COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Earlier this week, Columbus City Council approved $250,000 for 14 faith-based and community organizations.
The first-time grant is to help the organizations either start or continue the work they’re doing throughout the city.
The City of Grace Church and We Are Linden are two of the organizations receiving funding from the city. Both said they are grateful for the money and ready to continue giving back to the communities they serve.
“Our reality is we were going to do the work with or without the funding, but what this helps us do is helps us do it in a greater way,” said City of Grace Church Lead Pastor Michael Young.
Young has been pastor at City of Grace for almost 10 years now. He said they’re constantly doing work in the community, but often time, on their own.
“It’s usually self-funded, so to have this collaboration with city council is something City of Grace is ecstatic about,” Young said.
Columbus City Councilmember Nick Bankston said many of the 14 organizations receiving the funding are first-time recipients.
“They touch, really, a niche in our community, right?” he said. “Families and youth that sometimes are overlooked or don’t get served by traditional organizations.”
Organizations like City of Grace, which invest in the city’s young people.
“We want to bring in people who can help cast vision for them and give them guidance and influence in it,” Young said. “We have a financial literacy component. We have an athletics component and then we also have a mental health piece that’s going to be tied in as well.”
And grassroots organizations like We Are Linden, which aims to actively restore and empower the community.
Ralph Carter, founder and CEO of We Are Linden, said it has a youth ambassador program, which these funds will support.
“It’s meeting the youth where they are at, challenging them to be good stewards of their community, providing safe havens and a safe space,” he said.
The group’s investment in the youth is a long-term investment.
“It’s just grabbing ahold of the youth that want to change and let them be the focal point and the next change agents of their generation is what this program is all about,” Carter said.
It’s a mission Young is glad to see other organizations supporting.
“Community collaboration, other organizations, not just City of Grace, that are creating positive atmospheres and are identifying those children which cause them to see that and not necessarily get involved in some of these other activities,” Young said.
Bankston said he encourages anyone interested in giving back to follow the city’s lead and invest in the youth because by doing that, you’re investing in the community.