Community centers get $50K grants

LAWRENCEVILLE - Five Gwinnett organizations, including a children's shelter, teen center and senior center, will each receive a grant of $50,000 from the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.

After examining community needs and issues, the foundation identified these organizations as qualifying recipients of their capital impact grants:

•Gwinnett Tech Early Childhood Development Project, $50,000 (over 3 years)

•Gwinnett Children's Shelter, Boys Home, $50,000

•Gwinnett Boys & Girls Club, James F. Pack Teen Center, $50,000

•Fowler YMCA's Capital Campaign Senior Center, $50,000

•GRN Adolescent Crisis Intervention Center, $50,000 (over 2 years).

This year, the foundation wanted to concentrate on helping fund organizations benefiting youth and seniors.

"The organizations that we gave grants to had programs focused on our focus area and required significant grants," said Beverly Shackelford, Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia finance director. "We wanted to make an impact on the community and show that we are here and we are here in a big way."

Nancy Friauf, Gwinnett Children's Shelter director, is one of the grant recipients and said the money will help them fund the construction of a group boys home.

"We're excited and honored to receive this grant," Friauf said. "The home will be for teen boys who aren't able to return home or go to a foster home. They can stay for a long length of time until they can go home or reach independence."

There will be no more than eight boys living in the small, homelike facility and counseling services and skills training will be emphasized.

"The kids will be able to work, go to a public school, date and have a normal life," Friauf said.

In addition to the foundation's larger impact grants, they will provide sustaining grants. This year those grants will assist the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia Inc., Norcross Cooperative Ministry The Impact Group, The Salvation Army, Piedmont Regional Library, Medallion Performing Arts Center, A Step to Independence, North Gwinnett Cooperative, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Council on Economic Education, Northeast Georgia Council Boy Scouts of American, Latin American Association and Rainbow Village Inc.

The grants will be awarded at the foundation's annual appreciation evening Tuesday at the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts.