As Drew appropriately stated, "Thrice is Nice!" We've made it to the third installment of Nice Grants and I couldn't have said it better! With generous support from DeveloperTown we were again able to sponsor 10 great ideas with $1000 each. After over 100 submissions and hours of discussions we whittled down this year's amazing crop and made a decision. Without further ado, the 2015 Nice Grant winners!
Eric, a local artist will take his latest art installation – 4 foot tall creatures – to the streets! He plans on creating an engaging art project placed in various locations throughout Indy that will connect with the public and spark conversation and interest. See more of his work here.
Jessica will use her $1000 grant to launch a mentorship program for female survivors of trafficking in Indiana. Her program will empower these women and give them an ally, creating authentic and unwavering relationships as they rebound from "the life." Get more information at www.purchased.org
Steven plans to use his $1000 grant to purchase MP3 players, headphones, and music for patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Through his research, he discovered music is a proven method to ease agitation, depression, memory loss, confusion and provide a sense of calm to patients.
Renee Sweany and Pogue's Run Grocer
With their $1000 grant, Pogue's Run Grocer
will be able to continue their class, which utilizes the cookbook, Good and Cheap,
to teach the community ways to cook healthy, delicious meals affordably – all meals are designed to fit into an average food stamp budget. The $1000 grant will help further their belief that families that cook and eat together help create healthy communities.
Andrew is part of an artist collective at the Circle City Industrial Complex. He will use his grant to run a free program for Brookside community children and families and teach them how to make toys, comics, clothing, and paintings. Find out more here
Jeni Christoffersen and Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside
Jeni along with Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside (F.I.D.O.) will use their grant to improve the quality of life for dogs in Indianapolis, particularly dogs chained, neglected, and left outside. Their grant will help purchase kennels, dog houses, and training crates as well as help low-income families better care for their pets. Learn more about F.I.D.O. online
Alyssa Pfennig and Mighty Lotus
Alyssa and Mighty Lotus will use their Nice Grant to continue funding their youth program which empowers youth to overcome challenges and lead mindful, purposeful and healthy lives using yoga, meditation and other awareness practices. Their program is currently offered in seven local elementary schools with more to be added in the 2015-2016 school year. Get more info at www.mightylotus.org
Maria Santiago and Chosen
Maria will continue to teach life skills to young single parents so they can live up to their full potential and accomplish their goals. They do this by creating long-term support systems, providing career counseling, financial literacy and much more. You can visit Maria at www.IamChosen.org
Karlisha Russell and Good Hustle Project
The Good Hustle Project will use their Nice Grant to further their great cause – an urban youth entrepreneurship program. Their program helps youths identify and use their talents to create a successful entrepreneurial endeavor instead of resorting to illegal or unethical options to make money. Visit them online
Morning Light, Inc.
Morning Light is a non-profit operating Pennwood Place, an apartment complex for low-income seniors. Morning Light will use their $1000 grant to fund a shuttle service for their residents for the next year. Residents use their shuttle service to explore downtown Indy, attend Pacers games, visit museums, shop, and more. Find out more about their services at www.morninglightinc.org
There you have it, the 10 lucky winners of Nice Grants 2015. The impact they will have on Indianapolis and the communities they serve will be huge – we are lucky and glad to be a part of their movement! Be sure to visit www.nicegrants.org to keep up with this year's Nicees and learn about past winners.