Impact 100 awards grants for 2021

By Allison Marlow
Posted 11/12/21

Diabetes education, a heritage trail, a rescue boat, classroom space and a new thrift store are the focus of five projects that will be brought to life through grants awarded from Impact 100 Baldwin …

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Impact 100 awards grants for 2021

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Diabetes education, a heritage trail, a rescue boat, classroom space and a new thrift store are the focus of five projects that will be brought to life through grants awarded from Impact 100 Baldwin County this year.

Each October the organization awards five grants, amounting to $90,000 per recipient, to improve the quality of life across Baldwin County. The money comes from organization members, women who each donate $1,000. The women work together for several months to interview and research the organizations before choosing the recipients.

Sandy Stepan, grants chair, said the organization awarded many first-time grants this year, including a gift to the Historic Blakeley Foundation to help give the public access to a portion of the battlefield where African American troops fought during the battle of Fort Blakeley.

“We’re really excited about their project,” Stepan said. “I think it is a timely project that is historically significant not just to Baldwin County but to our entire country. We’re really proud to be partnering with them.”

A grant was also awarded to Mary’s Shelter, the very first recipient of an Impact 100 grant in 2008. This year’s grant will help the non-profit build a thrift shop in Elberta.  

Stepan said Impact 100 Baldwin County was lucky to have grown during the months when the spread of COVID-19 slowed many non-profits. She said for every member who had to take a break on donating, another new member joined. The organization will begin recruiting new members in the coming months.

“There is no limit to the number of members we can have,” Stepan said. “The more members we have, the more grants we can give out, the greater an impact we can have in our community.”

The organization has donated over $4 million to Baldwin County organizations since 2008.

The other 2021 Impact 100 Baldwin County grant recipients are: 

Arts, culture, and recreation: Historic Blakeley Foundation

The Historic Blakeley Foundation works to help restore, preserve, reconstruct, and rehabilitate the Blakeley town site, surrounding sites of the Battle of Fort Blakeley, the nearby Indian mounds and early roadways in the immediate vicinity.  Grant funds will be used to provide visitors access to the portion of the Civil War battlefield where the United States Colored Troops fought during the battle of Fort Blakeley in 1865.

Education: South Baldwin Literacy Council

The South Baldwin Literacy Council (SBLC) provides educational services free of charge to youth and adults in South Baldwin, specializing in GED tutoring, ESL classes and youth programs.  The grant funds will be used to convert a storage garage into classroom space allowing SBLC to expand its educational and tutoring services by 100 students or more.

Environment and preservation: Daphne Search and Rescue

Founded in 1974 and incorporated in 1976, Daphne Search and Rescue provides search and rescue of persons lost or in distress in the waterways of over 300 sq. miles in Baldwin County.  Grant funds will be used to purchase a “purpose built” vessel, a 28’ all aluminum Scully with an enclosed cabin and trailer, that will enable the teams to work in rougher weather and sea conditions, will protect the crew and equipment from severe elements, and provide faster and safer response times.

Family: Mary’s Shelter

Mary’s Shelter provides family-style living to homeless adult pregnant women and is devoted to improving the lives of their residents through programs which focus on education, employment, and financial independence.  Impact funds will be used to purchase a box truck, landscaping, framing and drywall, an HVAC system, displays and shelving, and a security system as part of their capital improvement project of constructing a metal building to use as a retail thrift store.

Health and wellness: Alabama Free Clinic

With volunteer services provided by local doctors, nurses, dentists, and clerks, the Alabama Free Clinic provides free medical care and health education programs for adults who are without health insurance.  Impact funds will be used to purchase supplies for blood glucose monitoring and a comprehensive education program that will assist in their two-year comprehensive diabetes management project.