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United Way Awards Over $24,000 in Grants

Nov. 23, 2004 – The United Way of St. Thomas-St. John announced today that its board of directors has approved $24,526 in venture grants to four community organizations. In addition to providing grants to its member agencies, United Way offers one-time grants to help fund new, innovative programs affecting a specific community need. The funds will be distributed in 2005.
"We were impressed by the number and quality of programs that applied for venture grant funding this year," Erica McDonald, chair of the Venture Grant Committee, said. She added, "The activities and programs receiving grants in the coming year will touch our community in essential and creative new ways, with benefits that will show for years to come."
The recipient organizations and their programs are:
-American Red Cross
Award: $8,526
A Babysitter’s Training program for 800 students enrolled in the Health and Physical Education classes at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. The students will be taught basic child-care skills and basic first aid to provide safe and responsible care for children in the absence of parents or guardians.
-St. John Community Foundation
Award: $5,000
To initiate the Conflict Resolution Skills program, "We Can Work It Out" at Julius E. Sprauve School. Utilizing specifically trained teachers, police officers and community volunteers, Sprauve students will be taught alternatives to violence.
-V.I. Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Award: $6,000
To operate a "clubhouse" program, a support system for people living with mental illness. Candidates for "Clear Blue Sky" will accomplish daily tasks in a social atmosphere and offered instructions on financial management, GED preparation, basic computer skills and learning to cope with their illness.
-Catholic Charities of the V.I.
Award: $5,000
To expand a Mobile Street Outreach program which provides food, clothing, basic living supplies, on-site health services and crisis intervention directly to homeless/street persons.
The Venture Grant Program of United Way of St. Thomas-St. John was established in 1999 when its Board of Directors earmarked three percent from each year’s annual fund-raising campaign to be set aside for such grants. Grants are available to health and human service agencies not affiliated with United Way as well as United Way member agencies.
Juanita Young, president of the board of directors, said, "In addition to the $564,000 designated to our member agencies, the Venture Grant Program is yet another way United Way helps our community meet critical needs."

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