Collaborative Opportunity Grants

*Please note: The deadline to submit applications for 2015-2016 has passed. Junior League of Lafayette anticipates awarding grants in September 2016. Please check back periodically for updates.

Junior League of Lafayette is committed to providing this community with direct and indirect resources, namely financial contributions and volunteer hours. Each year, Junior League puts out a call for proposals in which area non-profits are invited to submit proposals.

For Fall 2015-2016, Junior League awarded $62,040 in Collaborative Opportunity Grants, and $49,914.40 in Community Enrichment/ Community Resource Grants to the following programs. 

Collaborative Opportunity Grants
(Funds are provided and League members volunteer to work with the nonprofit to assist in completing the grant.)

FoodNet ($7,400)

FoodNet – The Greater Acadiana Food Bank works in collaboration with other partners to properly address hunger wherever it exists in our community. The Nutrition Fair at Northside High School will expose all its students to healthy food and snacks and make them aware of the high calorie foods and high sugar drinks that they are consuming.

Maddie’s Footprints ($10,000)

Maddie’s Footprints provides support to those coping with miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death, and is the sole provider of services specific to fetal and infant loss for mothers in Lafayette. Maddie’s Footprints will partner with Junior League to purchase, assemble and deliver 280 care packages.

Miles Perret Cancer Services ($5,000)

Miles Perret Cancer Services helps families fight, survive and live with cancer. This grant will allow them to provide a cancer care kit to all newly diagnosed clients undergoing cancer treatment. The kit contains items recommended by a local oncologist to assist in managing the side effects they may experience from radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment.

Second Harvest ($10,000)

Second Harvest Food Bank helps fight hunger and build food security in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response. They will partner with Junior League to fill backpacks for 50 children with 7-10 pounds of kid friendly, single-serve meals and snacks. Over 15,300 pounds of food, the equivalent of 12,750 meals, will be provided over thirty-six (36) weeks to these children at risk of going to bed hungry on the weekend.

Bridge Ministry of Acadiana ($3,350)

Bridge Ministry, at the corner of University Avenue and Cameron Street, has built a neighborhood of improved hope, education, and safety through tutoring, bible study, life skills classes, and character development lessons. With Junior League, Bridge Ministry will develop an etiquette program with classes focusing on meal etiquette, public speaking, dance, and fashion (including personal hygiene and budgeting). In April, the twenty (20) participants will participate in a dinner and fashion show, and answer an interview question in front of their families, in order to practice and demonstrate what was learned.

Children’s Museum of Acadiana ($10,000)

The Children's Museum of Acadiana fosters a creative environment through "hands-on" exhibits and programs, where children and their families explore and make discoveries. Junior League will assist with the Barn Expansion 2015 in the Wee Acres Exhibit. Wee Acres has been a dedicated Infant-Toddler play area for 20 years, and encourages outdoor exploration, perceptual-cognitive and social-linguistic development while fostering a curiosity of nature. From a milking cow to an egg-laying hen, a garden plot and fruit trees, this exhibit provides children the opportunity to learn from where their food originates. The grant will assist in remodeling the existing “barn” (currently unusable space) into a mini barn with a chicken coop, weather mobiles, mother/baby farm animals, soundboard and interactive play.

Healing House ($2,305)

The mission of Healing House is to provide support and education for grieving children, their caregivers and the Acadiana community so that no child grieves alone. With this grant, Koping Kits will be distributed through hospitals, hospice agencies, funeral homes, insurance agencies and other social service agencies to children who have experienced the death of a loved one. Healing House sends an average of 250 Koping Kits per year to bereaved children, and this grant will allow them to expand the number to 400 this year.

Hearts of Hope ($6,485)

Hearts of Hope responds daily to those affected by the trauma of sexual violence in our community through education, advocacy and empowerment. With the pervasiveness of smart phones and the internet access, teens today face different challenges than generations before them. It is vital that parents and teens understand sexting, underage sexual activity and non-consensual sex. This awareness campaign will be kicked off with a community event, followed by programs in specific schools targeting 1,000 high school students, their parents and instructors.

Lafayette Education Foundation ($2,500)

Lafayette Education Foundation (LEF) promotes and supports excellence in education. The LEF Teacher Awards is a special awards ceremony designed to honor Lafayette Parish public, private and parochial school teachers in grades PreK-12 who go above and beyond the call of duty. Sixteen educators are selected as finalists in four categories from among 600 educators nominated by the community. LEF’s Student Presenter’s Program offers students the opportunity to attend the event and present their nominated teacher their award on stage, which makes the award even more meaningful and personal for the finalists. With this grant, Junior League members will assist with contacting the student presenters and their parents to invite them to participate, and serve as guides for these students during the awards ceremony.

LARC’s Acadian Village ($5,000)

LARC aids individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in learning new skill sets to be successful both vocationally and in their personal lives. This event is scheduled near Halloween and free to all special needs children and adults. Attendees with autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and other ailments are given this opportunity to celebrate Halloween in a relaxed, low stimuli and quiet setting.

Community Enrichment / Community Research Grants
(Funds are provided to the nonprofit to complete the grant)

Autism Society of Acadiana ($1,200)

Autism Society of Acadiana improves the lives of all affected by autism by supporting families of individuals and striving to raise awareness in the community about living with, educating and caring for a person on the autism spectrum. This grant focuses on a four-hour seminar to educate law enforcement personnel on working and interacting with people with autism, especially in potential crisis situations. This will help attendees to recognize children and adults who have autism and discuss proven tactics that law enforcement can use in these situations.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana ($15,395)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana enables all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. “Project Play” will provide a playground area for youth participants at the Granberry Unit located at 121 S. Washington Street. Currently, there isn’t an area for youth to just “play” freely.

Children’s Museum of Acadiana ($9,431)

The Children's Museum of Acadiana’s philosophy is that a child learns by doing. The museum serves as both a learning resource for educators and a development center for exploring new methods of informal education. This project will help the Children’s Museum update the Smart Technology in their Amphitheater used for school field trips and business and community meetings.

Hearts of Hope ($2,550)

Recognizing that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, Hearts of Hope is dedicated to giving children a voice to speak up. “I Have A Voice” is designed to teach children ages 4-6 about safe and unsafe touches; what parts of their bodies are considered private; the difference between a good secret and a bad secret; and who are trusted adults. This program uses interactive scenarios in a fun and engaging manner and provides children with an age appropriate book on their reading level to take home and share with their parents, thus educating both of them.

Lafayette Animal Aid ($7,200)

Lafayette Animal Aid educates, advocates, shelters, and protects. Its mission is to provide care, shelter, sanctuary and medical attention for stray, abandoned, and unwanted companion animals. Junior League of Lafayette helped start the “I Read to Animals” reading enrichment program in 2012. The program provides second graders who are challenged in their ability the tools to read confidently, while teaching compassion towards animals. This grant allows the program to expand by providing service to 720 children in Lafayette.

Lafayette Education Foundation ($4,774)

The goal of the “Matching Struggling Readers with Books that Fit” project is to increase the percentage of students reading on or above grade level by third grade. By providing leveled texts, LEF is successfully meeting this goal and the grant will help LEF continue to grow this program. Leveled texts allow teachers to match books with an individual student’s reading ability. Research shows that children who become discouraged by grade three have a higher dropout rate. A solid foundation of literacy skills in elementary school will increase success in all content areas.

Lafayette Parish Bar Foundation ($2,141)

The Lafayette Parish Bar Foundation exists to advance and improve the administration of justice and foster confidence in the law. Lafayette Parish Bar Foundation will use this grant to inform the public about their numerous programs designed to help the needy of our community in obtaining legal assistance. The brochures, which this grant will cover the price of printing, will inform and educate the public of the legal resources available to them.

Shining Light ($2,500)

Shining Light provides financial assistance to underserved children from low-income families for the purpose of academic enrichment. This project will allow school personnel to submit requests for financial assistance for children to participate in field trips, musical programs, or other school activities in school curriculum. Approximately 250 children in Kindergarten through 6th grade will be impacted.

The Family Tree ($4,723)

The seed of The Family Tree was planted in 1979 by Junior League for a nonprofit agency designed to help parents create stronger families. The Healthy Start to a Safe Sleep Project is an initiative of the Family Tree that will provide participants with a Safe Sleep kit, which includes a Pack-and-Play, safe sleep resource materials, and on-going safe sleep education. Approximately 60% of Healthy Start participants do not have adequate sleeping environments for their children. This project is designed to combat the Lafayette problem of SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death), which includes SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and ASSB (Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed).