

The Cory Johnson Program for Post-Traumatic Healing at Roxbury Presbyterian Church’s Social Impact Center helps to support individuals and families impacted by urban violence.  This grant will provide funding for a Mother’s Support Group and “Can We Talk?” events that address issues of gun violence, homelessness, and racial justice, and also connect community members to additional treatment and support services.   

We are grateful to be a part of the work these organizations are doing.  In the coming months the Grants Committee hopes to provide opportunities for First Church to become better acquainted with these organizations and projects.  There was an extraordinary field of applicants and we thank all the organizations that applied.  We look forward to another grants cycle next year.

Acting in Love, Made Bold by the Spirit!

  ―  The Grants Committee

Aaron Hume, Caitlin Anderson, Jean Carr, Jean-Dany Joachim, Leslie Pelton-Cairns

 


 

 

The First Church Shelter, located in the  basement of our church building, co-funded by First Church in Cambridge and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has served dinner to fourteen guests every night for the last thirty years. The vast majority...

Volunteer signups are underway for the Friday Café! The Friday Café is a weekly community gathering space, where neighbors experiencing homelessness and food insecurity can relax and eat. It’s also a place of encounter, where people can get to...