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ESL Awards $460K in Grants to Finger Lakes Nonprofits


A number of local organizations that provide critical services to families and individuals in the Finger Lakes have been the recent beneficiaries of grant funding awarded by the Rochester-based ESL Federal Credit Union.  In the third quarter of 2023, ESL awarded 82 grants for a total of $3.9 million to local organizations that provide critical services and programs to individuals and families.

The ESL Community Impact team reinvests in the community through philanthropic grants aligned with expanding individual opportunity through quality education and employment, building strong neighborhoods that are affordable and connected, and strengthening organizations. The team also works to share stories that highlight the organizations and people doing this important, benevolent work in the community.

“The ESL student emergency funding has been truly transformative for FLCC students facing financial hardship. The system we have set up allows students to discreetly apply for up to $1,000 for unexpected financial grants, allowing them to remain focused and engaged with their primary goal of obtaining their degree,” said Interim Chief Advancement Officer, Acting Executive Director, FLCC Foundation, Brie Chupalio. “With the help of ESL, we have been able to impact our retention rates, giving students the boost they need to get back on track and stay enrolled. We are immensely grateful for the generosity and profound impact these efforts are having on the lives of FLCC students in need.”

The Finger Lakes-based recipients include:

Organization: Sheen Housing/Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation Inc

Project Title: Making a Big Impact on Family Stability – $275,000

Sheen Housing provides safe, healthy homes for low-income households in greatest need that lack access to resources. With this funding, Sheen Housing will undertake a comprehensive program that makes safety and functional home repairs and/or home modifications to meet the needs of 42 meager means households. Among many benefits, this program will help eliminate environmental health and safety hazards found in the homes.

Organization: Finger Lakes Community College

Project Title: FLCC Student Emergency Services Grant $100,000

Funding will help provide students with the opportunity to obtain their degree and earn a livable wage in the community. Students can apply for financial support that includes funding for car registration, gas cards, bus passes, rent and utility payments, food, childcare, or medical treatment. Emergency aid to FLCC students in need will help struggling students stay enrolled, develop new scholarships that save time and money, and provide support for institutional initiatives.

Organization:  The Geneva Family YMCA

Project Title: Geneva YMCA “Building What Matters” Capital Improvement Project – $75,000

Funding will support a new renovation project that will provide 9,600 square feet of new programming space that will house updated fitness equipment, a new fitness studio, new chronic disease prevention and recovery programming space, more than 2,800 square feet of new childcare programming space, social gathering spaces for seniors, teens, adults and families, and an innovations lab geared toward technologically minded middle school students. Existing spaces (gymnasium, welcome center, pool area, and locker room facilities) will be repaired and/or renovated for better functioning and safety.

Organization: Wood Library Association

Project Title: The Reading Garden at Wood Library $10,000

Wood Library will transform an unused outdoor space on library property into a public garden and outdoor programming space that can be enjoyed and used by everyone. The garden will allow for expansion and enhancement of library programs for children and adults and lead to new community partnerships, add value to the community, and contribute to better health outcomes for residents and visitors.

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