June 9, 2021

SwedishAmerican Foundation announces Caring for Our Community grant recipients

Rockford, Ill. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, is excited to announce it has awarded $66,797.65 to local not-for-profits through the SwedishAmerican Foundation’s fifth annual Caring for Our Community Grant.

The Caring for Our Community Grant was designed for not-for-profits that serve communities within SwedishAmerican’s service area. SwedishAmerican received 29 grant applications and awarded seven grants this year. This year’s recipients are as follows:

  • $17,500 to Life Decisions to support the resourcing and equipping of a home for relational mentoring with at-risk and justice-involved youth ages 15-23. This home renovation project will be done by youth, under the direction of mentors, as part of a dedicated program consisting of two three-month building trades mentoring programs. Upon completion, the day home will serve as a safe place to provide programming and create opportunities for relational mentoring.

  • $5,000 to Rock House Kids to provide field trip enrichment opportunities to Rockford’s inner-city children ages 6-16. These field trips will provide positive opportunities and learning experiences that these children would not otherwise have access to, including exposure to places such as zoos, museums, escape rooms and Six Flags Great America.

  • $11,188.65 to Rockford Barbell to support its youth weightlifting program. This grant helps sustain a physical space for this organization and provides the appropriate tools for teaching and learning specific social-emotional skills through physical activity. Rockford Barbell engages kids ages 10-18 through free programming three days per week.

  • $10,000 to the Rockford Park District Foundation for its “Help Me Play” program. This initiative provides supplemental funding to youth programming to keep them free or at a low cost so families have options to participate regardless of their financial circumstances. This also includes fee assistance to anyone in need that cannot afford to pay fees associated with team sports, lessons or camps.

  • $6,609 to the Rockford Rescue Mission for updating computer equipment and electronic devices for its education and employment center, which is known as the Works! Center. The Works! Center strives to address unemployment by linking individuals to education, job readiness and networking and securing stable and sustainable employment.

  • $4,500 to Starlight Theatre for its Camp Supernova program. This camp introduces children in poverty in grades 4 through 6 to the skills learned from participating in musical theatre, and also demonstrates future career opportunities in the field. The camp provides experiences in acting, dancing, singing, stage and costume design and culminates with a final program for family and friends.

  • $12,000 to Stateline Youth for Christ for its Juvenile Justice Ministry program. This grant will help increase the organization’s capacity to engage at-risk, justice-involved youth holistically upon reentry through mentorship, life skills training, and activities-based programming in an effort to provide them with a positive support system – empowering them to make healthy life choices that break unhealthy patterns of behavior.

“SwedishAmerican’s mission is, ‘Through excellence in healthcare and compassionate service, we care for our community,' " said SwedishAmerican Foundation Director Laura Wilkinson. “This is our fifth year being able to award outstanding not-for-profit organizations in the Rockford community who share our mission in providing extraordinary programming to youth and adults. We are grateful for this opportunity to recognize all of the hard work these organizations are accomplishing each and every day.”