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Neighborhood grant program to fund a dozen Stateline projects

Do you have ideas to help better your community but you don’t have the money to get it done?...
Do you have ideas to help better your community but you don’t have the money to get it done? Well, there’s a way you can earn up to twenty-five hundred dollars toward improvements.(wifr)
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Do you have ideas to help better your community but you don’t have the money to get it done? Well, there’s a way you can earn up to twenty-five hundred dollars toward improvements.

“It was a very rewarding experience,” said Kamrin Muhammad, Washington Park Community Center recreation coordinator.

The Washington Park Community Center received $2,500 through HomeStart and the Community Foundation Of Northern Illinois’ neighborhood grant program last year.

“We were able to distribute about 40 boxes, we call them our survival kits and a the reason we came up with that name was because we thought it would be impactful to youth and teens to support them through remote learning,” Muhammad said.

Within the kits: UV blocking glass laptop desks and a pre-loaded USB with instructional videos.

“Oh they were so appreciative, so excited and everybody thought it was so out of the box and unique and it was really well received,” Muhamad said.

“This is a program that gets right to the grassroots like it gets right to the people that are doing the work to support initiatives at the neighborhood level,” said Jennifer Smith, CFNIL engagement director.

About 15 groups receive funding each year with organizers awaiting this year’s applications.

“These grants give individuals the opportunity to work with their other neighbors, people that look different from them, have different beliefs than them, come from different backgrounds and come together as one,” said Janessa Wilkins, HomeStart resource development and community engagement manager.

Wilkins says the group is really looking for resident-led projects including everything from beautification projects to those targeted at crime prevention.

“We had some great things happen and so I’m looking forward to what we will bring this year,” Wilkins said.

The applications are due by April 5 and winners will be notified by the end of April. you can find a link to the application at cfnil.org/grants/neighborhood.

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