Don Benedict Fund 2018 Grantees

CRS honors the memory of former Executive Director Rev. Don Benedict by funding innovative pilot projects within Illinois which address a major urban issue effectively in a three to five year period.

The following awards were presented at Community Renewal Society’s 135th Anniversary and Awards Celebration on Thursday, April 12, 2018:

1. Chicago Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Collaborative – An initiative of Maple Park United Methodist Church, ATI’s mission is to end juvenile incarceration by providing community-led options. The Don Benedict grant will support the Neighborhood Intern Project, which seeks to disrupt the “cradle to prison” pipeline by providing support for community re-entry and diversion from incarceration for youth in the greater Roseland community.

2. Christ Centered Kingdom Ministries (CCKM) – A growing congregation in the Roseland community of Chicago, CCKM’s mission is to be Christ-centered people who are impacting the world, transforming lives by spreading the gospel of Jesus and teaching the kingdom of God. With a grant from the Don Benedict Fund, CCKM will host a summer Back to School Rally and award 200 backpacks full of school supplies to local students.

3. Church of the Good Shepherd, UCC - As a faith community and disciples of Christ, our vision is to be a place for all people guided by God who seek spiritual growth, social justice and community revitalization through the ministries of our congregation. The Don Benedict grant will support Phase Two of our church’s New Beginning Initiative.

4. Danville Restoring Our Community – Our mission is to rebuild and strengthen our community through education, employment, engagement and empowerment. The Don Benedict grant will support job training to enhance skills needed for job applications, resume building, and interview etiquette, as well as support our Expungement and Sealing Summit on September 22, 2018.

5. The Henry Williams Love Foundation – The Henry Williams Love Foundation has been established to provide short-term supportive services to youth and families in need. The Don Benedict grant will support the The Shuri Project, a six-week summer technology mentoring program for girls ages 8-12, with the goals of safety, self-esteem and increased tech aptitude.

6. Pullman Presbyterian Church - Founded in 1882, Pullman Presbyterian’s mission is to help others praise God and love Jesus Christ! The Don Benedict grant will support Pullman Planters Community Garden, which will provide fresh vegetables and fruit to the community’s low-income families and seniors at no cost.

7. St. Agatha Catholic Church – Located in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, St. Agatha is a vibrant, faith-filled, family centered Catholic Christian community. St. Agatha is also a founding member of the North Lawndale Restorative Justice Hub. The Don Benedict grant will support the ongoing work of Restorative Justice as we aim to strengthen youth and families, counter practices that criminalize young people, and lower the rate of violence and incarceration in the community.

8. St. Joseph Services (SJS) – St. Joseph Services was established in 2001, with the mission to serve and support families and individuals at risk. SJS provides educational, social, and health programming in the Austin and Humboldt Park neighborhoods of Chicago. The Don Benedict grant will support the Community Mentoring Program in the Austin and Humboldt Park communities.