The Promise Grant frenzy is over and earlier than ever before. In years past, we hit the Promise Grant mark around mid-September. However, this year, our office approved the 500th Promise Grant on August 31!
With 500 Promise Grants being accounted for earlier than ever, we know Lodges are eager to get their hands on one in an effort to improve the lives of local youth. We’re excited too! There are exemplary projects Lodges have planned for this grant year. Here are three great examples of Elks building stronger communities for youth:
Tawas Area, Mich., Lodge No. 2525. Partnering with the Iosco County Family Court, the Tawas Area Lodge will sponsor a community service activity for youth required to complete court-mandated community service. The Lodge has works side-by-side with youth to create a new landscaping bed at a Tawas City park in addition to improving the Tawas Bay Pedestrian and Bike Path.
McAllen, Texas, Lodge No. 1402. The Lodge will partner with engineering students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to provide fun and engaging engineering camps that introduce local youth to different careers and educational pathways. The camps will be held at the Lodge and will target elementary and middle school students. Elks will mentor, share personal career experiences and assist during each camp.
Stamford, Conn., Lodge No. 899. In conjunction with Therapy Dogs International (TDI), the Lodge will host a literacy program for children at the local library. Children who have been selected for this weekend program have been noted to have difficulties reading and are often reluctant to read aloud in front of their peers. To provide a relaxing reading environment, TDI will provide certified therapy dogs so that children can improve their reading skills without fear of judgement. The Elks will provide participants with new backpacks, bookmarkers and reading lights.
Although the Promise Grants were awarded in record time, the Lodge can still apply for grants to hold youth projects. Check out elks.org/cip for more information on the Beacon and Gratitude Grants and for even more examples of stellar projects!
Elks are committed to America’s future. To build the character and competence of local youth, the Elks National Foundation awards $2,500 Promise Grants to the first 500 Lodges that pledge to host an eligible youth event. To find out more about Promise Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/PromiseGrant.