Montcalm Wind and Apex Clean Energy are pleased to announce ten Montcalm County-based organizations as the recipients of the first round of Montcalm Wind Community Grants. These funds are designed to support community organizations in the following areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.
“These local organizations are doing amazing work. We are proud to support them as they provide important services to the community,” said Mel Christensen, Public Engagement Organizer for Montcalm Wind.
Montcalm Area Reading Council (MARC) received a grant to help enhance virtual learning. "MARC is working to eliminate virtual learning barriers for volunteer tutors and learners,” explained Executive Director Kristen Kohn. “We are excited to enhance our technology loaning program with the addition of hotspots and we look forward to offering a variety of virtual learning options. Funding for this program gives people in Montcalm County the power to change their lives through literacy."
The Kelsey Community Wellness Center Foundation received grant funds for the Lakeview Community Wellness Center, supporting renovations to the 100-plus year old building that needs upgrades for windows and insulation. “Thanks for helping to support our cause of creating and maintaining a healthy rural community,” stated Luann Koester, Board Secretary for the foundation. “Last year we had planned much-needed renovations and we had to use most of the money just to stay open after the COVID 19 shutdown.”
Both the Sheridan Assembly of God Food Bank and Lakeview Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry received grants to assist with families suffering food insecurity. Barb Cole works to serve families as Director of the Lakeview food pantry. “The Lakeview Ministerial Association food pantry serves families in the Lakeview school district, to help stretch their food budget. With the COVID 19 pandemic, the need is greater than ever,” said Cole.
The Montcalm County Great Start Collaborative (MCGSC) received a grant to help build community literacy through the Montcalm County Imagination Library. “The library is a free service provided to children birth to 4 years of age, in their homes is a community gift that is a very cost-effective way for all Montcalm County’s for young children to have access to books,” said MCGSC Board Secretary Mindy Train. “Literacy skills are developed through access to books in the home. Children develop ownership and a love for books.”
Other grantees include White Pine District Library to maintain its lending library of community internet hotspots; Mid-Michigan Montcalm Area Big Brothers Big Sisters to sponsor volunteer clearances for 10 youth mentors; the Lakeview Lions Club, for donations of eye glasses, hearing aids, and large print reading material, among other priorities; Lakeview Fire Department to replace the department’s Automated external defibrillator (AED); and the Lakeview Elementary School to expand twelve classroom libraries.
As a community-based project, one of the primary goals of Montcalm Wind is to be a strong community partner and support residents and organizations that are working to make a positive difference in their community. Our grant program is one way that we can contribute to pressing needs by working with local governments, area businesses, non-profits and others working to make a meaningful impact at the local level. Montcalm Wind and Apex Clean Energy will continue to accept community grant applications on a rolling basis with formal grant application cycles in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit www.montcalmwind.com/grant.