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St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces fall grants


The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Fall 2017 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $794,018 will be made to 14 organizations the week of December 4, 2017. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant.

Organizations serving Southeast Georgia:

Skylark (formerly Care Net Pregnancy Center of Coastal Georgia) (
A $31,768 grant to Skylark to provide funding to upgrade medical equipment at the Camden County clinic. Skylark is a Christ-centered ministry dedicated to advancing the sanctity of human life and sexual purity by providing abstinence education, free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and counseling for women with unplanned pregnancies.

Children in Action Sports Clubs (
A $30,000 partial challenge grant to Children in Action Sports Clubs to provide a partial challenge grant to provide operational support for afterschool and summer programming for CIA participants in Brunswick, Georgia. CIA is a Christ-centered ministry that works to build relationships with children 5-14 years old and to equip them to make healthy choices mentally, physically, and spiritually. Established in 2006, their mission is to utilize sports and physical activities as an outreach to children, youth, and adults to build character, excellence and teamwork.  

Coastal Counseling Center (
A 50,000 grant to Coastal Counseling Center to provide funds to purchase technology, research-based hands-on tools and furniture appropriate for the provision of one-on-one client services, group therapy and to implement an experiential learning area for children. The Coastal Counseling Center was established in Camden County during 2004 in response to the growing need for affordable mental health care. 

Communities in Schools of Glynn County (  
A $55,500 grant to Communities in Schools of Glynn County to provide funding to support the salary of a Site Coordinator at Brunswick High School and the partial salary of a Site Coordinator at Glynn Academy. Communities in Schools brings adults into the schools to help address children’s unmet needs, providing a link between educators and the community. The program provides before-school academic support programs, incentives, case management, parental engagement / family support services and on-site program coordination to prevent at-risk students from dropping out of school. Communities in Schools is making a significant difference in improving the high school graduation rates in Glynn County.

FaithWorks (
A $32,000 grant to FaithWorks to support the final year of a three-year initiative to support a full-time volunteer coordinator and equipment to increase volunteers and financial support for various FaithWorks programs. The initiative works to improve systems for volunteer recruitment, build new orientation and training materials, and develop donor recognition tools and communication materials. FaithWorks is an ecumenical ministry that focuses on -- but is not limited to -- community healthcare services and poverty needs in Glynn County and the surrounding Southeast Georgia area.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (
A $10,500 grant to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to support a part-time FCA baseball position and part-time coordinator for FCA elementary Huddles in Camden County, Georgia.  This represents the third year of a four-year commitment to this program. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is an interdenominational organization promoting positive, Christian principles to individuals around the world. It conducts programs through over 200 field offices in rural, suburban and urban areas spreading the Gospel to young people in junior high, high school and college.

Gathering Place (
A 50,000 challenge grant to The Gathering Place in Brunswick, Georgia to provide funding to support the new 707 Director position and associated operating expenses for calendar year 2018. The Gathering Place was established in 1981 to provide youth-oriented Christian activities to local youth and to develop and deploy Christian leaders. 

MAP International (
A $59,250 grant to MAP International to provide funding to expand its Domestic Medicines Program to serve uninsured and underinsured populations in Brantley, Charlton, Camden and Glynn Counties by providing life-saving medicines and health supplies. MAP International (Medical Assistance Programs) was founded almost 53 years ago as a Christian, non-profit, global relief and development organization serving people living in 112 of the world's poorest communities, providing medicines, treatment programs and health training programs. Although MAP’s focus has historically been international, they recently expanded their mission field to rural areas of the United States.

Remedy Project (
A $50,000 grant to The Remedy Project to support continued expansion of the Friends & Family in Recovery program, explore mission opportunities, train staff in trauma care, help underwrite salaries for credential counselors and support ongoing program expenses. Begun in 2011, the Remedy Project is a faith-based addiction counseling and recovery program organized to serve clients in the city of Brunswick and other limited areas of Southeast Georgia. 

Thornwell Home for Children (
A $75,000 grant to Thornwell Home for Children to expand the Building Families program to Southeast Georgia providing prevention resources to families in need. This represents the second year of a three-year commitment to this program. Founded as a Presbyterian ministry in 1875 as an orphanage for children of the Civil War, Thornwell Home for Children has evolved to provide residential care, academic programs, and community-based family programs throughout Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Thornwell’s Building Families Program is a community-based, intensive in-home program, which provides services that build upon the existing strengths of families in order to reduce the stressors interfering with healthy family functioning.

Agencies of the South Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church:

Magnolia Manor (
A $50,000 grant to Magnolia Manor to implement the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) portion of the new strategic plan. This represents the final year of a two-year commitment to this project. Magnolia Manor opened in 1963 in response to the need for safe, secure housing and long-term care for the elderly. Today, Magnolia Manor provides, as a ministry of The United Methodist Church, a variety of quality retirement communities throughout southern Georgia serving more than 1,800 older adults.

Open Door Community House (
A $75,000 grant to Open Door Community House in Columbus, Georgia to provide program support for the Circles in Columbus citywide initiative to include the operation of two full Circles sites and the introduction of one new training location. Circles in Columbus is a nationally recognized, structured program for low-income families to create personal and community plans to elevate them out of poverty.  

Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, Inc. (
A $25,000 challenge grant to Wesley Community Centers of Savannah, Inc. to provide general operating support for Wesley Community Center programs. The Wesley Community Center serves children of all abilities as well as providing programs and services to low and moderate-income women and families throughout Savannah and the surrounding area.

Organizations Working Internationally: 

Partners Worldwide (
A $200,000 grant to Partners Worldwide to leverage entrepreneurs and job-creators to achieve increased sustainability and resilience for vulnerable people in Ghana, West Africa.  This grant represents the first year of a new 4-year partnership between Partners Worldwide and the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation.  Partners Worldwide began with a simple question: “Is there a way for businesspeople to become part of the solution to ending poverty, instead of being seen as part of the problem?” In 1994, Partners for Christian Development, now Partners Worldwide, was formed when Kenyan and American business people met to establish a loan fund for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), a business savings and loan cooperative, and partnerships between entrepreneurs.  Partners for Christian Development grew out of World Renew (then Christian Reformed World Relief Committee). In 2005, responding to the increasing need to engage business people and professionals, Partners Worldwide was established as an independent faith-based business ministry, though it continues to partner with the Christian Reformed Church.  

Partner’s Worldwide is currently working with 78 local partners called Local Community Institutions (LCI), in 27 countries implementing strategies to end poverty through business training, mentoring, access to capital and advocacy. Over the next 4 years, the SMUMC Foundation will be investing $200,000 per year with Hopeline Institute ( in Ghana, West Africa. Hopeline has been a very successful Partners Worldwide LCI partner since 2010 and is well positioned for significant expansion in the coming years. 

Grant funds will be used to increase Hopeline Institute’s capacity to provide micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business loans, training, mentoring and advocacy-support in the four sectors targeted and covered by the LCI: Agriculture, Manufacturing, Retail, and Service.  A portion of the funds will be dedicated to an increased focus on long-term impacts through building inclusive agricultural value chains, which play an important role in ending poverty by linking small-scale, rural, and often marginalized farmers to viable markets. 

The goal of this initiative is to increase Hopeline Institute’s impacts on job creation and poverty alleviation by 40 percent in the four-year period (averaging 10 percent annually). Over the four years, Hopeline Institute projects to create and sustain over 16,000 jobs. That equates to over 16,000 families with sustainable incomes to feed their children, pay school, health fees, etc. With each job supporting on average 5 dependents, that means over 80,000 lives touched in communities of poverty and unemployment.

Additional information about the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. is available on the Internet at or by calling 912-510-9350.

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