You got ideas, and we’re funding them: A mini-grant program hosted by the Revere CARES coalition is now accepting applications until January 21 for innovative ideas that promote a healthier community for all. Since its creation in 2012, the mini-grant program has provided over $160,000 to fund 94 ideas that make Revere a healthy environment to live, work and play. The mini-grant program is a collaboration between the MGH Revere CARES coalition and Revere on the Move. This year, $20,000 is available for individuals, organizations or groups interested in receiving funds to promote healthy eating and active living, prevent substance use disorders, improve mental well-being and engage young people in positive activities.
This year the coalition will also consider proposals for activities that promote connections among residents. This can include community-building events in neighborhoods or wards. Mini-grants of up to $600 to build relationships among neighbors may be applied for.
“Our ultimate goal for these mini-grants is to put money in the hands of our community members to do things we may not have thought of or been able to do. Community problems require community solutions. The community knows best how to improve the health of the city, and what would work or not work,” said Revere CARES Director Sylvia Chiang.
Examples of previously funded projects include the following:
Seacoast High School: awarded $1,000 to expand an aquaponics lab for their Botany and Urban Growers class. The expansion coincided with their existing community garden, herb garden, and hydroponics lab, providing students with a comprehensive urban farming tool-kit (system and environmental change).
Half Day Hoops Program: awarded $1,605 to the Revere Police Department to offer free mini-basketball clinics for middle and high school students. These mini-clinics will increase physical activity among youths and will help address substance abuse issues (active living, prevention and positive youth engagement).
Sidewalk Butlers for Cigarette Butts: awarded $852 to the Revere Community Committee (through The Neighborhood Developers) to install five cigarette butlers in the Shirley Avenue business district. This environmental strategy is meant to promote cleanliness and increase mental health due to an environmental change in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood (environmental change).
Improbable Players: awarded $1,615 to the Rumney Marsh Academy for a performance from Improbable Players. The show, which was presented by young actors who are in long-term recovery, incorporates dramatic performances and theatre workshops that help people recognize situations in their own lives and seek the help they need (prevention activity encouraging positive decisions among youths).
Girls Empowerment Club: awarded $770 to Kamilla Calle and Rebecca Villatoro, students at Revere High School, to create a Girls Empowerment Club to help empower and build relationships among elementary and middle school girls (positive youth engagement led by a young person).
“It’s important that mini-grant ideas outlast the funding. They should be sustainable with a lasting
impact for years to come. Policy, systems and environmental changes are ways of modifying the structure of where we live to make the healthy choice the easy choice. By changing laws and shaping physical landscapes, a big impact can be made with little time and resources,” said Revere Director of Community Health and Engagement/ Revere on the Move Co-Leader Dimple Rana.
While you are brainstorming for ideas, consider ones that will have permanent benefit for the community. These include the following: changes to existing policies (e.g., requiring fruit options at school events); environmental changes (e.g., aquaponics lab and urban trails); and systems changes (e.g., starting a bicycle club and exercise hour).
To ensure a smooth application process for applicants, free technical assistance is available to all who wish to apply. “We want to help the community’s ideas be as strong as possible and to make implementing them as successful as we can. If someone has an idea that they aren’t sure quite fits or needs assistance with the application, they can call or email us and we can provide guidance. The goal is to make these great ideas work,” said Revere CARES Program and Communications Manager Viviana Cataño.
Revere CARES will be hosting a virtual meeting on December 14 at 6:00 p.m. to provide an overview of the mini-grant program and answer questions. To sign up to participate, visit https://bit.ly/SignUpforRevereMiniGrantOverview. For more details and to complete the online application by January 21, 2022, visit https://bit.ly/RevereCARESMiniGrants2022. For assistance contact Viviana Cataño at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the MGH Revere CARES Coalition
The mission of the Revere CARES coalition is to strengthen the health of Revere by addressing priorities established by community members: utilizing an environmental approach; advocating for evidence-based, culturally competent strategies, programs and services; increasing connectedness among individuals and organizations and supporting and empowering local youths. The Revere CARES Coalition is a program of the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement.