This year has proven difficult for communities across the country and across the globe. Business owners, as we know have struggled, and people have needed help now more than ever.

But, in times of trouble, it’s important to “look for the helpers,” as Mister Rogers’s mother would tell him.

At LOCALiQ, our dedication is not just to businesses, but to the communities they serve and operate in, which is why we’re proud that – as part of Gannett – we’re able to reward these helpers in the form of grants from Gannett’s A Community Thrives program.

A Community Thrives is Gannett's foundation to give back to organizations across the country.

A Community Thrives, now in its fourth year, awards grants to multiple organizations and nonprofits across the U.S. This year, we received over 900 submissions and will be awarding $5.6 million in grants to deserving organizations, $2.3 million from A Community Thrives and an additional $3.3 million raised from our crowdfunding efforts.

The Gannett Foundation selected national grant recipients based on the proposed projects’ viability, support to historically unserved groups, sustainability, community need, and community building properties.

Please join us in congratulating and recognizing the below recipients of A Community Thrives National Project grants:

Bunker Labs Inc, Chicago, IL — $100,000

Bunker Labs provides the military connected community network and resources to simplify the entrepreneurial journey to build successful businesses.

Bunker Labs empowers military-connected entrepreneurs to create valuable networks and equip these entrepreneurs with resources and tools necessary to start and grow their businesses. This grant will support the delivery of 50 virtual (or in-person if possible) education programs to targeted audiences in 2021.

30,000 Feet, Roseville, MN — $100,000

30,000 Feet is dedicated to empowering African American students in Saint Paul through culture, art, technology, and social justice.

30,000 Feet will establish a Black Arts Center that will be an arts and social justice tech hub for creative expression for Black children in Saint Paul to open by February 2022.

Food Rescue US Inc, Norwalk, CT (Project in Detroit, MI) — $100,000

Food Rescue US lowers overhead costs, increases access to fresh food, and ensures that food rescued today is delivered today.

The grant will fund the expansion of Food Rescue US – Detroit to support the growing number of individuals and families experiencing food insecurity in Detroit and the surrounding communities.

Creighton Community Foundation, Phoenix, AZ — $50,000

Creighton Community Foundation is a group of community leaders focused on equipping Creighton School District #14 in Phoenix, Arizona with the resources to deliver excellent educational services, in the most sustainable way possible, amidst our diverse urban Phoenix neighborhoods.

Creighton Community Foundation will build vibrant food and culinary communities in east-central Phoenix to increase access to nutritious food. This will be accomplished by partnering with a Title I school to build food growing space, refurbish a community food room, operate farmer’s markets, and engage community residents in growing and consuming healthy, local food to produce 250 tons of food for 1500 hundred families.

United Way of Central Ohio Inc, Columbus, OH — $50,000

United Way of Central Ohio is focused on fighting poverty by investing in the most effective partners that get results.

Funds will support the local Racial Equity Partnership providing racial equity training and learning exchanges to staff, board members, volunteers, and clients of health and human service organizations throughout Franklin County reaching 5000 people.

Solar Austin, Austin, TX — $50,000

Solar Austin works to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy in Central Texas and expand access to the benefits of solar to everyone to build a healthy community and strong local economy.

Solar Austin’s Pathways to Clean Energy Careers program will facilitate avenues for students, particularly women and people of color, to enter Austin’s clean energy sector; Solar Austin will also develop best practices for local clean energy companies to improve diversity and inclusivity in their recruitment, hiring, and retention efforts.

LSU Health Sciences Foundation in Shreveport, Shreveport, LA — $50,000

LSU Health Shreveport is dedicated to inspiring donors to invest in LSU Health Shreveport and steward contributions toward its support.

The Eat Right and Move Program will address proper nutrition and exercise to promote better health outcomes in the Hollywood Heights neighborhood of Shreveport, LA. Outcomes will include a reduction in obesity level and a decrease in cardiovascular risk factors upon completion of the six-month exercise program, peer health mentors, and policy assessment.

Asheville Greenworks, Asheville, NC — $50,000

GreenWorks is committed to restoring our urban forests to 50% tree cover, so that we may all reap the many benefits trees provide.

GreenWorks plans to reforest the City of Asheville by planting 50,000 trees by 2040 in partnership with businesses, local government, and private citizens. This grant will support shade tree planting, tree giveaway events targeting redlined, underinvested communities, and volunteer engagement to support these efforts.

Havenly Treats, New Haven, CT — $50,000

Havenly Treats helps refugee and immigrant women prosper, uplift their families, and shape their communities.

Havenly Treats will establish a series of paid advocacy workshops focused on building organizing capacity, cultivating solidarity across refugee immigrant communities, and advancing knowledge to build the economic and political power for six refugee women.

Creative Reaction Lab, St. Louis, MO — $50,000

Creative Reaction Lab is building a youth-led, community-centered movement of a new type of Civic Leader: Redesigners for Justice.

CDAP’s Creative Reaction Lab will educate and train formerly incarcerated and criminal justice system-impacted Black and Latinx youth to become civic leaders using a unique equity-centered creative problem-solving framework with six apprentices.

Words Beats and Life Inc, Washington, DC — $25,000

Words Beats & Life is dedicated to teaching, producing and promoting hip hop culture.

WBL’s Creative Employment initiative will offer courses in music production, visual/media arts, performing arts, and the humanities to under-represented students with the goal of the participants becoming active participants in the DC /national creative economy.

Gary Food Council Inc, Gary, IN — $25,000

Mission of the Gary Food Council: To deliver sustainable solutions and opportunities for healthy local food access within our Gary neighborhoods.

GFC will develop the Urban Agriculture Youth Educator and Internship program to train and certify up to 100 children aged 12-17 for the nationally recognized Junior Master Gardener program in Gary. The students will then serve as paid interns on area farms and create distribution events to provide food to 1500 families.

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, Canton, OH — $25,000

Junior Achievement of NCO Empowering young people to own their economic success across a 15-county footprint in North Central Ohio.

Junior Achievement will create a virtual platform called vFairs JA that will showcase the region’s most in-demand jobs to 5,000-7,000 North Central Ohio 7th-12th grade students to increase access to rewarding and successful career pathways.

Mesa United Way Inc, Mesa, AZ (Project in Phoenix, AZ) — $25,000

Helen’s Hope Chest started in 2009 as a clothing closet for youth in foster and kinship care. Since then, Helen’s has helped thousands of youth by providing quality clothing, shoes, hygiene items, toys, books, and school supplies at no cost.

Helen Hope’s, a program of the Mesa United Way, Culver Street project will provide a transitional housing space, a safe, stable environment, for Foster360 program participants who are experiencing homelessness. The grant will support two Culver Street apartments.

Homeless Childrens Playtime Project Inc, Washington, DC — $25,000

The Homeless Children's Playtime Project cultivates resilience in children experiencing family homelessness by providing and expanding access to transformative play experiences in the shelters where they live.

The Playtime Project works towards a long- term goal of increasing resiliency in children experiencing homelessness, thereby helping to break the cycle of chronic family homelessness. The grant will support the expansion of its child-centered play program to a short-term family housing site in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, and will pilot a program at the Rolark, a family shelter, to serve up to 100 children.

Better Together – Flourish Now, Naples, FL — $25,000

Better Together Keeping families together by offering support and preventative services that empower the whole person and the entire family.

Better Together provides temporary housing and support services to families needing foster care with the end-goal of family re-unification. The program will expand to serve 150 additional children with temporary foster host families and wrap-around support services.

We can’t wait to see all these organizations accomplish and to continue supporting local communities and the businesses and organizations that serve them in 2021. For more information, visit A Community Thrives.

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