9 Osceola County organizations benefit from piece of $3.8M Disney grant
By Tiffanie Reynolds
For Mary Downey and Joy Chuba, financial support from sources such as Disney grants are the boost they need to keep them going for the rest of the year.
Out of the $3.8 million in Disney grants that specifically impact the lives of children, Osceola County received $184,500 for nine organizations.
They are two of the nine Osceola County organizations selected as recipients for the 2014 Disney Grants. Rewarding 87 organizations across Central Florida, Walt Disney World gave a total of $3.8 million to local organizations that specifically impact the lives of children. Out of the $3.8 million, Osceola County received $184,500 in total grant money.
The Community Hope Center was selected as a Disney grant recipient for 2014 as well as the honored organization during the Candlelight Procession Community Service Night. Its Candlelight Grant of $30,000, given to them in December, helped the center in their core operating costs, funding expenses such as case managers, building utilities and staff salaries. The grant is enough to keep their doors open for the rest of 2014.
“I’m very humbled that they believe in the work that we’re doing, and believe that we’re the agency that should be doing that work. For us, we couldn’t ask for more,” said Downey, executive director of the Community Hope Center.
The $12,500 grant the Children’s Advocacy Center Osceola received, will financially support the three front line physicians in their Child Advocate Program, which helps children going through a child sexual abuse investigation or just ended investigation by giving them access to necessary care. The physicians provide a variety of services to children and non-offending caregivers such as education, support, crisis counseling, information and referrals and help them navigate the child welfare and law enforcement systems.
Chuba, the executive director of Children’s Advocacy Center Osceola, said that Walt Disney World has been a consistent supporter of the Osceola CAC for several years.
“We’re just really honored to continue to have the support of Walt Disney. They really are one of those partners that we rely on and we see as our partners behind the scenes, because without their support, we wouldn’t have the same level of service,” said Chuba.
Other organizations that received grant funding included Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County ($25,000), Helping Others Make the Effort ($25,000), Osceola Center for the Arts ($10,000), Osceola County Council on Aging ($25,000), Osceola County School District ($57,000), Osceola County Historical Society ($25,000) and Give Kids The World village. The amount awarded to the village was not included in a Disney press release. The Osceola County Historical Society also is one of 17 organizations selected this year because of its strong applications.
Its grant funding will go toward its Explorations Summer Camp this year.