Impact Partners

We come alongside local agencies and programs that strengthen and enhance health, education and financial stability in Tompkins County. Impact Partners provide our neighbors in Tompkins County with services and resources that allow them to continue to build healthy, secure and joyful lives. 

Our Impact Partners receive financial resources through one or more of the following: the United Tompkins Community Impact Fund, T. Merrell Shipherd Fund, or Youth and Philanthropy Fund. Each of these funds are managed by dedicated community volunteers. Community volunteers evaluate all applications, determine where to invest UWTC resources to achieve the greatest community impact, and evaluate progress being made through those investments towards achieving UWTC's identified goals and outcomes. 



The Community Care Fund invests in programs that address community needs and strengthens lives in Tompkins County. Investing in the Community Care Fund is the best way to have the most impact with a single contribution. Every dollar is empowered and goes directly to help those agencies making a difference in our community. 

Each year, the Community Care Fund awards grants to local non-profit agencies and community councils that focus on the building blocks of a good life: Education, Financial Stability and Health.

Volunteers determine award amounts based on current UWTC community assessment data and program outcomes. UWTC tracks and measures the outcomes of funded programs, ensuring that donor dollars support critical and effective services for our community. More than ever, in these times, we all must LIVE UNITED.

Learn more about the programs the CCF has invested in for 2022-2024 by clicking on the Funded Partners below. Click here for information on how to apply to the Community Care Fund and to learn more about previously funded projects. 


A collage of three photos. Photo 1 a black dad carries his daughter who is 3-4 years old on his shoulders. They are both wearing winter jackets. In photo 2 a little boy who is 5-6 is in a pool swimming toward the camera with a big smile. He is wearing blue swim goggles. In photo 3 a 20-something woman with blonde hair has her arms stretched over her head in success. Racks of perfectly arranged clothes stand behind her.

Advocacy Center of Tompkins County  

Awarded- $21,000

Project Funded: Youth Intervention and Prevention Services

Youth Intervention and Prevention Services through the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County provides support to youth victims when there is a disclosure of abuse and involvement with law enforcement or child protective services. Research supports that if victims feel empowered by their participation in the criminal justice system, they may experience significant improvements in physical and mental health and quality of life. This is particularly true for youth victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Reducing re-victimization through advocacy and supportive services after disclosure of abuse has been shown to reduce PTSD, support healthy behaviors, reduce future physical health issues, and support “success in school and future employment. Education staff join classes and groups in middle and high schools, support youth groups, create youth focused events, educate parents, and raise the capacity for youth serving professionals to identify and interrupt abuse.  

Advocacy Center Logo

Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County

Awarded- $25,000

Project Funded: Operational Support

The Council is working to reduce stigma and create awareness that addiction is a chronic, treatable disease, and not the result of weakness or moral failing. Through collaboration with partners, they are expanding community understanding of addiction and making access to treatment and care more mainstream and easily accessible. Preventing addiction before it begins reduces long-term damage and suffering caused by addiction, reduces the widespread economic impact of addiction, supports overall community health, and saves lives. People who are already experiencing the grip of addiction need to be offered compassionate, judgement-free care options that meet their individual needs. Sometimes that means addiction treatment, and sometimes that’s very basic harm reduction services to prevent overdose and death. The Council offers both. In the Outpatient Clinic, which includes 7 day/week open access services, staff works with each client to help them identify their goals and develop a plan. Over the next two years, the Council will be working to recruit, hire and train additional clinical staff, medical staff, and peer advocates to support the increased need for addiction treatment services, and to staff the Open Access Detox & Stabilization Center that will open in early 2023. During the expansion process and the Open Access Detox Center start-up period, funding will support staffing and equipment costs.


Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes

Awarded- $10,000

Project Funded: Client Services

The Cancer Resource Center provides support for people living with and affected by cancer. Client services and programming which include 1:1 support, support groups, peer to peer support, wellness programs, wigs, hats, scarves, mastectomy products, and other personal care items from the Emily Virkler Memorial Boutique, educational resources, and travel assistance is offered free of charge. Potential and current clients are served in person at the office location, out in the community, at the radiation and chemotherapy offices at Cayuga Medical Center, virtually and over the phone. During that initial interaction information is offered about the different programming options that CRC offers, and discuss how to best meet that individual’s needs in order to provide routes to resources that might make that person’s journey a bit easier. With this financial support CRC aims to offer more financial aid, education, awareness and access to treatment, as well as resources for comfort items for patients facing loss of income due to a cancer diagnosis, to a wider, more diverse range of peoples across Tompkins County.

Cancer Resource Center Logo

Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga

Awarded- $5,000

Project Funded: A Place to Stay: Guest House for Homeless Women

A Place to Stay: Guest House for Women opened in May of 2016 in response to the unmet need for safe, supportive, short-term transitional housing for homeless single women in Tompkins County. The 4-bedroom apartment in the City of Ithaca operates as short-length transitional housing for homeless women, one of the needs identified in the City's Consolidated Plan. Participants are initially offered stays of 90 days with extensions granted where treatment programs and situations warrant. Extensions are frequent; the average is about 121 days. The factors leading to a housing emergency often include domestic violence, sudden job loss, mental health issues, or substance use disorder (SUD). Women without stable housing are particularly susceptible to unsafe and predatory living arrangements. In the first four years of APTS, recovery from SUD has been a goal for most participants and was for all participants in 2020. A Place to Stay has housed 47 formerly homeless women through 49 stays: with most transitioned to private housing with voucher assistance or public housing. The staff remains engaged with the program graduates with our follow-up check-in process, ensuring supports remain in place. Financial support will go towards staffing needs for the progam which includes a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor.

Awarded- $30,000

Project Funded: Samaritan Center

The Samaritan Center serves as a welcoming location for families and individuals experiencing a financial crisis. Funding will be used in part to help over 3000 low-income people each year to resolve crises related to housing, transportation, health or work, and to stabilize, get caring support, and gain access to programs that have helped many to move toward greater self-sufficiency. Specifically, Samaritan Center programs provide the following emergency assistance and support:
• Security deposits, rental arrears, short-term rental support, referrals to supportive housing including A Place to Stay, or other aids to avoid homelessness.
• Preventing utility service interruption or allowing reconnection.
• Transportation assistance provides continued, safe travel to work, school, and medical appointments.
• Necessary prescriptions to avoid serious illness.
• Packages of personal needs products to assist in maintaining hygiene and health, which is, in turn, essential to family members' self-worth and ability to pursue jobs or other goals successfully. This includes diapers for households with infants.
• Clothing through the clothes closet and special distributions such as Share the Warmth.
• Case management and advocacy for vulnerable households that struggle to access support from other service providers.

Catholic Charities Tompkins-Tioga logo

Challenge Workforce Solutions

Awarded- $10,000

Project Funded: Challenge Job Club

The Job Club program serves would-be workers, referred by Tompkins County Department of Social Services, facing socio-economic barriers. The program provides skill building supports to prepare people to enter the workforce for the first time, or for the first time after a significant break. Resume building and interview skills are taught as well as employer expectations and positive workplace communication techniques. Staff support participants in their research into current job openings and specific careers and assist in applying for those jobs. Funding will partially support one full-time staff person to continue coordination of the program.

Challenge Logo

Child Development Council

Awarded- $25,000

Project Funded: Family Services

Family Services assists pregnant and parenting families with children aged 5 and under, with the primary goal of preventing child abuse and neglect and reducing rates of recidivism. This is accomplished by using a family- centered, home visiting approach to educate parents about the growth and development of children, to strengthen the nurturing qualities of the parents, to reduce the factors leading to stress and family dysfunction by connecting families to community resources.  Family Services offers developmental and social emotional assessments for children and goal planning to support self-sufficiency for parents.


Community Dispute Resolution Center

Awarded- $8,000

Project Funded: CDRC's Mediation and Conflict Coaching Program

The mediation program at CDRC empowers people in conflict, honoring their choices while setting the stage for disputing parties to independently achieve lasting resolution. This alternative to expensive (not to mention often disempowering) institutional intervention ensures that parties remain in charge of their decisions.
At CDRC, conflict becomes an opportunity to be heard clearly, to listen well, and to regain a certain well-being. Every time CDRC employs their powerful mediation practice and helps people in dispute to really start communicating, there is less anger and more peace in our communities, less conflict, and more justice, less of a sense of chaos and more of a sense of empowerment. In addition, the Conflict Coaching program is for parties who would like to prepare for mediation or for those who want to mediate but the other party does not.  Conflict Coaching offers an option when the client responds- “now what should I do”.  This program is also for those who would like an opportunity to reflect on their current conflict.  They can begin to understand and examine their conflict from self and other perspectives, as well as identify the preferred direction for their relationships and conflict situation.



Downtown Ithaca Children's Center

Awarded- $20,000

Project Funded: Tuition Assistance

Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center provides high quality education and childcare to children ages 6 weeks to 5 in full day programs and ages 6 to 12 in our after school program. Quality early childhood and after school programming is an essential community support. DICC is committed to provide accessibility to ALL children to grow and develop in a supportive learning environment while allowing their caregivers to remain in the workforce.  They strive to deconstruct negative stereotypes associated with race, class, ability, gender, language and biases through strengths-based programming.  A significant portion of DICC's student population are members of low-income households who rely on child care subsidies from the Department of Social Services to cover their childcare costs in addition to ALICE households who do not qualify for subsidies. Funding will support tuition assistance; providing affordable access to quality childcare to families who are striving to provide in an environment where the cost of living is exceeds their earnings. Tuition assistance not only allows DICC to maintain their quality level of service and commitment to low-income families, it also allows them to not further strain ALICE household finances with exorbitant tuition increases to offset subsidy shortfalls.


Enfield Community Council

Awarded- $3,750 

Project Funded: Enfield Teen Program

Enfield is rurally isolated community with no recreation department or other services specifically for teens. Enfield Community Council in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County offers the Youth and Teen programs for youths from age 9-17 years old. Programs range from Primitive Pursuits, CIT camp program, youth employment, Wacky Wednesdays, Educate This!, Photo Nijas, Movie Night, and engaging fieldtrips     to popular local attractions. Youth are learning social skills, teamwork, decision-making, problem solving, self-esteem, empowerment and leadership through these after school and vacation programs.  The Enfield Teen Programs are designed to eliminate socio-economic barriers that prevent youth from enrolling in programs. Programs are also intended to provide a place for youth to belong, take safe risks, learn life skills, and form healthy relationships with peers and a trusted adult. The Program also gives Enfield youth a sense of community as many programs take place at the Enfield Elementary School and the Enfield Community Center. One full time Youth Program Manager provides an array of youth development programs, including enrichment, teen nights and volunteer action, for middle and high school youth who need more than their families and schools can provide.

Awarded- $3,500 

Project Funded: Enfield Summer Day Camp

The Enfield Community Council Summer Day Camp offers a camp program which enhances  children’s growth, well-being, and social development by incorporating one or more of the following components into all camp activities and projects: educational and/or recreational objectives, physical fitness and cultural studies including art and music.  The Enfield Community Council Summer Day Camp serves children ages 4–13 and is held at the Enfield Community Center; providing much needed childcare in the community during the summer months for working families. Breakfast & lunch are provided by the ICSD. Funding provides operational support for staff salaries, training, insurance costs, and program supplies.

Awarded- $1,000 

Project Funded: Enfield School Age Scholarship Program

The Enfield School Age Program provides a safe, engaging environment for children K-5 during the after school hours of 2:00 - 5:30. The Program tries to be accessible to the Enfield community and keep the monthly fees as low as can be financially feasible. Each day the program provides supervised homework sessions for children who need to get work done with assistance and/or the teacher or parent/guardian has requested the work be completed during program time. The children interact with all ages in the program; learning and practicing sharing, mindfulness of each other's feelings, and conflict resolution. The Program offers physical activity time   either in the gym or outdoors daily. Funding supports scholarships for families who are not eligible for DSS subsidies or other similar programs, but still have financial constraints.

Enfield Community Council logo


Family & Children's Service of Ithaca

Awarded- $10,000

Project Funded: Kinship Education Counseling and Training (KINECT) Program

The KINECT (Kinship Caregivers, Education, Counseling and Training) program provides support to Kinship caregivers to ensure a successful placement of a child in their care. These placements are supported for the sake of the health and wellbeing of the child, as well as the Kinship caregivers. The goal for most families is either for successful permanent placement with the Kinship caregivers, or for reunification with the family of origin.
KINECT is a unique program in our community, as there are no other programs working to provide the same kind of support to this population. According to the New York State Office of Child and Family Services, Tompkins County had an average of 179 children in foster care annually between 1995-2020. In 2020 almost half of the children in foster care spent some portion of their year with approved family members, in Kinship placement—and this figure includes only children who have already entered the formal foster care system—something KINECT seeks to prevent. Youth placed in non-kin foster care can face immense challenges beyond what any typical    child experiences, challenges that can ripple through a life. Of the 415,000 American foster youth in non-kinship care, less than half will earn a high school diploma or GED, and less than 5% will obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Youth between the ages of 12-17 in foster care are more likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, conduct, and disruptive behavior disorders, and are over twice as likely to receive inpatient care. Evidence
strongly suggest that children placed into kinship care have far fewer behavior problems than children do in other types of foster care.

Awarded- $10,000

Project Funded: Counseling

F&CS provides an array of high quality trauma-informed counseling and mental health care services to Tompkins County and surrounding communities through a series of extensive programs and services that cater to the varying needs of patients from infants, to those receiving end-of-life care and related social services. Counselors provide assessment and creation of treatment plans, whether through play and creative arts therapy, individual therapy, family and couples counseling, social-emotional development, case/crisis management, and when necessary, psychiatric referral. Addressing the whole person and his or her physical and behavioral health is essential for positive health outcomes and cost-effective care. Although many primary care providers are able to treat some aspects of mental disorders through medication, it has historically been difficult for a primary care provider to offer effective, high-quality mental health care when working alone. Combining mental health services and expertise with primary care can reduce costs, increase quality of care, and ultimately, save lives. During the Covid-19 pandemic, F&CS became a facility licensed to offer remote therapy to all of our clients. Now, as restrictions lift, we are able to offer both in-person and remote therapy options to all of our clients. Many of our clients have found that remote therapy is more convenient for them, whether due to scheduling around transportation, access to childcare, after school events, or even work.

Awarded- $25,000

Project Funded: Psychiatry Program

Psychiatric care in Tompkins County has historically been limited and often difficult to access, with only a handful of licensed psychiatrists, many of whom are shared between multiple organizations. Unable to compete with larger, wealthier markets where psychiatrists can expect higher salaries, attracting new psychiatrists to Tompkins County is difficult. Even before the pandemic, the supply of psychiatric providers in TC was a near crisis level labor shortage. One of the most pressing challenges F&CS continues to face is meeting community demand for psychiatric services. Psychiatric evaluation and medication management are essential components of providing comprehensive mental health services, yet offering psychiatric care remains a costly undertaking. Over the last two years, the mental health clinic saw more clients for whom talk-therapy and behavioral counseling have not been successful on their own in managing the unusual stressors of the pandemic, and for whom psychiatric medication has proven to be a useful tool. F&CS saw 392 Psychiatric patients in 2021, an increase of 75 from pre-Covid years, representing an increase of 400 appointments.

Family and Children's Service Logo

Family Reading Partnership

Awarded- $8,000

Project Funded: Books to Grow On Language Diversity Project

For 20 years the Family Reading Partnership has been providing and expanding the Books to Grow On program in Tompkins County. This effort distributes 11 brand-new, age-aligned books to all children who see a local medical provider for their well-visit appointments, from before birth through age five. Each child receives the same title as their peers at each age level, providing not only a beginning home library, but creating a sense of community and shared knowledge among even our youngest residents. As prices continue to rise, access to high-quality children's books grows farther out of reach for many families. Books to Grow On ensures that all young children in our community will have a collection of books to call their own, with the added benefit of creating trust between medical providers and the families they serve. Books to Grow On is facing an increasingly large hurdle: providing books in a range of languages. There are currently three Spanish/English bilingual books in the BTGO collection, but this does not increase accessibility for the hundreds of local families who primarily speak Mandarin, Korean, Karen, Urdu, Japanese, Russian or any of the other multitude of languages spoken in Tompkins County. Accessing foreign language children's books is incredibly difficult, and expensive, in the  United States. Families who relocate to Tompkins County are often very limited in their options for reading to their children in their home language, which is imperative to language development and learning.


Foodnet Meals On Wheels

Awarded- $30,000

Project Funded: Operational Support

Foodnet Meals on Wheels combats some of the biggest threats and barriers to healthy aging: hunger, isolation, and loss of independence and addresses this escalating problem daily. Our nation's senior population is growing exponentially with 1 in 5 Americans 60 or older, with 12,000 more turning 60 each day, and with an average life expectancy of 79 years. This population is set to reach 93 million in the next decade, leaving more Americans at risk of hunger and isolation. Programming addresses the social determinants of health by offering access to nutrition for older adults and others who are living with some of the greatest vulnerabilities in our community. According to Meals on Wheels America, 9 million older adults face the “threat of hunger.” This means that seniors in our own community are  making decisions between paying for food or their rent. United Way’s investment in these programs enables us to provide these services for those who might otherwise be forgotten. Foodnet reduces the risks of social isolation and loneliness by delivering each meal with a safety check and brief friendly visit. Through these visits,  drivers provide reassurance to our older adult neighbors, caregivers, and the greater community. The home delivered meal program provides nutritious hot meals five days a week. Comprehensive nutrition services include nutrition assessment, counseling, and education. As Foodnet continues to serve the seniors in our community, the organization is facing unavoidable and difficult to predict costs. Food costs, fuel costs, cost for disposable items (trays, napkins, foils, plastic wrap, plasticware) have all risen. Vendors are passing their increased costs (supply chain issues and employee need) to the customer/consumer, including onto Foodnet. Funding will help off-set these cost increases allowing Foodnet to provide meals and other nutrition services that promote dignity, well-being, and independence for older adults and other persons in-need in Tompkins County.


Gadabout  Awarded- $11,000

Project Funded: Gadabout Transportation Services

Gadabout Transportation Services uses a fleet of 27 lift equipped buses operated by volunteer and paid staff to provide rides to older adults (60 and over) and people with disabilities within Tompkins County. Our drivers will take riders to shop, volunteer, work, attend social gatherings, or to medical appointments. Anyone age 60 or over, or that has a disability that interferes with their ability to use of public transit is eligible to use the service. Fares range from $2.00 to $3.00 per one-way trip depending on location. Gadabout also provides free rides for Veterans. There is no minimum age or disability requirement if someone has served in the military. Currently Gadabout is the only low-cost accessible form of transportation in the County. 


Greater Ithaca Activities Center, Inc.  

Project Funded: Hospitality Employment Training Program Awarded-  $4,000

The Hospitality Employment Training Program (HETP) staff, steering committee, and partners have compressed a lifetime of employment skills and experience into an intensive and holistic career training program which is transformative for participants and essential for local employers.  This comprehensive model screens jobseekers for housing, childcare, and mental health needs for example, and prepares participants for long-term career success using technical training, goal setting, and life skills such as conflict management and self-care. The program is designed for adults 18 and older.

Project Funded: Senior Program Awarded- $5,000

GIAC's Adult 60+ Senior Program addresses several issues associated with the aging process for senior citizens. The focus is on three basic components dealing with senior health and well-being: (1) isolation, (2) social and intellectual engagement, and (3) physical and mental well-being. The Senior Program primarily functions as an outing/activities program for people 60+. By participating in GIAC sponsored life enrichment trips and activities, seniors develop social networks and become engaged in the community, enjoy culture and the arts, and experience positive health outcomes.

Project Funded: GIAC Teen Program Awarded- $15,000

The GIAC Teen Program works with low income, under-represented and minority teens primarily, providing educational support for them in school, through tutoring, study halls and when needed hands on in the classroom during school support sessions. Two main objectives form the foundation of the GIAC Teen Program: Support and grow those teens and young adults who lack the capacity and/or means to achieve on their own; and provide a safe, structured environment for teens to dwell, learn and build positive relationships. The program is for Middle School students through young adults because many of our young people really never stop depending on our support and advocacy. We deliver programing based on our mission like Recreational, educational, social and the arts.

Project Funded: GIAC Youth Program Awarded- $33,000

The GIAC Youth Program is licensed through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). The program provides a safe, creative and fun after school program and a 6-week summer day camp for elementary-age children. Activities include a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math as well as fitness, and programs addressing children's reading/comprehension levels. Other activities address specific social/economic needs of our children including serving nutritious snacks and a hot dinner daily to all participants.  Staff members build into program plans, activities that are Social/Emotional Learning-based such as bullying prevention and awareness, feeling circles where children discuss how they feel, and an understanding of communicating well with others. Multicultural learning is highlighted through foreign language studies and monthly heritage discovery and learning activities.


Groton Community Council

Project Funded: Groton Recreation Awarded- $800

Groton Recreation program provides activities and programs to residents of all ages at a reasonable cost to ensure all can participate. Groton Recreation programming occurs year round with the exception of seasonal, outdoor activities.

Project Funded: Groton Public Library Summer Reading Program Awarded- $1,000

Groton Public Library’s provides cultural experiences for families in the Groton community. This gives children an early introduction to professional performances which will help to develop a life-long appreciation of the arts, expand their young minds, enhance understanding of how literature and the arts combine to feed the imagination, and to raise awareness of how the Library can be part of every child's development. To combat food insecurity the library also offers a weekly food giveaways and a monthly free meal. The newest edition is the daily offering of free fruit in our “Grab & Go” program offered at our front desk.

Project Funded: Groton Youth Services Awarded- $2,500

Groton Youth Services is part of Cornell Cooperate Extension of Tompkins County's Rural Youth Services, which provides high quality Positive Youth Development programming in each municipality in Tompkins County with the exception of Newfield and the City of Ithaca. Groton Youth Services strives to serve its population of rural youth through progressive and innovative programing designed for elementary and middle school youth. These programs are developed to provide youth with the opportunity to develop life skills while fostering healthy, caring relationships with their peers and the Program Educator.  Programs are also developed using the Eight Principles of Positive Youth Development, offering a safe and supportive environment in which youth can take safe risks, explore  community, culture and realize their full potential and while belonging and thriving in their communities.

Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties Awarded- $2,000

Project Funded: Building Community

Tompkins County Habitat for Humanity is expanding outreach to train and include a wider range of community members to be a part of TC Habitat.  This includes but is not limited to: women of color, marginalized populations, special populations, young people (boys and girls), women leaving domestic violence and recovery. These populations will work on our three homes being built on Slaterville Road in the town of Dryden. This will provide empowering opportunities for hands-on learning for participants to build strength, stability and independence while changing their communities.

Habitat for Humanity Logo- Three people standing inside a house

Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County

Project Funded: Continuum of Care Coordination Awarded-  $10,000

The request for funding is to help support the Continuum of Care (CoC) Coordinator position. The position allows the CoC to meet all of the HUD requirements that make the County eligible to receive over $200,000 in funding each year to support housing for homeless individuals and families. The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a local planning body of individuals and public, and non-profit agencies working together to end homelessness in Tompkins County.  To receive HUD funding, you must have an active, collaborative CoC. The Coordinator staffs the 28 member CoC and its committees including setting up meetings and agendas, taking notes, researching, publicity, facilitating the Homeless and Housing Task Force, collecting data and producing all of the required HUD applications and reporting.


Project Funded: 2-1-1 Helpline and Referral Awarded- $10,000

The 2-1-1 Helpline provides information and referral services to individuals, nonprofit and government staff members, family members, and friends, community 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Individuals can access 2-1-1 by phone (dialing 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667), by text message (sending a text to 898211, or “TXT211”), by online chat at the website, and through a searchable online directory. 

2-1-1 Logo- 2-1-1 in a blue speech bubble

Ithaca Community Childcare Center Awarded- $10,500

Project Funded: Ithaca Community Childcare Center Expansion

Ithaca Community Childcare Center's building expansion will add 6,890 square feet of new space, renovate 4398 square feet of interior, and expand the parking lot by 20 spaces and add a bus loop for safe drop off. These improvements will allow IC3 to serve more children in our community and provide better experiences to families of IC3. The building expansion consists of the addition of 4 new classrooms, a gross motor space, conference room, 2 therapy rooms, 3 new restrooms, and a new staff breakroom. The expansion will increase capacity of the after school program from 50 to 100, it will add half day programming for 15 Pre-K children and 10 toddlers and may provide an additional 14 Pre-K spaces in an integrated Pre-K with a Racker collaboration as well as accommodating 35 TST BOCES students.


Ithaca Health Alliance Awarded$35,000

Project Funded: Ithaca Free Operating Support for Patient Services

The Ithaca Health Alliance provides unique health care services not readily duplicated by other service providers in the community through the operation of the Ithaca Free Clinic. The Ithaca Free Clinic provides free medical and integrated healthcare services to the uninsured, the underinsured, and those who cannot access healthcare locally. Anyone without health insurance can receive primary healthcare and therapeutic services at the Free Clinic. In an effort to provide a place of healing built on trust and respect for every patient seeking Free Clinic services, there is no needs testing, residency requirements, or requirement to provide immigrant status. Free Clinic patients are members of the community who earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid and do not earn nearly enough to afford health insurance plans available through the ACA Marketplace that do not come with exorbitant co-pays and deductibles and lack coverage for essential, everyday healthcare needs.


Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services Awarded-$10,000

Project Funded: Minor Repairs Program 

The primary goal of INHS' Small Repair Program is to help homeowners age in place and continue living independently by providing health and safety repairs that prevent small problems from becoming larger, expensive ones. The labor and materials for repairs are provided free of charge. In addition to assisting seniors and persons with disabilities, INHS extends the program to homeowners who are housing-cost burdened, or, as defined by United Way, asset-limited, income-restrained, and employed (ALICE).



Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. 

Project Funded: Crisis Services- Access to Justice Awarded- $2,000

Tompkins County Client Crisis Services (Access to Justice)  core service  focus on issues essential to low-income residents’ abilities to secure decent, affordable housing, to obtain adequate food and health care, and to maintain a subsistence income sufficient to preserve shelter, nutrition, and health. Local funding supports our efforts to provide housing advocacy and homelessness prevention services and to facilitate access to the justice system in a variety of administrative agency and court proceedings.

Project Funded: LawNY Collaborative Reentry Project Awarded- $3,000

The goal of the Reentry Project has been to remove legal barriers to employment, thereby enabling clients to be self-sufficient through economic advancement. Research has shown that accessing and maintaining employment is one of the most effective means of preventing incarceration and deterring criminal recidivism. The Reentry Project serves persons who have previously been incarcerated or who experience barriers to employment resulting from past involvement with the legal/judicial system.

Black and green outline of NYS with the words LawNY following after


Project Funded: Lifelong Activities Awarded$2,500

At Lifelong, allowing seniors the opportunity to remain active and engaged is incredibly important. Paying attention to one's physical health becomes more and more important as we age. By offering appropriate and focused exercise programs, Lifelong helps seniors take control of their health by promoting movement, strengthening, stretching, aerobics, falls prevention and better balance. Our programs also go a long way in combatting social isolation, giving seniors a place to exercise with their peers.

Project Funded: Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Awarded- $3,000

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) provides free tax preparation by IRS trained volunteer preparers to eligible clients. Appointments are made beginning in January of each year and tax clinics are held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through the tax season.


Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County Awarded- $22,000

Project Funded: Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County

Loaves & Fishes Free Meal and Advocacy Program offers Tompkins County residents a welcoming community where guests can share a meal with others and receive practical assistance and support when needed. Loaves & Fishes is Tompkins County’s only community kitchen that is open five days a week and on all holidays, except Thanksgiving. The free meal program provides a hot, nutritious free meal each weekday. The advocacy program provides information to our guests about existing social services and resources, actively links guests to these services when needed and, in general, provides on-going emotional and practical support to our guests during times of crisis or significant transitions.


Newfield Community Council 

Project Funded: Summer Reading Program Awarded- $1,000

The Newfield Public Library brings the Summer Reading Program to the entire Newfield community every year.  The program gives participants an opportunity to visit the library regularly for engaging and enriching activities and creates a lasting positive attitude toward reading, libraries, and our community. While the program is available to all age groups, the largest number of participants are youth.

Project Funded: Newfield Kitchen Cupboard Awarded- $1,500

The Newfield Kitchen Cupboard is a food distribution program designed to help low income families experiencing emergency or chronic food insecurity. It serves anyone who is in need of food. A three day supply of nutritious food is offered twice monthly on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 6-7 pm at the Newfield United Methodist Church, and on an emergency basis.

Project Funded: Newfield Before and After School Programs Awarded- $2,800

The Newfield Before and After school program supports local low-income working families. The program works to provide enriching experiences for students by facilitating field trips as well as hands-on learning opportunities.

Project Funded: Newfield Recreation Summer Day Camp Awarded- $5,000

The Newfield Recreation Summer Day Camp offers a low cost, high quality day care for children of a community that consistently is at or near the bottom of Tompkins county economic demographics and at the top of families in need of a structured, safe, and consistent environment for their children. Additionally, attending children receive free breakfasts and lunches.

Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources of Tompkins County 

Project Funded: Voices That Must Be Heard Awarded$4,000

Voices That Must Be Heard (“Voices”) Peer Leadership Group will bring together a cohort of CIU students as they prepare to become mentors, leaders, and advocates working for progressive change around concerns and issues that have directly impacted them. Voices will give visibility to people and ideas that have been hidden from the mainstream, bringing fresh perspectives from underrepresented groups.

Project Funded: OAR Services Awarded- $10,000

For over forty years OAR has worked to protect civil liberties of those incarcerated in the Tompkins County Jail. Over the past decade OAR has expanded services to assist clients in successful reentry into the community following incarceration.  In response to this different set of needs, and the numerous barriers facing those returning home, OAR has pioneered new programs including College Initiative Upstate, Endeavor House  (Transitional housing), and intensive casework with parolees.

The letters O A R. There is a scale of justice sitting inside the "O". Underneath it says "of Tompkins County."

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service 

Project Funded: The Crisisline Awarded- $15,000

The Crisisline ensures that there is always someone there to talk to in an individual's greatest time of need. The Senior Counselors are trained in the experience- and evidence-based Lifeline ASIST model for suicide intervention. They use this model to help callers at imminent risk of suicide to turn towards life, make connection, disable means, develop safety plans, and make verbal contracts "that you will call here first" before acting on any thoughts of suicide. Senior Counselors counsel others, too, who are at less imminent risk of suicide who turn to the Crisisline for support. The Crisisline is a key contact point in the deployment of the County Mobile Crisis Team when a person presents a danger to himself or others as a result of a mental health emergency.

Project Funded: Help for Every Teen Awarded- $2,275

“Help for Every Teen” is designed to teach teens about mental and emotional health, to encourage them to get emotional support for specific problems, and learn when and where to get more help from trusted. The program starts with "The Listening Tent," a pop-up mental health resource center and literally a small tent, providing information, learning experiences, and empathetic listening to high school and middle school students for week-long long residencies. The project will provide print materials, classroom visits, and lunch-time interactive experiences. In addition, trainings in suicide awareness and intervention skills will be provided for school staff.

A sun breaks out from behind dark clouds with the words "Suicide Prevention & Crisis Services For A Brighter Day" written underneath

The Learning Web Awarded$40,000

Project Funded: Learning Web Youth Programs: Exploration, Life Skills, & Youth Outreach 

The Learning Web provides a continuum of services and supports to help youth and young adults move steadily toward a positive adulthood. The Learning Web prioritizes academic support, career preparation and job search aid, housing, recreation programming, support services, transportation and family support. Secondarily (but still very critical) they help youth identify (and often accompanying them to) needed services for childcare, language assistance, health care, legal aid and tutoring.


Tompkins Learning Partners

Project Funded: Adult Literacy Awarded$9,000

Tompkins Learning Partners serves adults who live or work in Tompkins County and who have English language or literacy needs. Students seek to improve their ability to speak English, read, write, do math, or use computers. Many have goals to improve or gain employment, obtain High School Equivalency, become American citizens, or simply gain skills to navigate independently in the community. Students in TLP's program test at the low (beginner or basic) to intermediate (4-9th grade) literacy levels. They range from ages 18-80+, represent both urban and rural parts the county, are typically under-resourced, and face multiple barriers in addition to literacy.

Outlines of two people sitting side by side reading a book. Underneath it says Tompkins Learning Partners, Inc. It is all in green.

Ulysses Community Council 

Project Funded: Summer Reading Program Awarded$800

The Summer Reading Program encourages children and teens to continue reading through their school summer vacation so as to avoid the "summer slide" of lost literacy skills. The Ulysses Philomathic Library offers event programming for six weeks and runs the reading campaign two full months. In addition to supporting literacy, UPL's Summer Reading Program builds community, encourages families and children to feel welcome in the library, and gives children valuable cultural experiences - such as storyteller and theater performances.

Project Funded: Trumansburg Afterschool Program Inc. Scholarship Program Awarded- $2,000

Many families with children need safe affordable child care for their children during after school hours. The United Way funding allows TASP to help families with short term financial aid during family situations and longer term part scholarships to help low income families attend TASP.

Project Funded: Trumansburg Food Pantry Awarded- $2,000

The Trumansburg Food Pantry is designed simply to provide free food to those in need.  The Pantry has grown to now help an average of 70 households in the Village of Trumansburg, the Town of Ulysses, and/or the Trumansburg Central School District. Guests are experiencing financial difficulties and need support with meeting their monthly nutritional needs due to a variety of financial stresses, e.g., loss of employment, social security limitations, health concerns with increasing medical and pharmacy expenses, and more. The Pantry tries to supply 3-5 days of meals every other week and also maintain an Emergency Hotline for immediate food needs.

Project Funded: Summer Recreation Program Awarded- $3,000

The Summer Recreation Program provides full-day recreational services for approximately 175 children from the Trumansburg Central School District.  The six-week program enables parents of all economic backgrounds (low-income, ALICE, and higher income families) to have full-day supervised recreational activities that are fun, educational, and healthy for their children ages 5-13.  Supervision is offered before and after programs allowing parents to register for care from 7:30am - 5:30pm.

Project Funded: Trumansburg/ Ulysses Youth Services Awarded- $3,750

Trumansburg/Ulysses Youth Services is part of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County's Rural Youth Services which provides high quality Positive Youth Development programming in rural communities. The Town of Ulysses contracts with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and the Trumansburg Ulysses Youth Commission oversees innovative non formal educational programming for rural and undeserved school students in Trumansburg schools. The Town of Ulysses provides funds to create first time employment opportunities for youth through placements at area businesses, summer camps and parks. Youth are supported through the employment experience by the Program Manager, who checks in with the youth and the employer to ensure a quality experience; that includes obtaining foundational employment skills and workplace etiquette.


Village at Ithaca Awarded- $12,000

Project Funded: Family Advocacy Program and Related Projects

The Family Advocacy Program was formalized in 2009 by community activists and volunteers who organized a program pairing volunteer community advocates with families who wanted support in navigating the school system on behalf of their children. The current iteration of the Family Advocacy Program takes a multi-pronged approach to supporting children and families. Village staff work with families individually to get a full picture of what supports are necessary for the child in question to achieve genuine educational success, and then we work together to provide those supports. Advocates (either Village staff or trained, volunteer community members) can arrange, attend and/or facilitate school meetings from family/caregiver conferences to disciplinary hearings.  


Women’s Opportunity Center Awarded- $5,000

Project Funded: On the job training workshops "Leadership Employment and Development Skills"

The Leadership, Employment, and Development Skills (LEADS) Program provides hands-on training, computer skills, and soft-skills needed to help our participants create a community of support and professional networking that will help them to think beyond just obtaining a level-entry position, but instead starting on a career path.  In the long-term, this will increase their job retention rates, help them break out of the cycle of generational poverty, and become contributing economic self-sufficient members of Tompkins County.


YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County Awarded- $10,000

Project Funded: Open Doors Scholarship Program 

In an effort to encourage health and well being for individuals and families in our community, the YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County offers an income-based membership, known as the Open Doors Program. This membership allows the applicant (and family, if applicable) a 3 month membership at a subsidized rate. This also allows the option to request assistance with most of the programs with fees that we offer. Requests are easy by bringing the application to the Welcome Center and submit income documentation. The YMCA is a place where everyone can belong—no matter what income.



The T. Merrell Shipherd Fund was established to honor T. Merrell Shipherd, former Director of United Way of Tompkins County, who, throughout his life, worked to bring people together to find effectives solutions to community challenges. This flexible fund accepts applications and awards grants on a rolling basis in effort to support effective programming and services that address current, new or emerging community needs.

Learn more about recent projects the T. Merrell Shipherd Fund has invested in by clicking on the Funded Partners below. Click here for information on how to apply to the T. Merrell Shipherd Fund and to learn more about previously funded projects. 


A photo collage of 3 photos. Photo 1 shows a YMCA staff member smiling at the camera carrying a clipboard. He is wearing a LIVE UNITED t-shirt and walking on the deck of a swimming pool. Photo two shows a pile of disposable face masks against a blue background. Photo three shows a line of 5+ volunteer wearing hats and hairnets preparing food in an industrial kitchen.

Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga Awarded- $3,000

Project Funded: Flexible Fund for Households

Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga received support a flexible fund to aid individuals households in meeting their basic needs as the economy changes due to COVID-19.

Catholic Charities Tompkins-Tioga logo

Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services Awarded- $3,000

Project Funded: Remote Mental Health Services

Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services received funds to purchase telecommunications equipment that will allow them to offer remote mental health services.

Cayuga Medical Center Awarded- $5,000

Project Funded: Remote Mental Health Services

Cayuga Medical Center received funds to purchase two Rheonix testing machines in order to increase Tompkins County’s COVID-19 testing capabilities.

A diamond shows a blue sky with a light blue river running next to a field of green grass. Next to it are the words Cayuga Medical Center. Underneath reads: A Member of Cayuga Health System

Child Development Council Awarded- $10,254

Project Funded: Baby Supplies and Child Care Scholarships

Child Development Council received support to provide both baby supplies and child care scholarships for families in need due to COVID-19 impacts on their households.


Downtown Ithaca Children's Center Awarded- $3,000

Project Funded: Affordable, Continuous Childcare

Downtown Ithaca Children's Center received support to provide reopening needs to assure availability of: affordable and continuous childcare so that essential workers and their family have the ability to reenter and remain in the workforce. DICC needs to ensure its own viability and sustainability if they are to continue to serve low-income wage earners.


Community Arts Partnership Awarded- $1,250

Project Funded: Black Girl Alchemy Public Art Mosaic

Community Arts Partnership received support to provide an opportunity for any interested parties, however it aims to enroll a group of 12-15 local youth, primarily Black Girls, who reside in the city of Ithaca to participate in regular programming. The core group of participants will be recruited from agencies & neighborhoods throughout Ithaca. Recognizing that an overwhelming number of negative images and stereotypical perceptions of Black girls and women plague today’s society, the BGA philosophy recognizes that when the community prioritizes the voices and creative works of Black girls & women, everybody benefits. The empowerment experience and artwork will contribute to a curriculum of liberation designed to combat historical and current social conditions negatively impacting school-aged Black Girls.

Foodnet Meals on Wheels Awarded-$13,650

Project Funded: Safety Supply of Meals Incase of Shutdown Caused By COVID-19

Foodnet Meals on Wheels received support to provide a safety supply of 8,750 meals to an estimated 625 older adults and others in need in case they are shut down due to COVID-19.


Healthy Food For All Awarded-$2,057

Project Funded: Harvest Boxes

Healthy Food for All received support to provide for a second distribution of harvest boxes (boxes of fresh produce from local farms for families in need) to seven school districts (Newfield, Dryden, Trumansburg, Lansing, Groton, Ithaca, and New Roots.)

Healthy Food For All Logo- A giant beet sits on hilly farm land

Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County

Project Funded: Compassion Fatigue and Stress Reduction Workshops Awarded-$2,150

The Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County received support to provide learning and coaching to help address the needs of the health and human services professionals struggling with compassion fatigue and stress as a result of increased demands of the COVID 19 pandemic. The program has two components: (1) a two-hour workshop on self-care (2) three, 1-hour coaching sessions for participants to provide ongoing learning and support.


Project Funded: Consulting for Local Human Service Agencies Awarded-$1,750

The Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County received funds to assist local human services agencies in organization planning needs arising from changes due to COVID-19.


Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services Awarded-$3,500

Project Funded: Better, Safer, Cheaper: Using Drone Technology to Conduct Roof Inspections for Affordable Housing

INHS will purchase of a drone and license staff as drone pilots to provide more comprehensive, accurate, and safer roof inspections. INHS provides financial assistance and construction management for low-income (LI) first-time homebuyers and homeowners to support them in accessing and maintaining safe, affordable, and quality housing. As part of every home inspection INHS must evaluate the roof as best we can to determine if it is safe or in need of repairs. Currently, there is no practical, safe way to view roofs to assess their condition. Due to the age of available housing stock for LI buyers and owners; failing roofs are a big concern. Drone roof inspections would provide a level of accuracy and safety currently not available to our inspectors. Once complete, INHS will be able to safely conduct more comprehensive and accurate roof inspections to ensure the LI people we serve have safe, quality housing for their families. 


The Learning Web Awarded- $3,000

Project Awarded: COVID-19 Safe Opening

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create new barriers for Learning Web participants as organizations in the Tompkins County area work to keep people safe, it means less people being served at one time  and space is limited due to social distancing. As winter sets in this is a primary concern for the CDC as well as the Learning Web. In an effort to continue to serve participants in a safe manner, as quickly as possible, cleaning and sanitation must continue to be a priority. Access to these sanitation systems will allow the Learning Web to take the mostly virtual services we provide and see youth in person. Many youth, especially those enrolled in school are experiencing screen fatigue as they work online all day, adding an additional virtual meeting to their schedule has resulted in a decrease in engagement across all programs.


Varna Community Association Awarded- $5,000

Project Funded: COVID-FREE in Varna

The Varna Community Association (VCA) owns and operates the Varna Community Center. The Community Center has been empty of most of its usual programs and people since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in New York State.  While some activities, such as a small weekly AA meeting, have resumed with COVID-19 precautions in place, other vital community services, such as the Varna After School Program, remain closed. The VCA is making plans to enable indoor activities, including the Varna After School Program, to return in 2021. This project will provide an air filtration system that will remove air-borne toxins -- especially the COVID-19 virus -- from the entire building. With an air-filtration system in place,  the accessible Community Center will be safe for children in the Varna After School Program, older adults in Tai Chi classes,  and all others who attend meetings, community meals, and other activities

Ithaca Children's Garden Awarded- $1,500

Project Funded: Conversion of Vegetable Beds to Support Production for Local Food Banks

Ithaca Children's Garden received funds to convert and maintain their 22 vegetable beds in a fashion that will allow them to produce approximately 955 lbs. of food for local food banks.


Salvation Army Awarded- $5,000

Project Funded: Mobile Food Pantry

Salvation Army received funds to support a mobile food pantry.

YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County Awarded- $5,000

Project Funded: Remote Services

YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County received funds to purchase equipment that would allow them to provide services and programming remotely.


Golden Opportunity (GO), Inc. Awarded- $11,400

Project Funded: Golden Opportunity

GO received funds to cover costs of transportation services needed by students taking part in Golden Opportunity’s tutoring program during the 2021-2022 academic year.



Each fall, students in the Youth and Philanthropy (YAP) program award grants to programs sponsored by local agencies that focus on the building blocks of a good life: Education, Income and Health.

YAP empowers youth to take an active role in their community and understand the role of philanthropy in their lives. Participating students come together as grant reviewers assessing community needs and dispersing an average of $25,000 each year to organizations addressing those needs. Participants gain skills in consensus building, community needs assessment, interview techniques, and critical thinking. 

The funding for the grants issued is provided by a generous donation from Triad Foundation. 

Learn more about the Fall 2020 projects YAP has invested in below. Click here for information on how to apply to the Youth and Philanthropy Grant Fund and to learn more about previously funded projects. Click here to apply to be a member of YAP.


A collage of three photos of YAP students meeting in different locations all smiling at the camera.

Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga  Awarded- $4,000

Project Funded: Personal Needs Products and Cleaning Supplies

Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga seeks continued support of the Samaritan Center through the Youth and Philanthropy Fund. The Samaritan Center serves as a welcoming location for families and individuals experiencing financial crisis. The Youth and Philanthropy Fund requested will be used as part of our full budget to help over 3000 low-income people each year to resolve crises and stabilize, get caring support, and gain access to programs that have helped many to move toward greater self sufficiency.  We target this assistance to meet the needs that impact the youth and children the most. For those who turn to the Samaritan Center for help.  Based on recent history we envision this will include personal care products, cleaning supplies and disinfecting products.   

Catholic Charities Tompkins-Tioga logo

Coddington Road Community Center Awarded- $800

Project Funded: Learners and Scholars at Coddington Awarded

The Coddington Learners and Scholars programs began in response to the pandemic. Both are designed to support elementary students as they navigate online learning through their home schools. In addition to academic support, Coddington offers outdoor time on our 12 acres of fields and woods allowing students to disconnect and absorb sunshine and nature during down times. Meals are also served, including breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack during our full day option. Our Learners program has already operated during the September 14 to October 2 school closure, serving 19 children. Many students come prepared with academic supplies, including school issued tablets. Coddington also provides materials for planned and independent art projects, games and other recreational materials. For students who have trouble logging on to our network or didn't bring a device, we hope to provide a device set up to work on our network. This request is to purchase 3 Chromebooks with protective cases and keyboards. The approximate cost for each complete unit is $400.

The words Coddington Road Community Center are written in red. Above them sits a cartoon tree with three circles that represent leaves. The circles are red, green, and blue and look like lollipops.

Foodnet Meals on Wheels Awarded- $4,000

Project Funded: Blizzard Bag Program

Foodnet requests $4,000 of United Way Youth and Philanthropy funding to support the continuation of the blizzard bag program for vulnerable older adults who have difficulty maintaining adequate nutrition. In Upstate New York, a snowstorm can hit unexpectedly, creating dangerous road conditions that can challenge our ability to reach homebound older adults and others in need. Investment in this program ensures that our older adult neighbors have access to nutritious meals regardless of the weather conditions during the winter months.


Golden Opportunity Center Awarded-$3,000

Project Funded: GO Online Tutoring and Virtual Mentorship Program

Distance learning has challenged GO’s primary objective of delivering in-person, one-on-one tutoring, and mentorship. GO students and their families are struggling with housing and food insecurity, internet connectivity, and social and emotional wellness. We are aware that students who were already struggling are falling further behind. As an organization, we have been forced to reimagine tutoring by creating an online program where tutors can continue to offer consistency and support, and where students can share their dreams and fears in a safe environment with a mentor whom they trust. Distance learning may impact GO tutors' ability to sit shoulder to shoulder with their students, but it won't change their capacity to promote joy and belonging and offer hope for a better tomorrow.   

GO-Golden Opportunity

Great Ithaca Activities Center, Inc. Awarded- $2,700

Project Awarded: GIAC Cultural Awareness Preteen Video Art/Cooking Instruction & Elementary Youth Podcast

The program summary focuses on two age groups within GIAC:  1) the pre-teen 6th - 8th grade students and 2) the elementary 2nd - 5th grade students that attend GIAC's new all-day, 4-days a week Academic Support Program to complete their ICSD online classes as well as small groups of After School students in GIACs safe, small group format.  The proposal is a brand new idea that engages students to explore virtual media arts, develop their creativity and the opportunity to learn about different cultures. The pre-teen group during GIAC's school year program will create instructional videos highlighting an art project and cooking lesson related to a particular culture and heritage month with the purchase of an I-Pad and art supplies to create their videos. Additionally, the younger students in the 2nd - 5th grade program would explore virtual media by creating a youth-centric podcast where the students with GIAC staff brainstorm and decide on podcast topics related to the cultural heritage month focus, create the content, record the podcast and make it available to the other GIAC groups, as well as local youth in the community. This is particularly important as due to COVID, GIAC's groups are unable to participate collectively.  


Ithaca Children's Garden Awarded-$750

Project Funded: A Yurt at ICG

ICG respectfully requests a grant to support construction of a yurt, a critical 4-season shelter, in the Garden to serve our program participants and vulnerable visitors. ICG lacks a 4-season shelter at the Garden to support our primarily outdoor-based program. Our current indoor program space is located off-site at the Just-Be-Cause Center, and is shared with other community groups. Due to Covid-19 mandates and safety precautions, we can no longer use it for our preschool, after-school and other programs that require indoor shelter in proximity to our outdoor site. The yurt will provide a safe, well-ventilated, and spacious shelter for ICG’s preschool, after-school, school break and summer day camp programs. The yurt will also provide respite from inclement weather conditions for Garden visitors, ICG and community partner event participants, and more. By constructing the yurt now, ICG will be able to reopen its childcare programs in early 2021, filling a critical need for over 750 families in the community while also stabilizing our financial position with the resumed income stream from these programs. 


Ithaca Community Childcare Center Awarded-$4,000

Project Funded: COVID Supply Boxes 

As we begin moving moving forward following the COVID-19 outbreak, child care providers and families are faced with the “new normal”. For the Ithaca Community Childcare Center (IC3) staff, this includes among other things, implementing social distancing strategies, new cleaning protocols, modified drop off and pick up procedures, and increased screening procedures.IC3 would like to mitigate the impact of some of these changes while also implementing COVID-19 protocols by introducing individual workstations to daycare rooms, moving away from the community workstations that currently occupy these spaces. Included would be individual workstations for each child and supply boxes that contain crayons, markers, scissors, playdough, etc., one complete kit would be allotted for each child. We propose introducing these individual workstations as part of a new routine, marking the transition with celebratory flare and the “gifting” of their very own individual supply boxes. The individual supplies will reduce the potential of transmission of COVID-19 on high touch materials such as pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, playdough etc. IC3 would like to purchase individual supply boxes for 165 children in each of the 13 toddler, pre k and school age classrooms. We believe this is an opportunity to model for children problem-solving, and flexibility, by engaging children in preventative health measures and in the reimagining their physical spaces.


Khuba International Awarded- $5,137.50

Project Funded: Quarter Acre for the People

Quarter Acre for the People (QAP) facilitates access to land and expands opportunities to engage in agricultural systems for racially-oppressed, food-insecure, and income-challenged community members, particularly families with children. Through the project, families are connected with farmers and landowners who allocate at least a quarter-acre of their land for long-term community agriculture purposes. With support from QAP staff, families grow culturally relevant food, participate in hands-on learning opportunities, and take fresh produce home. Additionally, we will host monthly youth and family-specific workshops, put on in collaboration with community partners such as Cornell Cooperative Extension and Groundswell. In order to support community members in accessing programming, QAP will provide transportation to the farm site, and financial incentives for participating in focus groups. Focus groups will be an opportunity to gain feedback from the community participants to ensure that community needs are continuing to be met and that the program can adapt as needed. In the short term, families and youth are provided  increased access to green space, educational programming, and fresh produce. This will have educational and health benefits for families and children. In the long-term, families interested in becoming more involved in agriculture systems will have the opportunity to move to land for homesteading and/or cooperative farming ventures. This would allow families increased housing and economic security in the long-term, as well as sustained health benefits.

The words Khuba International are written in black next to a cartoon seagull who is flying through the air.

Ulysses Community Council Awarded-$5,000

Project Funded: Trumansburg Community School-Day Program

An opportunity for middle school students to attend a four-hour/two day per week program supervised by CCE Youth Coordinator for Trumansburg and two additional paid staff.  During the day the program consists of the following options/activities:

  • All participants will complete all incomplete assignments on BrightSpace and I-ready. This is the most important part of the day.  Students will also be encouraged to attend classes should they have any questions, or, if you are a full-virtual learner, attend all virtual classes on their schedules.
  • Youth Development programs run by Ethan Cramton of Cornell Cooperative Extension. This will include fun DIY projects, outdoor/survival skills, outdoor art projects, team-building challenges, and other focused youth development programming.
  • Lawn games such as target games (bean bag toss), badminton, spikeball, pickleball, bocce, and physically distant recreational activities. 

Village at Ithaca Awarded- $1800

Project Funded: Village Family Dinner Program

Our Family Dinner Program will be a twice monthly event, likely on Sunday, where we’ll encourage teenagers and young adults to come together over a meal. We want it to be a casual space that establishes us even further as a place of safety, support, and love. We hope to solicit donations from local restaurants, giving teenagers and young adults a stronger tie to our own community. (We already have partnerships with Italian Carryout and Mama Said Hand Pies.)  Additionally, we plan to partner with a diverse group of local restaurants that provide healthy meals whenever possible. With the support of United Way of Tompkins County, we will expand our relationships with students in Ithaca and surrounding areas, create stronger relationships, and alleviate the burden for food insecure families in the ways that we can.


YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County Awarded- $750

Project Funded: Virtual Membership Expansion 

Our virtual membership expansion is designed to promote health and wellness for youth, families, and seniors from the comfort of their homes during the ongoing pandemic. By offering a virtual membership we will be able to continue delivering the YMCA experience online through group fitness classes, wellness workshops, cooking classes, etc. By virtually connecting folks to the YMCA community we hope to fight feelings of isolation, improve mental health, and keep people physically healthy as well.