Ithaca, N.Y. — Catholic Charities will provide bus passes. Alternatives will be providing free tax preparation to low income households. The Discovery Trail will be expanding it’s ‘Kids Discover Trail!’ to all six school districts in Tompkins County.

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These a just a few of the projects in store for Tompkins County, funded by grants totaling $25,000 to eleven different organizations throughout the county.

The grants were presented by the Youth and Philanthropy Council. The Youth and Philanthropy Council (YAP) is comprised of 21 high school students from the Tompkins, Seneca, Tioga and BOCES school districts.

The students reviewed the grant applications from the local organizations, and then needed to decide on a general reconciliation of which organizations would receive grants, and how much each recipient would get.

“I’m not sure there’s any other program that gives this experience to high school students,” Chris Halladay, of Cornell University, who works closely with the students of YAP.

Here’s a breakdown of the grant recipients, and how they envision spending the money:

1-Advocacy Center of Tompkins County: $1,070
“Enough Abuse Campaign” will support community marketing efforts and provide educational materials to parents and caregivers to help fight against child sexual abuse.
Tompkins County was chosen as one of three sites in NYS to pilot the program, according to a representative of the advocacy center.

2-Alternatives Impact $4,000
This grant will be used for the Volunteer Tax Income Assistance, which provides free income tax preparations for low income housing.

3-Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga: $680
The funds given to Catholic Charities will be used to ‘support self-sufficiency’ by providing bus passes to people in need so they can get to work, educational programs, or emergency medical appointments.

4-Challenge Workforce Solutions: $5,000 (Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub Healthy Snack Packaging Machine)

These funds will help in making more efficient packaging, hire more workers, increase productivity, and in turn- increase revenue.

The Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub Healthy Snack Packaging program purchases products from local farmers, processes them into snacks, packages them, and delivers them throughout NYS, according to Savannah Wheaton, a Groton High School student who presented the grant to Challenge.

5-The Discovery Trail: $1,500
This grant will fund an expansion of the ‘Kids Discover Trail!’ program to all six school districts in Tompkins County, and to all elementary school classes within each district.

6-Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca: $1,600
The grant will provide stipends for two summer interns for a program that provides therapeutic mentoring to at-risk youth.

7-Food Bank of the Southern Tier: $3,000
“We are an organization dedicated to making decisions that are data driven,” Lyndsey Lyman, Agency Outreach Coordinator for the Food Bank.
The grant is being used for an “agency capacity evaluation.”

8-Ithaca Health Alliance: $1,200
According to Jack Salmon of YAP, New York State will have new regulations beginning in 2015 which will require that prescriptions need to be written electronically. The grant will be used to purchase two new laptops for healthcare providers at the Ithaca Free Clinic.

9-The Learning Web: $3,300
This grant will be used to survey and understand the size and ‘the needs of homeless youth in Tompkins County’.

10-Running to Places Theatre Company: $500
This theatre company will now be able to expand their accessibility and allow free participation to all youth in the company’s productions for 2015.

11-Women’s Opportunity Center of Tompkins County: $3,150
The grant is being used for a program that will provide 6 weeks of ‘on the job training’ for low income women.


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