Nearly 70 CRIS Radio volunteers were recently honored at the Governor's Mansion for their long-standing service. CRIS, a 34-year-old nonprofit based in Windsor, provides audio access to news and information featured in nearly 70 magazines for people who are blind or print-challenged due to physical, learning, intellectual or emotional disabilities. CRIS has nearly 350 volunteers at its broadcast center in Windsor and four satellite studios located in Danbury, Norwich, Trumbull and West Haven. In addition, CRIS volunteers also record children's magazines and educational materials, including the Common Core text exemplars, for schools serving children with special needs.
Several volunteers were recognized for celebrating milestone anniversaries, including: Steve Parker, a CRIS volunteer for 30 years; Barbara Clark, 25 years; Jim Stewart, 25 years; Paul Young, 20 years; Russ Wheeler, 20 years; Jim Gadarowski, 15 years; Sandra Lewis, 15 years; and Charles Wynn, 15 years.
A $75,000 grant provided by the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) will help Foodshare distribute up to 35 percent more produce over the next three years by increasing space and efficiencies, and by properly outfitting the food bank's Hartford Regional Market facility. The grant will help bring more food to underserved locations — an estimated additional 400,000 meals in 2013 — helping hungry families throughout the Greater Hartford region.
As the regional food bank and local affiliate of Feeding America, Foodshare distributes more than 10 million meals worth of food annually to support 128,000 people in the region, including seniors, the working poor, and 50,000 children. Most of the food is donated by food companies, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and local farmers. But financial support, like the CHEFA grant, is needed to help cover the costs associated with transporting and distributing the food.
The People's United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People's United Bank, recently awarded a $3,500 grant to Concepts for Adaptive Learning (CfAL) of New Haven for its computer-training program. CfAL helps to close the technology gap among low-income families in Bridgeport, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven and Waterbury through its Technology Cascade & Training Program. The program extends learning beyond the classroom by putting gently used computers in the homes of disadvantaged families, and provides computer training classes to parents in order to increase involvement in their children's education at home.
The support from People's United Community Foundation will help train 40 parents to use computers.
The TD Charitable Foundation recently announced it will award $2.5 million in grants in 2013 to support neighborhood revitalization and stabilization projects and initiatives through its eighth annual "Housing for Everyone" grant competition. The competition invites local nonprofit organizations from Maine to Florida to submit proposals in which the organizations outline their plans to address the most acute affordable housing needs in their communities.