Grants in 2014

2014 – THE VICTORY PROJECT: The MAK Fund was introduced to The Victory Project and its director Monnie Bush at the awards dinner for Channel 7’s “Making a Difference” recipients in August 2013. Immediately, we knew it would be a great organization to partner with. The Victory Project’s mission is to expose disadvantaged youth to the potential of a positive socioeconomic standing through education, entrepreneurship and enlightenment. As part of the education and entrepreneurship focus, youth members are provided opportunities to work in the community for income and to provide service. Some examples of regular work they perform are landscaping, managing a greenhouse nursery, and managing a farm. Transportation plays a critical role in the effectiveness of the mission.

The MAK Fund issued a grant of $10,000 to The Victory Project for the purchase of a 15-passenger van. This will open a new door for the members of The Victory Project. They will use the van to transport members to college visits, job fairs, contract work and church activities, as well as recreational outings.

Members of The Victory Project meet Monday-Friday after school at their facility on Fifth Street in Dayton, Ohio. The members are offered classes and activities each night, such as tutoring, business courses and bible studies and each night they sit down for a “family style” dinner.

The motto of The Victory Project is “It’s less about what we do and more about what we undo.”

The MAK Fund is excited to be part of helping The Victory Project achieve its mission and provide the funds needed to purchase the van that will take away the burden of transportation, thus allowing them to focus on preparing these young men for their adult life.

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2014 – TOGETHER WE FIGHT: Together We Fight was created by two families who have been the best of friends for many years, and who both had a child diagnosed with cancer. The organization provides support to families facing the monumental hurdle of a childhood cancer diagnosis. The goal is to provide care bags to the approximately 60 families a year at Dayton Children’s Hospital who are faced with childhood cancer. The MAK Fund’s $5,000 grant helped this organization purchase bags and initial supplies such as cafeteria gift cards, gas cards, personal care items and a comfort item for the child.

This is a brand new program, with the first care package delivered to Dayton Children’s Hospital in January 2014. A hospital social worker provides the bag to the family during the child’s first week of treatment in the hospital when parents are typically unable or unwilling to go home and get basic items. The bags offer some comfort in this area, and also provide contact information and support to the families so they know they are not alone

The MAK Fund hopes our grant will assist Together We Fight in helping local young cancer patients’ families in their time of crisis, as the Kreusch family received so much support during their time of need.

2014 – HOMEWORK HELP (Bell Creek Intermediate School – Bellbrook, Ohio): The Homework Help program has been in place at Bell Creek Intermediate School for about 10 years. Selected Bellbrook High School students meet after school twice a week in small groups with selected Bell Creek Intermediate students to assist with homework, teach them how to study for tests, work on basic skills and serve as role models. The students in the program are all in third-fifth grade, and range in age from 8-11 years old. Bell Creek students are invited to the program if they are at-risk academically or socio-economically. Some students benefit from the program because they have little to no assistance at home with their school work. Students, parents, and teachers alike have had nothing but wonderful things to say about this program.

Although about 30 students are enrolled annually, there is capacity to increase this number. A roadblock for student participation has been transportation. Many of the students who could really benefit from Homework Help are unable to attend because their parents cannot provide transportation home. Therefore, The MAK Fund has provided a $1,000.00 grant that will pay for a school van to transport home any children who qualify for the program but have no transportation. This will ensure that every child that wants to be in the program is able to attend.

2014 – OWEN’S PLACE: Owen’s Place, located in Rotary Park in Beavercreek, Ohio, is an ongoing project dedicated to increasing universally-designed recreational activities so individuals of all abilities are able to enjoy each other’s company on a level playing field.

Discussions for this project began in 2007, with actual planning starting in 2010. Since then more than $300,000 has been raised and Phase I, the Shadow Play area, has been completed. Plans for the entire 9.75-acre area include traditional playground equipment that is designed for use by both children with and without disabilities, a tree house area, and accessible baseball diamonds so both children and adults may participate in this sport. When completed, it will be the only site in the United States that has all three of these features located on the same site.

While playgrounds are generally thought of as children’s venues, this one has additional merit. It will enable an adult with a disability (parent, grandparent, or guardian) to accompany a child to the park. Currently, there are limited play areas in the Miami Valley that are considered accessible to all individuals with various needs.

The MAK Fund is pleased to donate $1,000 to Phase II of Owen’s Place, The Tree House area.

2014 – STS. PETER AND PAUL ACADEMY: When the original Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary school closed at the end of the school year in 2007, a group of affected families set out on a mission. With a desire to have their children continue attending a Catholic primary school, these “Founding” families decided that it was important for all families to continue to worship and learn together in the Valley area of Reading, Ohio.

Things started to fall into place for these families. A deserted elementary school within one mile of the old school was available, fundraisers were held, and the “miracle” of SPPA began. With only three months until the start of the new school year, much work needed to be accomplished including receiving approval by the State of Ohio and refurbishing the building. Refurbishing included cleaning floors and windows, repairing plumbing and electrical, painting, and furnishing the school. Donations came from far and wide, but the blood, sweat, and tears came from the “Founders.” They gave up their entire summer, sun up to sun down, 24/7 to accomplish this mission of opening the new school.

Parents, Founders, students, friends and family continue to volunteer at the school. The school nurse, electricians, plumbers, maintenance and groundskeeper are all volunteers. The students and families even clean the school, helping to keep tuition manageable which helps keep this “miracle” school open not just now but for many years to come.

Currently in its sixth year, God continues to bless SPPA with generous supporters and willing volunteers. With hard work and Faith, the school continues to grow. One goal of SPPA is to provide each student with an iPad. Primary schools in the U.S. that have rolled out iPads into their classrooms have seen student engagement and test scores dramatically increase. These students not only learn how to use current technology but also learn how to become good digital citizens.

The MAK Fund is proud to support SPPA by donating $1,000 toward its iPad campaign. This grant was matched by a friend of the MAK Fund for a total of $2,000, which will purchase five iPads, insurance and protective cases. These iPads will be used in the classroom to supplement student learning with educational apps and ultimately interactive digital textbooks.