WPCU Sunshine Community Fund® awards $165,000 to twelve nonprofits
BEAVERCREEK, OH (November 1, 2023) — WPCU Sunshine Community Fund – the giving arm of Wright-Patt Credit Union, Inc. (WPCU) – awarded $165,000 in InspiRAYtion Grants to 12 nonprofit organizations during the second grant funding cycle of 2023. This round of giving brought the total Sunshine Community Fund InspiRAYtion Grant giving for 2023 to $322,000, impacting a total of 24 nonprofit organizations.
Funds for the InspiRAYtion Grants are raised through the fundraising efforts of Wright-Patt Credit Union employees as well as via vendor support for the Sunshine Community Fund’s annual golf outing.
Organizations from across Southwest and Central Ohio applied for funding consideration in August 2023. Each applicant was required to include a detailed project plan illustrating how funds would be used in alignment with the WPCU Sunshine Community Fund’s financial wellbeing building blocks: education, employment and income, food, financial services, homeownership, health care, justice and law enforcement, and mentoring development programs. These building blocks were used by the Sunshine Community Fund to evaluate the possible impact a grant application can make on the financial wellbeing of a family or individual.
“We are thrilled to provide these nonprofits with the resources they need to fulfill their mission and help others overcome the barriers to well-being,” shared Tracy Szarzi-Fors, Executive Director of the WPCU Sunshine Community Fund. “It takes a collective effort to overcome obstacles, the WPCU Sunshine Community Fund is committed to our mission to strengthen the financial health and well-being of the communities in which WPCU, its members, and its employees live and work.”
After initial vetting by the WPCU Sunshine Community Fund’s InspiRAYtion Committee and its Board of Trustees, employees voted for the following twelve nonprofit organizations to receive funding:
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) – ABLE represents low-income, marginalized individuals with legal aid through no-cost eviction prevention services for families in southwestern Ohio living in disadvantaged communities; ABLE helps ensure children in these neighborhoods have access to quality public education, free healthcare, immigration assistance, and justice equality in courts.
Brigid’s Path – with a mission to provide grace, support, and hope to moms and babies impacted by addiction, Brigid’s Path provides ongoing care and services from registered nurses, patient care assistants, and family advocates for babies and their families.
Bridgeway Academy (Columbus) – provides education and job training for those with Autism who typically would remain unemployed or underemployed; funding will support curriculum, in-school job materials, safety and hygiene supplies, transportation to work sites, and the creation of individualized learning tools to help students be successful in the workplace.
Brunner Literacy Center – BLC serves to provide those with low literacy and numeracy with a chance to improve their skills in reading and with mathematics; additionally, participants add to their digital literacy and improves their access to financial wellbeing with a goal of gaining their GED.
Five Rivers Health Centers – The Patient Access to Total Healthcare (PATH) fund program is designed to provide patients financial assistance to pay patient balances for necessary services that are not eligible for Five Rivers Health Centers sliding fee scale discount program.
From Fatherless to Fearless (Cincinnati) – The program focuses on assisting girls that have had an absent father in their lives by empowering girls to reach life-long, sustainable success by increasing emotional development, building self-confidence, improving financial wellness, fostering educational opportunities and creating connections to community resources.
The Gala of Hope – The Gala of Hope assists those with cancer, especially veterans with bills to be paid, transportation to and from treatment, and food insecurity that one faces when their expenses go up and their income is possibly reduced while the cancer patient is going through treatment, surgery and recovery until they can go back to work.
Omega Community Development Corporation – Omega CDC will build upon its existing Food Outreach program to develop a sustainable community garden that supports youth development, education, nature-based play, healthy living, and intergenerational relationships.
Pink Ribbon Good (Columbus) – PRG assists those in low to moderate income households with a breast/gynecological cancer diagnosis with healthy meals, transportation, house cleaning, and support.
United Way of Greater Dayton Area – Strong Families provides homelessness prevention resources to families at heightened risk of homelessness or recently transitioned out of homeless shelters to increase family stability through housing security, increased income, and academic success for a minimum of 150 families each year.
Victory Project – The Victory Project is focuses on providing males age 12-18 the opportunity for additional academic assistance and a safe place to commune; it helps the males meet their scholastic goals by graduating high school without a criminal record or children.
YWCA – services are designed to help move clients – many of whom are navigating physical health, mental health, chronic homelessness, substance use, and poverty – from crisis to stabilization by addressing the barriers to a safe, independent life by providing food, shelter, and clothing to women fleeing physically and mentally abusive situations.
Applications for the spring InspiRAYtion Grants will open in November 2023
Nonprofits who have a project or program that aligns with the Sunshine Community Fund’s areas of focus and financial wellbeing building blocks are invited to apply for the next round of InspiRAYtion Grant giving. To learn more, visit WPCU.coop/SCF and click on “Apply for a Grant.”
To learn more about the Sunshine Community Fund and how it helps vulnerable populations within our community, please visit https://www.wpcu.coop/about-us/sunshine-community-fund
Amber Rose (L), Development Director, WPCU Sunshine Community Fund and Denise Ivery (R), Community Engagement & Outreach Representative presenting a check for $15,000 to Candice Crear (Center), Founder and CEO of Fatherless to Fearless.
Members of the Sunshine Community Fund InspiRAYtion Committee (back row), Tracy Szarzi-Fors, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development at WPCU (left in the front row), Rachel Ward, Director of Operations & Strategic Initiatives at Omega CDC (second from the left in the front row), Vanessa Ward President of Omega CDC (second from the right in the front row), and Amber Rose, Development Director, Sunshine Community Fund.
About WPCU Sunshine Community Fund
The WPCU Sunshine Community Fund InspiRAYtion Grants are supported through the fundraising efforts of Wright-Patt Credit Union, myCUmortgage, and CoverPoint partner-employees and experts, as well as vendors and business partners. Additionally, vendors, business partners, individual donors, and grantors support direct service delivery programs of the WPCU Sunshine Community Fund that align with the fund’s areas of focus – learning, housing, health & wellness, military & veteran, and social impact.
The WPCU Sunshine Community Fund’s name was derived from Wright-Patt Credit Union’s “people helping people” philosophy that began in the 1930s. At that time, those who didn’t work didn’t get paid. In response, Government workers on today’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base joined together to contribute 25 cents a pay period to help a fellow coworker who was ill and in need of financial support, until he could return to work.
Since 2009, over $2.3 million has been raised to support local nonprofits throughout Southwest and Central Ohio.