Great Gratitude Grant Examples

Youth

Holiday Isles, Fla., Lodge No. 1912: Elks host a swim party at the Lodge pool for approximately 35 children who are homeless. The Lodge works with Youth Lift, an organization that helps homeless youth succeed through education, for this project. Each child receives a swim suit, flip-flops, a towel and lunch.

Potosi, Mo., Lodge No. 2218: Lodge members buy warm clothing for children in need. Local schools contacted the Lodge to ask for help with this great need. Lodge members purchase coats, shoes, socks, shirts, jeans and underwear for approximately 450 children residing within the county. Without the Elks help these children might otherwise be without these basic necessities.

Brookings, Ore., Lodge No. 1934: The Lodge hosts Safety City, a program that teaches children crosswalk, bicycle and stranger safety skills in conjunction with the Brookings Police Department. Elks also provide food baskets and gift cards to local community members and veterans that are food insecure. The Lodge partners with the local food pantry and a local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America to target these individuals.

Lebanon, Ind., Lodge No. 635: Elks hold an event for youth mentors, including Lebanon Elks members, and their at-risk or under-privileged Lebanon Middle School mentees. Research confirms that students of low socio-economic status have greater likelihood of academic struggles. This event provides a great place for mentor/mentee interaction as well as a way for the Elks to show their continued support of these students.

Scottsbluff, Nev., No. 1367: Elks train and educate Certified Emergency Responders from the 10th grade class at Bayard High School. The Principal approached the Lodge with this idea and the Lodge created a committee to work with the Principal and School Board to plan the project details. This project is important for the Lodge’s rural community because they’re many miles between towns and hospitals.

Harrison, Ariz., Lodge No. 2311: Elks noticed a significant number of young single mothers and people with disabilities raising children in the community. So, members met with the school and welfare office to determine who in the school has the greatest need and then targeted those families. They provide students with school supplies, hygiene products and drug awareness materials.

People with Disabilities

Ashland, Ore., Lodge No. 944: Elks partner weekly with Lifespan Respite in order to relieve the burden of community members caring for a family member in need such as someone with a medical condition or physical disability. For four hours each week the event takes place at the Lodge. Elks help with set-up, clean-up , and provide food and needed supplies.

St. George Dixie, Utah, Lodge No. 1743: The Lodge provides swim lessons for individuals ages 12 to 25 with disabilities. The program is a joint project with the recreation department of the city of St. George. The city provides the pool facility, life guard and head swim instructor for the classes. The Lodge provides the funds for swim equipment, in-pool and pool-side helpers, and an after party for all participants.

Jamesburg, N. J., Lodge No. 2180: Lodge members partner with The ARC of Jamesburg, The ARC of Edison, and Horizons to host four parties for children and young adults with disabilities. These events provide a great opportunity for youth to socialize with their peers outside of their school setting.

Perryville, Mo., Lodge No. 2701: Elks host a bingo dinner for a camp of 35 to 40 seniors who are disabled. The camp is a permanent living facility for residents. In addition to small bingo prizes and a take-home bingo set for the camp, Elks also provide gift bags of toiletry. The Lodge also delivers meals twice a year to area senior homes.

Veterans

Mission Viejo- Saddleback Valley, Cal., Lodge No. 2444: This Lodge supplies veterans in need with necessary items for a job skills course. Elks work very closely with VetNet, a charitable group dedicated to assisting with job training, job placement and clothing for veterans. The supplies were for a five day customer service course after which the veterans received a certificate and job placement.

Pearland Area, Texas, Lodge No. 2732: Elks partner with the Impact A Hero Foundation to host a “Night out at the Park” for the wounded veterans in the community. Lodge members treat more than 20 wounded veterans, their service animals, and assistants to a major league baseball game. They supplied tickets, transportation, dinner and snacks.

Richmond, Va., Lodge No. 45: Elks serve veterans at a local Transition Rehabilitation Program and homeless veterans enrolled in the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program. The Lodge hosts several cookouts, a Stand Down for the homeless veterans, and a picnic at the Lodge for spinal cord injury unit patients. After receiving a suggestion from the ENF Grant Review committee, a member contacted his company and which was able to donate the entertainment allowing the Lodge to use the additional funds for needed supplies.

Woodbridge, Va., Lodge No. 2355: Lodge members take local Wounded Warriors and senior citizens to Atlantic City for a day of adventure. The Lodge took on this project after talking with health care professionals who indicated that not having social outlets can be detrimental to one’s well-being. Travelers walk the boardwalk, attend a stage show, shop and enjoy the ocean breeze.

General Needs

Belle Glade/Pahokee, Fla., Lodge No. 1716: Lodge members host a food drive for the local homeless shelter and soup kitchen, The Lighthouse Cafe. The Lighthouse Cafe is the only shelter in the area and it provides showers, blankets, beds, food and medical services to people who are sick or battling addiction. In addition to hosting a food drive, Lodge members assist with the rehabilitation program, hold weekly Drug Awareness seminars, and assist with finding jobs and affordable housing.

Pascagoula, Miss., Lodge No. 1120: During the Christmas Season, Elks distribute food and fruit baskets to people in need. Members work with churches and social service groups to identify families in need. Then, Lodge members assemble and deliver the baskets.

Washington, Mont., Lodge No. 1559: This Lodge aims to supplement the diet of 10 families who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year but are left wanting during the summer months. The Lodge works with a local charity that assists mothers and children in need. Elks purchase milk, cheese, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables to distribute since perishable food items are often not available at food pantries.

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. In addition, Lodges that exceed 15 percent membership support last year may be eligible for a $500 bonus. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit www.elks.org/enf/community.


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