A Numbers Game

2018-19 Beacon Grants are off to a great start with 566 applications approved, 40 submitted and awaiting review, and 33 follow-up applications. At this time last year, we had only approved 461 applications, making this year off to a record-breaking start. The increased numbers a hopeful sign of an overall increase in grant participation.

Manasota, Fla., Lodge No. 2734 is located in a warm climate, causing the number of people experiencing homelessness to be high all year round. After realizing this, the Lodge decided to start using its Beacon Grant to support an annual local Stand Down for veterans experiencing homelessness. The Lodge has its own booth at the event where members prepare and provide bags stocked full of necessary hygiene items.

Likewise, the CIP office has experienced record submissions for 2018-19 Gratitude Grants. Currently, 479 Lodges have been approved in comparison to last year’s 267 applications. This is a whopping 79 percent increase! The increase is due in large part to the new rule change. Beginning July 1, 2018 Gratitude Grants were made available to Lodges having met the per-member-giving goal in the prior fiscal year. With Lodges no longer having to wait to apply, many Lodges are electing to apply earlier than ever!

Using a Gratitude Grant, Big Bear Lake, Calif., Lodge No. 1787 provides diapers and other supplies to the Bear Valley Community Hospital District’s Mom & Dad Project. The program offers a variety of classes for parents and caregivers raising children. In addition to supplying diapers for families in need, members volunteer to assist in classes pertaining to car safety, oral health and CPR.

The Elks National Foundation allocated $12.4 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs through grants that offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit elks.org/CIP

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