July/August 2013

New Grants for Healthy Communities


Rather than being bored during long summer afternoons, 47 children in Garden City, KS, are spending time at the Neighborhood Health and Education Center in the Garden Spot Apartments. Grouped by age, the young people are learning things like how to make their own snacks, how to identify rocks, and how to care for younger children. The program is part of the Finney County Community Health Coalition’s effort to prevent violence in families, which addresses the community’s need for more activities for young people; better coping skills for their parents; and improved communication between families, teachers and schools.

This is one of hundreds of examples of the good work supported by grants from CHI’s Mission and Ministry Fund. On July 1, the fund awarded 22 grants totaling more than $5 million for improving the health of communities in the U.S. and around the world. Half the grants and 52% of the grant funds are devoted to violence prevention initiatives.

This is the fifth year the Mission and Ministry Fund earmarked funds for community-wide initiatives designed to prevent violence. Many types of violence – relationship violence, bullying, gang activity and more – can result in the need for emergency or long-term medical and behavioral health treatment.

“Violence is an epidemic in America and no community is immune,” said Kevin Lofton, president and chief executive officer of CHI. “Violence prevention is a systemwide, long-term commitment for us. With the help of grants from the Mission and Ministry Fund, our local organizations are doing excellent work. They are moving ‘upstream’ to find the places and situations in which violence can be prevented.”

Additional Mission and Ministry Fund grants will support an array of programs to improve the health of communities. Since it was established in 1996 with guidance from CHI's founding congregations, the Mission and Ministry Fund has awarded 369 grants totaling more than $46.9 million. 

To find out more about grant awards, eligibility and success stories, visit the Mission and Ministry Fund pages.