Grants from the St. David Foundation to support the children and families of Bastrop

Several community organizations in Bastrop County will benefit from St. David’s Foundation Spring 2021 Grants to improve the health and well-being of residents.

Bastrop County organizations will receive 16% of the foundation’s $ 24.5 million in grants, according to its June 29 announcement.

One of the goals of the foundation’s spring funding is to “tackle the systemic barriers that have been exposed and exacerbated throughout the (coronavirus) pandemic,” according to the announcement.

Kim McPherson, senior program officer at St. David’s Foundation, said that a central theme of many of the recently awarded grants was to tackle the ways in which the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted child development, which, according to her, is the ability of a child to have strong, healthy and stable health. relationships and have routines they can rely on.

“The loss of learning gets a lot of attention, but we know that it is much deeper than the loss of learning and that children will not be able to learn until they feel safe, engaged, motivated. “McPherson told The Advertiser.

“So a lot of the work that shows up in the grants we’ve awarded this cycle is helping organizations provide the supports and services that can get children and their families back on track. “

Of the 48 grant recipients in this funding round, several have direct ties to Bastrop County.

The Town of Smithville has received $ 220,000 for several initiatives, including to support planning and development efforts to establish a “Comprehensive Workforce Training Center” and to invest in an Engagement Coordinator. to “strengthen community bonds and accelerate collaborative efforts” to improve health in Smithville.

The Smithville Community Clinic received approximately $ 105,000 for multiple initiatives, including the purchase of dental equipment and continued behavioral health capacity development for people without health insurance.

Other large grants included $ 150,000 to Bastrop County Cares as well as $ 100,000 to Austin Interfaith for the non-partisan and multi-issue organization aimed at supporting staff capacity in Bastrop County.

Abena Asante, senior program officer at St. David’s Foundation, told The Advertiser the foundation was “humble” to partner with rural communities and small towns – like those in Bastrop County – to enhance local efforts. in matters of health and well-being.

“We know there are strengths in Bastrop County, and we want to build on those strengths to build community capacity that will allow them to have more resources to lead and drive change,” Asante said, adding that the St. David’s Foundation is continually engaged with local groups before, during and after the awarding of the grant.

“It was important for us to take advantage of the opportunities and momentum underway in the county that are led by residents who catalyze and drive health-improving changes in their community.”

Funding for the establishment of the Workforce Training Center in Smithville will strengthen the link between health outcomes and economic self-sufficiency, Asante said.

As part of the focus on supporting children, McPherson said grants were set aside to ensure that caregivers of children have the appropriate tools and knowledge to be successful because of the direct impact that caregivers have have on the welfare of children.

“The main goal that we hope to see is to create the social infrastructure to help the nonprofit community help families and help their children get back on track,” McPherson said.

Several Bastrop County nonprofits, including Bastrop County Cares, also received end-of-year grants from St. David’s Foundation in December.

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