Meet the CFRF Community Vote Grantees
From May 12-18, 2020, we invited you to experience the joy of philanthropy with us by asking you to share with our granting committee the organization that most inspires you from our Grant Catalog.
Last week, we announced the grant recipient organizations who received the most unique votes, and wanted to share more about their ministries during the coronavirus pandemic and why community members were inspired to vote for them.
Thank you to the thousands in our community who participated and generated the most interest for these organizations.
St. Joseph Shrine, Detroit: Food Distribution
St. Joseph Shrine made extraordinary adaptations over the past several weeks to continue its work of caring for the spiritual and material needs of the community. The priests of the Shrine remained available each day to hear confessions and make sick calls. They also increased their spiritual outreach to the public via live-streamed Masses and devotions.
St. Joseph Shrine’s food pantry, which is operated in partnership with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, continues its mission of providing food and other essentials to local families in need. The food pantry has adopted new strategies to serve the present needs of its neighbors by providing financial assistance for necessities and taking new precautions to safely serve our neighbors, such as delivering food. The food pantry regularly serves over 100 local families twice a month and they are currently increasing services to meet increased demand.
With the grant they received from the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Catholic Faithful Response Fund, St. Joseph Shrine will be able to:
- Restock supplies for the food pantry, including shelf-stable food, sanitation supplies and personal protective equipment to promote health of an increased number of local families
- Purchase additional sanitation supplies and personal protective equipment to maintain a clean environment as the Shrine reopens for masses
Community members who voted for St. Joseph Shrine shared why they were inspired:
- St. Joseph Shrine is an incredible parish with devoted priests who have saved the church building from being demolished and raised money for it’s repair. They have created a parish family that is unique and they truly care about their parishioners, providing every opportunity to connect and receive the allowed sacraments during this pandemic
- St. Joseph Shrine has remained a beacon of hope in this unprecedented time. We found great solace in being able to visit with Our Lord in adoration and in the broadcasts of the Holy Mass and the 33 Day Consecration to St. Joseph preparation.
- St. Joseph Shrine provides much needed spiritual nourishment for the people of God, not just in Detroit, but for many others due to their online presence! The priests help God’s people grow in holiness each day.
Regina High School, Warren: Tuition Assistance
Without much notice, the dedicated teachers at Regina High School quickly moved their curriculum to a digital platform to allow students to complete their tasks at home, until school ended in late May. The guidance staff provided a list of resources for families on topics such as physical, mental, and COVID-specific health, education, spirituality and food assistance programs. Throughout the last months of school, the administration consistently checked in with staff, faculty and families, to let them know that they wished to work with families in any way they can. The administration brought appreciative signs to every teacher, and staff delivered signs, cap and gown and other items to seniors on the day that would’ve been their graduation.
Regina’s Alumnae Association raised over $10,000 for Gleaners Community Food Bank and for Regina families experiencing financial hardship during this time. Regina also hosted a blood drive, and shared an online campaign thanking their alumna who are working on the front lines as healthcare providers.
With the grant they received from the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Catholic Faithful Response Fund, Regina High School will be able to support families who may be financially concerned about continuing to send their daughters to Regina.
Community members who voted for Regina High School shared why they were inspired:
- Regina develops its young women’s vision and faith. The transformation of the young women during their four years at Regina is remarkable. The faculty, staff and students are an asset to our community and the state of Michigan.
- Upon entering the main doors of Regina High School, you feel the presence of the Lord, the warmth and inviting smiles of faculty, staff and students, as well as a sense of a very loving community. It is truly a special place!
- Regina High School builds strong women, many of whom have careers in healthcare.
- I am so grateful for the support that Regina has given the girls during this difficult time. We are so blessed to be part of the Regina family.
Cornerstone Education Group, Detroit: Devices for Virtual Learning
Through their Food Distribution Program, Cornerstone parents in Detroit and Redford can pick up 12 meals per week. Many families depend on school meals for their children, and Cornerstone has also been working with the Mayor’s office to provide food for additional children in the neighborhoods they serve. Weekly, more than 500 individuals receive food in this program.
Cornerstone Education Group has also been in touch with every parent to determine if they are in need of a Chromebook device and internet access to support their child’s virtual learning during this time. They have distributed over 1,100 Chromebooks and are still in need of more to meet the need of families, so that students can better access critical virtual learning platforms.
With the grant they received from the Catholic Foundation of Michigan’s Catholic Faithful Response Fund, Cornerstone Education Group will be able to distribute 10 Chromebooks to families in need.
Community members who voted for Cornerstone Education Group shared why they were inspired:
- Cornerstone has an excellent teaching staff, who are communicating well with parents and spending a lot of time virtually teaching our children.
- Because of Cornerstone Schools, our children have a bright future.
- I love Cornerstone. It is a wonderful place to send children, and radiates love and happiness.
- I would love to see Cornerstone be blessed with this grant to help more families like me who have multiple children in need of laptops to help complete their schoolwork and also to feed those in need!
St. Albert the Great University Parish, Houghton: Formation and Resources for Spiritual Closeness
From early in time of the pandemic, St. Al’s was focused on clear and consistent communication for year-round and student parishioners, online as well as phone calls and mailings, particularly for older parishioners. Faith development continued through online guided retreats, YouTube homilies, Zoom cookouts and other ways of nurturing spiritual closeness during physical distancing. Parking lot adoration and confession were also offered to the community.
The St. Al’s community re-opened for mass this week, utilizing the Bishop’s directives to reduce risk. They are also continuing to provide morning Holy Hour and parking lot confessions and adoration.
Community members who voted for St. Albert the Great University Parish shared why they were inspired:
- They were instrumental in building my faith as a young man and continue to serve young people going through important years of change and challenge to find and grow in their faith.
- They are providing great leadership and innovation in this trying time. They were among first to host drive-up adoration and confessions. The church is now open 24 hours a day.
- St. Al’s is truly a huge family of students and community members who support one another.