Make A Difference Grants©
"This has definitely made an impact on my life and others in my community. It is the best feeling in the world to know that we are making a difference in someone's life."
Any young person in Southwestern Indiana can apply, individually or with a group, for a grant up to $750 from Youth Resources for a youth-led community service project targeting a specific community need identified by the youth. Grant applications are screened by a trained committee of teenagers who serve on YR’s Teen Advisory Council and final approval is made by YR’s Board of Directors.
Youth, ages 5-18, are involved in the Make A Difference Grants program through schools and youth-serving nonprofit agencies. A sample of the community needs addressed by past youth-led Make A Difference projects are: bullying; self-esteem in girls; reaching out to families of incarcerated individuals; military support; literacy; helping less fortunate families; children in crisis situations; homelessness and hunger; peer mentoring; environmental awareness and beautification; socialization with the elderly; understanding and addressing public policy; park revitalization; and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Since 1987, 129,320 local children and teens have been involved in 2,036 youth-led service projects and have received over $730,000 in grants from Youth Resources. Nearly 300 youth from 12 different schools in 6 counties were directly involved in 12 Make A Difference Grants projects in the 2013-14 school year making a positive impact on over 3,700 people in their communities!
Profiles of past Make a Difference
Chandler Elementary School-Special Education Kindergarten Class
The Special Education class at Chandler Elementary School is comprised of kindergarten students with varying degrees of disability levels. The Student Council helped the kindergartners with their service project. Birthday bags were put together for less fortunate students in the school and their families. Many of the parents in the school could not afford the supplies necessary to provide a birthday for their child. The birthday boxes contained all the essentials for a child's birthday (wrapping paper, small gift, cake mix, icing, spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce with meat, disposable pan, and candles.) The kindergarteners were involved in all aspects of the project: making lists of items to purchase, shopping for items, sorting items, and packaging the bags. The grant money from Youth Resources equipped Chandler students to put 38 birthday bags into the hands of students in their school. The project allowed for 275 people to be impacted in the community!
Youth leaders and volunteers with Patchwork Central provided a Christmas shopping extravaganza. They set up a store where less fortunate children could choose from a variety of gift items. Based off the child's participation in Patchwork's programs, the children were able to pick out a certain amount of Christmas gifts. The children then presented the gifts to their loved ones at Christmas. The event was well attended with 47 children taking part in the project. The children took home over 180 gifts for their families. After the event, the children, youth leaders, and adult volunteers shared a meal together. The project allowed for 300 people to be impacted in the community!
St. Joseph School-Student Council
The Student Council members at St. Joseph helped purchase foods and prepare meals for the families at Ozanam Shelter. The project began in December and monthly meals were prepared through May. Each month the students planned the menu and invited other students in the school to donate food items. The students would then purchase items that weren't donated. The project allowed for 500 people to be impacted in the community!
Other Make a Difference Grant Sponsors:
Trinity United Methodist Church