Collaborative receives $500,000 Wean grant


Staff report

WARREN

The Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative has received a $500,000 grant from the Raymond J. Wean Foundation.

The foundation’s board of directors last week reaffirmed its commitment to help build the capacity of service and educational organizations in the Mahoning Valley with a new round of grants totaling $795,000, including the MVOC grant, said Gordon Wean, board chairman.

MVOC is an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for people in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties by working with vacant properties, improving the availability of fresh food in certain neighborhoods and developing leaders who can advocate for change.

The foundation also awarded $150,000 to the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership for its vacant-property, and citywide beautification and land re-utilization programs, and $50,000 to the Eastern Ohio P-16 Partnership for Education.

The Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, launched in 2009, collaborates with the city of Warren and MVOC to increase neighborhood reinvestment throughout the city.

The partnership works with residential associations, the city, Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department, Warren City Schools and others to help clean up vacant properties. The group’s goal is to address 100 vacant properties and enlist the support of 500 volunteers.

The group’s beautification project seeks to create or revitalize three to five community gardens and to sponsor a mural competition that will result in the creation and public display of three large pieces of artwork throughout Warren.

The Eastern Ohio P-16 Partnership for Education is a group of educators, business executives and civic and nonprofit leaders who seek to improve the quality of education and to increase students’ performances on college-board tests.

The new funding will enable the organization to continue strategic planning, to track results of its initiatives and to expand ACT courses in schools.

The foundation board also awarded grants to the YWCA of Warren, the Center for Community Solutions, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio and the Organizaction Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana, the primary Hispanic social service organization on Shirley Road, Youngstown.

In addition to its larger grants, the foundation also supports neighborhood-based groups with grants of up to $5,000 through its Neighborhood SUCCESS Program.

The grants have been used for such purposes as buying lawn equipment to care for abandoned properties, planting trees, and operating food or clothing giveaways for those in need. The deadline to apply for success grants is March 15. Applications may be obtained from the foundation’s website at www.rjweanfdn.org.

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