Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation Awards $75,050 to 30 Local Organizations

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation recently awarded numerous grants to support 30 programs that benefit children and families in the region.

The mission of the Foundation, a 501(c)3 overseen by a volunteer board with support from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT, is to enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families through generous donations from the business community. The Foundation provides local child-focused non-profits with crucial resources that improve the region’s overall quality of life. 

Louis Ziegler, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation’s Board of Directors, said that he is thankful that the community has donated so generously to so many worthy programs that will benefit children and families in Eastern Connecticut.

“We cannot thank enough our sponsors who donate, year after year, toward our efforts to making the region a better place for so many,” Ziegler said. “We also owe special thanks to Foundation board members and Chamber staff for helping make these grants possible.”

The press is invited to a check distribution ceremony and photo opportunity at 10 a.m. April 28 at the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce’s offices in Waterford.

Since 2002, the Chamber Foundation has donated nearly $1.5 million to numerous local organizations that serve the needs of children. The Foundation’s goal is to support projects and programs that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families in the Chamber’s service area.
The 2022 Chamber Foundation grant recipients, awards, and projects are listed below:

  1. Always Home, Inc., $2,500, for support for their Homelessness Prevention/Shelter Diversion program.
  1. Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich, Inc., $1,500, to support their Pregnancy/Parenting Project.
  1. Connecticut Humane Society, Newington, $500, for programs for K-2 at Winthrop STEM Elementary School in New London.
  1. Eastern CT Community Gardens Association, New London, $2,700, to donate beds and grow seedlings that will provide a variety of vegetables.
  1. Eastern Workforce Investment Board, Franklin, $5,000, to cover wage and fringe for 4-5 low-income youth from Southeastern CT for a summer work experience.
  1. FRESH New London, $2,700, to hire and train youth to build new gardens for residents to grow their own food.
  1. High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Olde Lyme, $1,000, to support vulnerable youth and adults in their equine-assisted services.
  1. Higher Edge, New London, $2,000, for student programming and administrative costs.
  1. Hygienic Art Inc., New London, $1,000, to help with its month-long Hispanic Festival in ArtPark under the big top in 2022.
  1. Madonna Place, Inc., Norwich, $3,000 to support the Family Support Center at Madonna Place.
  1. Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, $1,500, so it can partner with New London Youth Affairs in the Ocean-Minded Workforce Development Program to provide paid summer internships for six marginalized New London teens interested in aquatic life and environmental stewardship.
  1. Natchaug Hospital, Mansfield, $1,500, for a two-part project to benefit clients in their Joshua Center Southeast and Joshua Center Northeast programs.
  1. New England Science & Sailing (NESS), Stonington, $2,500, for programs that engage students through STEM-based ocean experiential learning programs in the classroom and on the water.
  1. New London Babe Ruth League, Inc., New London, $2,900, to assist kids financially who cannot afford to play, but have the talent and willingness to participate and learn.
  1. New London Homeless Hospitality Center, New London, $2,000, to assist with their unmet need of furnishing homes with furniture and household goods.
  1. New London Youth Affairs, New London, $5,000, for Teen Links, which serves middle and high school-aged young people through school year employment, workforce certifications, and educational/cultural field trips.
  1. Niantic Children’s Museum, Niantic, $1,000, to support a Summer Science Days at the Museum, by helping provide books for families to take home on topics relevant to their weekly themes.
  1. Norwich Community Backpack Program, Norwich, $1,500, to provide at least 800 backpacks and age-appropriate school supplies to low-income youth in the Norwich area.
  1. Norwich Rotary Foundation, Bozrah, $1,000, to help purchase winter coats for low-income children in the greater Norwich area. 
  1. Project Oceanology, Groton, $1,500, to offer summer camp scholarships to children from families experiencing financial hardship, including children from vulnerable/underserved communities.
  1. S.T.E.P.S., Inc., New London, $1,500, to help provide 30 weeks of afterschool programs for young women in New London, Norwich, and Groton, in addition to 2-4 weeks of Summer Leadership College/Career Enrichment Program, and a 1-day Youth Leadership Day at Mitchell College.
  1. Safe Futures, Inc., New London, $2,500, to support Camp HOPE America-Safe Futures-Pathways to HOPE mentoring program, specifically for the High Adventure group (for 12-17 years old).
  1. St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, $5,000, to distribute cereal and fruit juice to families that have children and who visit the food pantry for supplemental food for their households, primarily during summer months.
  1. Thames River Community Service, Inc., Norwich, $1,000, to provide 24 families headed by young parents who live in Thames River with the opportunity to continue to access secure and reliable WIFI Internet service in the building.
  1. The Arc Eastern Connecticut, Norwich, $1,250, to purchase a variety of activity and craft projects for people with a wide range of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
  1. The Last Green Valley, Danielson, $3,500, for The Trail Camp, which will provide summer camp for 120 middle school children in grades five through eight, where campers will learn the skills needed to become budding explorers.
  1. The Light House, New London, $1,000, for scholarships to support The Therapeutic Equine Program, which facilitates positive, safe, and meaningful connections between equines and individuals with cognitive, socio-emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities.
  1. The Riverfront Children’s Center, Inc., Groton, $2,000, to purchase three six-foot weather-resistant, metal mesh picnic tables for improving their early childhood education outdoor classroom space.
  1. Tommy Toy Fund, Norwich, $10,000, to purchase books, toys, and gloves for the low-income families they serve during the holiday season. These gifts will reach the hands of children in Eastern Connecticut who may not have received a gift if not for this program.
  1. United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, Gales Ferry, $5,000, for the United Way's Gemma E. Moran UW/Labor Food Center to provide fresh, healthy produce, dairy products, lean meats and proteins, and other food items needed by the Food Center's network of 93 feeding programs and its Mobile Food Pantry.