NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 powered by Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation announced a total of $225,000 in Project Innovation grants will be presented to seven organizations that are using innovation to tackle everyday problems and urgent COVID-19 needs in the community.
The nonprofit organizations selected as Project Innovation 2020 grant recipients all exhibit flexibility with their programming and will use their funding to deliver services and programs that address innovative solutions to long-standing and emerging issues as well as those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
This year, a total of $2.475 million in Project Innovation grants have been awarded to not-for-profit organizations in 11 communities, including Dallas-Fort Worth.
Connecting NBC 5 to the community we serve.
“The coronavirus crisis has amplified our community’s needs, and we’re grateful to try and help in some way by awarding grants to several of the many worthy nonprofit organizations that continue to do so much,” said Tom Ehlmann, NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 President and General Manager. “We hope these grants will advance the organizations’ missions and projects, which collectively will get us through these times and onto a bright future.”
Local Project Innovation 2020 grant recipients include:
CITYSQUARE – awarded $50,000. CitySquare will use grant funds to support “City Square Food Recovery,” an innovative program recovering otherwise wasted food and safely transforming it into healthy meals for those in the community facing barriers to consistently available nutrition. This program helps protect our environment, feeds our hungry neighbors, provides employment opportunities and supports other nonprofit organizations in the heart of South Dallas.
CITY HOUSE INC. – awarded $50,000. City House Inc. will dedicate grant funding to the mentoring program designed for runaway and homeless youth in the Transitional Living Program. The program provides shelter, meals, counseling, and aftercare services. Mentoring is based on a holistic set of strategies to support the youth’s social capital and essential life skills.
GRAPEVINE RELIEF AND COMMUNITY EXCHANGE (GRACE) – awarded $35,000. GRACE will use grant funding to bridge the hunger gap in the community through its “Feed Our Kids and GRACE Grocery Giveaway” mobile food pantry program, an innovative grassroots collaboration between GRACE Food Pantry, Tarrant Area Food Bank, community restaurants and GRACE volunteers.
ERATH COUNTY SENIOR CITIZENS INC. – awarded $25,000. Erath County Senior Citizens, Inc. will dedicate funding received to support continued community connection and improve the welfare of socially isolated senior residents through its “Meals on Wheels Friendly Visitors Program.” This program delivers weekly nutritional meals and meaningful contact, including personalized phone calls, virtual visits and cultivates genuine friendships.
OPERATION BLUE SHIELD/ONE COMMUNITYUSA – awarded $25,000. Operation Blue Shield, now known as One CommunityUSA, will use the funding for “Shop Talk,” a program which establishes open lines of communication and creates mutual trust between law enforcement, residents and business owners in the community. During the coronavirus health crisis, One CommunityUSA has organized food drives and distributions to help the families of the “Shop Talk” business owners.
MID-CITIES CARE CORPS (MCCC) – awarded $20,000. MCCC will distribute grant monies to three core programs - Transportation, Helping Hands and Social Outreach to preserve the independence of senior neighbors in Northeast Tarrant County. Funds sustain continuation of the following MCCC operations: free rides and deliveries for routine medical, groceries and other quality of life needs, lawn maintenance, minor home repairs, accessibility installation, home safety inspections, phone calls and sending letters. These activities address the feelings of isolation and loneliness that seniors often face.
NORTHSIDE INTER-COMMUNITY AGENCY (NICA) – awarded $20,000. NICA will commit awarded funds to the “Circle of Winners” program which aims to break the cycle of poverty by nurturing high school students in need. The program provides the tools and inspiration for students to stay in school, build self-esteem, acquire leadership skills, set goals, cultivate the skills to support themselves and their neighbors, and attend college or trade school after high school graduation. NICA offers students the opportunity to earn and save money for college, learn computer skills, and receive meals through NICA’s food pantry.
Project Innovation applications opened on January 11 and closed on February 15. The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC/Telemundo owned stations reviewed applications virtually beginning March 2020. Applications were evaluated to determine groups’ ability to advance their communities in the areas of storytelling, community engagement, culture of inclusion and youth education, as well as their preparedness and capacity to deliver quality programming that meets the pressing needs that have developed in their communities during this unprecedented time.
Project Innovation 2020 grants were presented to eligible nonprofit organizations in select markets including New York (WNBC, WNJU), Southern California (KNBC, KVEA), Chicago (WMAQ, WSNS), Philadelphia (WCAU, WWSI), Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS, KXTX), Boston (WBTS, WNEU, NECN), Hartford, CT (WVIT, WRDM), Washington, D.C. (WRC-TV, WZDC), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (WTVJ, WSCV), San Francisco Bay Area (KNTV, KSTS), and San Diego (KNSD, KUAN).
For a list of all Project Innovation 2020 winners, click here. Follow on social at @NBCUFoundation and #ProjectInnovation.