With aims to address the toughest health and wellness challenges facing kids today, Rite Aid Healthy Futures on Giving Tuesday announced it has awarded over $4 million in neighborhood grants to more than 400 grassroots nonprofit organizations that work to create healthier, more equitable neighborhoods.
Part of the Empowering Children signature initiative for Rite Aid Healthy Futures, this year’s neighborhood grants come at time when the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and historic inflation have placed community charities in precarious positions. The funding will help nonprofits fulfill their missions and deliver important services during this tenuous time.
A total of 415 nonprofit organizations each will receive a $10,000 general operations neighborhood grant. Located throughout Rite Aid’s 17-state footprint, supported nonprofits address critical health needs for children, including education; mental and emotional wellness; crisis prevention and awareness; and disease and disability management.
Funded nonprofit organizations include homeless shelters, foster care organizations, food banks, child abuse prevention centers, therapeutic care facilities for chronically ill children and more.
All supported organizations serve diverse and low-income communities, aligning with the overall goal of Rite Aid Healthy Futures to address racial inequities and health disparities.
The grants are funded through the KidCents customer fundraising program, which allows Rite Aid customers to round up their purchases in-store and online to support children’s health and wellness.
When customers shop at Rite Aid, their change changes lives. By donating their nickels, dimes and quarters, millions of Rite Aid customers are helping nonprofit organizations throughout the country fight childhood cancer, prevent child abuse, put healthy food on the dinner table and more. Launched in 2013, the KidCents round-up program raises more than $12 million each year to support children’s health and wellness.
“During these extraordinary times, we continue to see the harsh realities of inequities and health disparities affecting children through hunger, homelessness, poverty and a growing mental health crisis,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “We offer our deepest gratitude to those dedicated organizations, staff and volunteers that wake up each day to make their neighborhoods even stronger, as well as those Rite Aid customers who support their incredible work.”
“Change can drive change,” DeCamara continued. “Thanks to generous Rite Aid customers, more than 400 grassroots nonprofits can continue their important work, all while restoring hope, resiliency and self-esteem in children. When kids are healthy, they can unlock their potential, dream big and create their own bright future.”
Examples of nonprofits supported through today’s grants include:
- Fresh Youth Initiatives, New York, N.Y.
Founded in 1993, Fresh Youth Initiatives provides academic, youth development and mental health services to 1,300 immigrant and first-generation youth in Washington Heights annually. FYI’s culturally responsive programs are tailored to the specific needs of the community, with the long-term vision of disrupting the cycle of intergenerational poverty, advancing educational equity and strengthening fragile populations.
- Camp Dreamcatcher, Kennett Square, Pa.
Camp Dreamcatcher has been providing free therapeutic and educational programs for HIV/AIDS infected and/or affected youth since 1996. The organization has provided 27 camp sessions and 28 retreats to children and families coping with HIV/AIDS, serving a total of 6,000 impacted youth over 26 years.
- Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, Toledo, Ohio
The mission of Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center is to intervene and educate to reduce family violence. Founded in 1974, FCAPC empowers families to break the cycle of violence and to live healthy, productive lives. The center serves over 50,000 individuals free of charge each year.
- FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation, Birmingham, Mich.
Founded in 1951, FAR provides creative arts and recreational therapies to more than 1,500 community members with special needs. FAR offers a wide range of programming options drawing from art therapy, music therapy, recreational therapy and dance/movement therapy to provide clients the approach that best meets their needs.
- A Place Called Home, Los Angeles, Calif.
A Place Called Home is a youth and community center serving youth ages 8 to 24 and their families that focuses on education, teen and young adult services, art and creative expression and health and well-being. The nonprofit organization also houses an on-site charter school designed to reach at-risk youth.
- Navos, Seattle, Wash.
Navos provides a broad continuum of care to transform the quality of life for children, young people and adults vulnerable to mental illness and Substance Use Disorders. That work translates to dozens of innovative varieties of treatment, healing and support for a diverse range of residents, many of whom live in poverty, often because of a mental illness or SUD.
“A healthy future begins with vibrant neighborhoods where children grow up with access to excellent education, engaging afterschool activities and the other resources they need to thrive,” said Eileen Lyons, executive director of Fresh Youth Initiatives.
Lyons continued, “We’re eager to put this latest neighborhood grant to work addressing urgent needs in our community. With this funding, we will deliver evidence-based literacy instruction and interventions during the school year, with the goal of helping 190 elementary school participants achieve grade-level or better reading proficiency. Those are outcomes that can truly change lives.”