[Stillwater, May 2022] The Stillwater Area Community Foundation has provided a total of $8,000 in grant funding to two organizations serving vulnerable populations; Rise, Inc. and The Connect Center. The funding is part of the Stillwater Area Community Foundation’s initiative to support racial justice and social justice causes within the Stillwater area.
Rise, Inc. received $5,000 in grant funding to help provide self-advocacy training for people with disabilities. Policy decisions affecting the disability community are often made with little input from those within the community. This funding supports Rise, Inc. as it develops and provides an 8-week Self Advocacy Workshop for people with disabilities.
Nearly 500 people from the St. Croix Valley region participate in Rise, Inc programs. The workshops will help participants gain confidence by honing communication skills, identifying key speaking platforms, and encouraging attendees to use their voice to advocate for their needs and passions.
The program culminates in participation at Disability Day at the State Capital, an opportunity for disability voices to be heard at the highest levels of government.
THE CONNECT CENTER
The Connect Center (TCC) received $3,000 in gas-only gift cards for those served through The Connect Center programs. TCC provides emergency assistance to low-income families, the homeless, and unstably housed youth.
TCC clients rely on their personal vehicles (usually older, less efficient vehicles) for work, to get children to childcare, medical appointments, etc. With no public transportation in the community and high gas prices, TCC clients have been forced to make difficult decisions like forgoing utility bills, insurance, nutritious food, or the costs for children to participate in extracurricular activities. Any of these choices can have devastating consequences to individuals and families. Not the least of which is forcing families to leave our community for urban centers where public transportation is more accessible.
The Stillwater Area Community Foundation recognizes that a diverse community is welcoming to those of various ethnicities, religions, and income brackets. By providing this grant to TCC, crisis decisions may be avoided, and families may be able to overcome current difficulties and stay in the area.