Making a difference with grants

Copper Shores gives local, small awards

Jon Jaehnig/For the Mining Gazette Copper Shores Community Health Foundation, with offices at 400 Quincy Street in Hancock, helps to promote projects in the area that improve access to education and health.

HANCOCK – Copper Shores Community Health Foundation recently announced this year’s recipients of the Small Grants Program: Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, Bridging Gaps Childcare, Copper Country Intermediate School District, the Village of Laurium, Ahmeek Village Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, and Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency.

The grant opportunity was capped at $2,500 per recipient, but some applied for and received a smaller amount. While the largest awards were the maximum $2,500, the smallest award was $709 to Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency to help fund the Greenhill Manor Kitchen in L’Anse, which prepares meals for area seniors.

If $709 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, that’s the point of this specific grant program, according to Copper Shores President and CEO Kevin Store.

“Not all financial need comes in the form of multi-thousand-dollar requests. There are smaller financial needs that were going unmet,” Store explained. “We wanted to make sure that we weren’t overlooking those needs.”

Despite the smaller sums of these grants, Store described the application process as similar to other requests for funding opportunities. Once the window to submit applications is closed, Copper Shores’ grant manager checks them for completeness and passes them on to the grant committee which is composed entirely of volunteer members. The grant committee compares the applications to set goals.

“With all of the funding that we release, we try to look at how it advances the purposes of the foundation itself,” said Store. “We don’t put any bumps in the lanes. It’s really open for people to use their imaginations.”

Store provided two examples from among the recipients: Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home received $2,500 to improve its website, which Store says is a vital part of raising awareness of services that are already available in the area. CCISD received $2,488 to expand tennis and pickleball courts accessible to people with physical disabilities.

The Small Grants Program will be available again next year, with applications expected to open in the late spring. Store encourages community organizations to apply, but also suggests that local organizations in need of financial assistance contact Copper Shores in between formal funding opportunities.

“If anyone has a project that they are anticipating needing funds for, we always encourage people to just come on up and talk with us,” said Store. “If it doesn’t fit into this round of funding, maybe there is another funding opportunity or another funder that we can help them identify.”

Finally, Store emphasized that helping to fund organizations isn’t the end of the story. Rather, this funding only helps the organizations in their individual ongoing missions.

“It’s important to recognize a lot of the agencies and entities making large improvements or small improvements, they’re all improving our community,” said Store. “The real leg work is being done by the agencies that are the recipients of these monies.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today