Skip to main content

Grow-A-Grant

By ENF Programs Assistant Jocelyn Moya

Happy New Year! Well, sort of. The ENF closed the 2014-15 fiscal year on March 31, but lucky for you there’s still time left in the grant year. In fact, there are plenty of Gratitude Grants available, to Lodges that reached the per capita goal, to apply for by May 31.

I’ve had many Lodge members tell me they’d like to apply for a grant but due to the time of year and project deadlines they have difficulty thinking of a project. As you know, the Community Investments Program is all about using the resources and relationships that already exist to benefit the community so what better resource to maximize than that of the four seasons.

One simple project your Lodge can easily start is a community garden. Community gardens are a fantastic way to meet the needs of the surrounding community and teach youth about the benefits of local food and healthy eating. The best part of starting a community garden is that it is versatile. Your Lodge can choose what to plant, with whom to partner, who the garden will benefit, and who will help care for it. Read on for examples of Lodges who put a modern spin on traditional gardening projects!

Eating Healthy
Blairsville, Penn., Lodge No. 406 worked with the Borough of Blairsville and the Blairsville Community Development Authority to construct a 20-bed community garden. Lodge members maintained a portion of the garden’s crops and donated the shares to a local food pantry. The local community uses the remaining beds as part of a healthy eating initiative. This project has had major success and nothing but positive feedback from the community. The chair of the local food pantry remarked that this was the first time the food bank was able to offer fresh produce to its clients, which is especially important considering there isn’t a grocery store in town.

Interactive Education
Winter Haven, Fla., Lodge No. 1672 teamed up with Hydroponic Towers for Youth, an after-school tutoring program that also teaches children about gardening and healthy eating. The students’ homework is to bring home the fresh crops to share with their families!

Garden Therapy
Petaluma, Calif., Lodge No. 901 built an organic garden for students attending Cypress School, a school for children with autism and cerebral palsy. The students enjoy working in the garden just as much as they enjoy eating the delicious vegetables they’ve worked hard to grow. Join the Lodges across the country that are digging in the dirt and building stronger communities. I look forward to hearing all about how your Lodge’s garden grows!

Jocelyn Moya
ENF Programs Assistant

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community. For a list of additional Gratitude Grant examples, click here!

Comments

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

Hope in the Time of Coronavirus

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation What a difference a few weeks make. As I’m sure is the case with you, COVID-19 has upended things around here.

I’d like to take a few minutes to update you on how the pandemic has affected our staff and programs. I’ll start with the staff.

On Monday, there were 18 of us in the office. Yesterday, only five. Everyone else is working remotely from home. We’re all communicating with one another using wonderful technology. And the people at home have access to the network via work-issued laptops, as well as their work phones and email. Contacting us should be seamless for you. 

The skeleton crew in the office should shrink to four at some point this week. We are here to deal with the aspects of our work that do not lend themselves to working remotely.

You can help us further reduce our numbers. If you are a Lodge officer or ENF Fundraising Chair who has been sitting on a stack of donations, please send those in today. The faster we c…

What is Zoom?

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation

Every crisis seems to have its breakout star. This one has two, so far—Dr. Fauci and Zoom.
If you’re not familiar, Zoom is a remote video-conferencing tool with a free basic package. In these days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Zoom is also a godsend. At the O’Kelley household today, we had three concurrent Zoom meetings going on at one point—Meghan, me, and Jane with her Panda Room preschool pals.
In our new teleworking reality, the ENF staff has been using Zoom through Microsoft Teams for check-ins, standing meetings and impromptu discussions. These conferences have helped us stay connected and feel like we’re part of a team despite our isolation.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that Boonton, N.J., Lodge No. 1405 had installed its new class of officers through a virtual Lodge meeting and installation ceremony on Zoom. That post stuck with me as an example of some solid problem solving in this new environ…

Katie Gets Acquainted with the ENF

by Katie Graves
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator
Hello! My name is Katie Graves, and I am excited to be one of the new Programs Coordinators in the Community Investments Program office.

I graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in English and Secondary Education with a minor in Social Work in December 2018. I spent the next six months building and growing my small online vintage clothing business, working retail at a Swedish furniture store (any guesses?), and searching for a purposeful job that I could fall in love with that would also allow me to move from southeastern Wisconsin to Chicago. When I landed the Programs Coordinator position at the Elks National Foundation, I was ecstatic to begin this journey both professionally and personally. I was moving to my dream city, and I was going to be doing a job with purpose focused on helping passionate groups of wonderful Elks do good in their communities with CIP grants.

I became a part of the ENF family at an exciting time of…