Rotary makes grants to local non-profits

Representatives of organizations receiving funding (Photo by John Searles)

Evanston not-for-profit organizations involved in mental health work received grants totaling $13,000 Tuesday from the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse.

The checks were distributed at the weekly breakfast meeting of the club, at which representatives of the receiving organizations told how they planned to use the funds.

Much of the funding for the club’s community service grants is raised at its annual Taste of Evanston event, which is scheduled this year for Sunday, July 8, on the grounds of the Charles Gates Dawes House at 225 Greenwood St.

Here are the organizations that received funding at Tuesday’s meeting:

Senior Connections/SASI, $1,000, to help support the Senior Connections program, which recognizes that social isolation and depression are detriments to health, wellbeing, and mental health of senior citizens. This program provides training for its volunteers and support for the volunteers who visit senior citizens.

Mental Health America of the North Shore, $1,500, to provide for a pilot program that will serve middle school students who attend the after-school programs at Family Focus in Evanston, and their caregivers, who participate in interactive sessions focused on understanding and supporting mental health, signs of common mental health conditions, dealing with the stigma of mental illness, and seeking help and recovery.

Erika’s Lighthouse, $1,700, to support outreach efforts that will impact the way in which middle school and high school partners in Evanston access and receive depression awareness materials. Evanston Township High School will be using the Erika’s Lighthouse high school curriculum for all freshmen in 2018.

Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.), $1,800, to help offset the cost of integrating clinical services into Y.O.U.’s free out of school time programs to destigmatize counseling and increase access and efficacy for 300 low-income youth, ages 8 – 18, attending Evanston’s eight highest need schools.

The Josselyn Center, $2,000, to help deliver affordable mental health services to approximately 60 Evanston residents who rely on the Josselyn Center for care, helping them be employed, stay in school, and avoid hospitalization or encounters with the law.

Learning Bridge, $2,000, to help the organization’s teachers who face complex and often violent expressions from students who have been exposed to physical and emotional abuse, food and shelter insecurity, and other trauma and loss.

Evanston Scholars, $3,000, to fund a new Mental Health Initiative of the organization that includes assessment screening and crisis intervention by contracted professionals, as well as social-emotional and mental health curriculum.

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