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Need money to make a difference? Apply for a Community Enhancement Grant

Are you a teacher who personally purchases school supplies for your students? Does your neighborhood need cash to host a community gathering? 

The Community Enhancement Grant pilot project could be a useful source of funding. The Human Services Commission is making available $15,000 in grant money to organizations helping the community.

The grant project will offer awards ranging from $500 to $1,500 to assist individuals or groups in providing a one-time community service or making it possible for more under-served people to participate in a planned event.

“Whether it’s $500 or $1,500, it’s going to be a good gift to give,” human services manager Lynnette Hynden said.

Non-profits, community groups and school-based organizations are encouraged to apply for the grant money between March 1 and March 11. The objective is to reach individuals or groups that could use financial help to reach their goals.

“This is really targeted to those groups of folks that are unsung heroes and would otherwise be taking it from their own pockets,” Hynden said.

Qualifying applicants could range from PTA groups to homeowners associations or even larger-scale organizations, such as AmeriCorps. Examples of eligible uses for the funding are to purchase art supplies for low-income students, cover activity fees for under-served kids, buy equipment for a special needs person or provide community transportation to an event. 

The grant money is not intended to sustain a project or program, nor is it meant to be used toward general operations or fundraising. It is also not meant to meet human services needs.

The city, through an annual process, already awards grants to organizations serving that purpose. 

There are plenty of school PTA groups that could qualify for the money. Each of the Federal Way schools has a PTA, said Diane Turner, school district spokeswoman. Some are more active than others. The Lakota Elementary PTA helps students pay for activity fees associated with sports and other after-school activities, Turner said. 

The Federal Way School District has among the highest activity fees in the state, she said. The fees are set by the school board.

“As budgets reduced, one of the casualties was sports and activities fees,” Turner said.

Plenty of known groups are making the community better for its residents. The city hopes that it will learn about more groups through the Community Enhancement Grant process. 

“I see it more as an opportunity and a way to work with the community on a different level, a grass-roots level,” Hynden said. 

Applications will be scored by the Human Services Commission. The commission will look for organizations that are able to fill a need that is not otherwise being met. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how they serve Federal Way. The commission will also be interested in verifying each applicant’s event or project.

The application process is designed to be quick and easy. 

“We’re not looking for the sophisticated grant writer,” Hynden said. 

Winning applicants will be chosen at the Human Services Commission meeting in March. Grant awardees must use the money by December to serve a purpose within Federal Way city limits.

How to apply

Anyone with questions about the application process may contact Lynnette Hynden at (253) 835-2650 or by e-mail at lynnette.hynden@cityoffederalway.com. To apply for a Community Enhancement Grant, visit www.cityoffederalway.com and click on the “Community Enhancement Grant Application” link at the top of the page.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. March 11. They can be mailed to: City of Federal Way Human Services Manager, Lynnette Hynden, 33325 8th Ave. S., Federal Way, WA 98063 or emailed to Lynette Hynden.

 

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