Community Fund of Darien Awards $537,000 to Various Darien and Area Nonprofits


Photo from the Community Fund of Darien

Jessica Welt, Child Guidance Center executive director; Lisa Haas, grants director for TCF; and Katrina Dorsey, director of development at Child Guidance Center Southern CT

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Thanks to the generous support of local donors, this year the Community Fund of Darien (TCF) is awarding $537,000 in large grants to 22 local nonprofit organizations.

More than $30,000 in other grants was previously allocated this year in small grants and grants awarded by the Youth Community Fund high school service group.

— an announcement from the Community Fund of Darien

The Community Fund hosted its annual Grants Award breakfast on July 11 for local nonprofit leaders and Community Fund grant review volunteers at the Darien Community Association.

  • Large grants were awarded to the following agencies: Abilis, AmeriCares Free Clinics, Building One Community, Carver Center, Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County, Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, Children’s Learning Centers, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Domus, ElderHouse, Family & Children’s Agency, Family Centers, Inspirica, Kids in Crisis, Laurel House, Liberation Programs, New Covenant Center, Open Doors, Pacific House, Person-to-Person, Rowan Center, STAR Lighting the Way.
  • In addition to large grants, $21,500 in small grants were given to seven local organizations (CT Food Bank, Filling in the Blanks, Future Five, Human Service Council, Stamford Public Education Fund, At Home Darien and Stamford Cradle to Career.) $10,000 in Touch-a-Life funds is also reserved for Darien residents who have emergency needs.

To qualify for a grant, local non-profit organizations, who are invited to apply, must first submit detailed grant applications.

Carver Center Community Fund of Darien

Photo from the Community Fund of Darien

From left: Janet King, TCF executive director; Novelette Peterkin, Carver Center CEO; and Jane Yezzi Grants, Executive Committee member, TCF.

A TCF grant review panel comprised of more than 60 Darien volunteers then reviews the applications and performs a site visit at each organization before presenting funding recommendations, ensuring that donors’ contributions are responsibly invested for the greatest effectiveness and impact.

Through its Youth Community Fund, TCF empowers high school students to learn the value of philanthropy through volunteering with local nonprofit organizations and conduct their own youth grant review that allocated over $10,000 this year.

Recent grants have funded summer camp scholarships , after-school youth programs, food pantries and employment programs.. TCF’s Middle School student group, Youth Give Back, also visits local nonprofits to learn about human service needs.

Community Fund of Darien grant breakfast

From left: Elsi Lyons, director of development and events; Chris Tate, Pacific House Board member; Janet King, executive director of TCF; Justin Maccarone, Pacific House Board member and TCF grant panelist; Rafael Pagan, executive director; and Lisa Haas, grants director at TCF

For 68 years, The Community Fund of Darien’s intelligent philanthropy has addressed the needs of the most vulnerable in our community by investing in critical and effective programs in Darien, Stamford and Norwalk.

Funding goals focus on basic needs (food, housing, and emergency financial assistance), youth success, and self-sufficiency. In addition to grants, The Community Fund is the convener of local community initiatives such as the Thriving Youth Task

Force which promotes positive youth development. Likewise, the Human Service Planning Council brings together nonprofit, governmental, and education leaders to discuss and develop plans to address social service needs in Darien.

Photo from the Community Fund of Darien

Jessica Welt, Child Guidance Center executive director; Lisa Haas, grants director for TCF; and Katrina Dorsey, director of development at Child Guidance Center Southern CT

The Community Fund of Darien created the 06820/Our Darien campaign which addresses teen binge drinking. In addition, TCF organizes a group of high school students to address substance abuse and mental health by encouraging healthy choices

The Community Fund of Darien’s mission is made possible with the help of over 800 individual and local business donors and 100 volunteers who contribute to make a difference in our community.

For more information, please contact The Community Fund of Darien office at 203-655-8775 or visit the website.

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