Saint Luke’s Foundation Resident Advancement Committee awards grants to resident-led organizations

Earlier this month, the Saint Luke’s Foundation’s 10-member Resident Advancement Committee (RAC) awarded $40,257 in grants during its May meeting to seven organizations operating in the St. Luke’s footprint—Buckeye, Larchmere, Mount Pleasant, and Woodland Hills.

The investments advance the Foundation’s mission to achieve health equity by addressing social determinants of health—including educational attainment, financial stability, healthy eating and active living, safe and affordable housing, social connections, and the strengthening of the four neighborhoods surrounding the former Saint Luke’s Hospital.

Buckeye resident JaNae Hambrick joined the RAC last year and says it’s sometimes tough to make grant selections. “It’s namely people who represent small organizations and express interest in the grants,” she explains. “We meet once a month, on Zoom and in-person.”

The RAC oversees the Foundation’s community discretionary budget. The committee reviews the community grant applications and awards up to $140,000 annually to initiatives that zero in on the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape the wellbeing in their own neighborhoods.

“The Resident Advancement Committee of Saint Luke’s Foundation is proud to support locally grown initiatives through our community grants,” says Indigo Bishop, St. Luke’s program officer who works closely with the RAC.” In May, we awarded grants to seven leaders who are passionate about storytelling, connecting neighbors to jobs, supporting seniors, and meeting their basic needs.”

The seven grant recipients are:

First Time Filmmakers$5,985  for Summer Camp 

Sponsored by Universal Love Ent

The summer camp offers youth in Mount Pleasant hands-on experience in cinematography and visual storytelling, The organization supports professional and creative development, fostering social connections, and community pride.

Gospel Block Party: $4,257

Sponsored by Calvary Hill Educational Center’s Buckeye Ministry in Missions Alliance

Gospel Block Party, held in Buckeye and Woodland Hills, aims to foster community togetherness through performances, games, food trucks, and school supplies giveaways—involving various local partners for new and old Woodland Hill residents.

Rose Express: $6,000 for Mobile Market & Social Connection outreach

Rose Express will provide transportation for seniors, veterans, children, and people with disabilities to doctors’ appointments, community events, grocery stores, pharmacies, and financial institutions.

Senior Movement: $6,000

Sponsored by CollectivExpress

Designed for seniors 55 and older, the Senior Moment program includes physical movement, group singing, social discussions, and dance—promoting physical activity and socialization.

Stronger Careers 2024 Program: $6,000 for The Tavern Coffee House

The Tavern Coffee House workforce development program will train youth ages 16 to 24 in year-long coffee house jobs, provides weekly coaching workshops, and job opportunities. Partners include Humble Mornings Coffee and Youth Opportunities Unlimited, among others.

The Total Mom Experience: $6,000

Sponsored by Impact Ministry 

The Total Mom Experience initiative offers support group sessions for 100 mothers in the Buckeye neighborhood from June 2024 to March 2025—focusing on holistic wellbeing through group therapy and educational interventions.

YMOC: $6,000 for Kid’s Pantry

Sponsored by the Thea Bowman Center

Located inside of the Alexander Hamilton Recreation Center in Mount Pleasant, the Kid’s Pantry will provide free essentials items, like pampers, socks, wipes, baby formula, bus passes, and other necessities to parents facing financial crises—ensuring they can afford basic items for their children.

RAC member Hambrick says choosing the grant recipients can sometimes be difficult. “It really depends,” she says. “Some people really engage; some have good ideas but haven’t formed a plan.

Hambrick says she doesn’t like requests for permanent equipment that may or may not have a lasting positive impact. “It has to benefit the community,” she says, adding that she’s been impressed with past grant requests such as training teenagers to be lifeguards. “We want to make decisions [on funding projects] that are truly resident led.”

St. Luke’s president and CEO Tim Tramble says he agrees with Hambrick’s view.

“We are very proud of the Resident Advance Committee of the Foundation,” says. “Their work is vital to the support of grassroots activities in the trenches. They have full decision-making authority for Saint Luke’s Foundation Community Grants and with this power, they are building deeper agency on the ground within the community.”