Links providing community grants


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 2:23 p.m.

The Gainesville chapter of the Links is looking to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to organizations making a positive impact in the community through its newly established Community Enhancement Grant Program.

Facts

LINKS GRANT

What: The Gainesville chapter of the Links Community Enhancement Grant Program for non-profit groups in Alachua County.

When: Deadline to apply is Feb. 17.

Where: Download an application at www.gainesvillelinksinc.org.

Information: Call 352-262-8158 or visit www.gainesvillelinksinc.org.

The program will provide an opportunity for non-profit groups to apply for grant funding and also request help in the form of volunteers. Links members are required to provide 48 hours of community service each year.

"Our organization is committed to supporting and investing in programs that enhance the quality of life in our community," said Nona Jones, chair of the National Trends and Services committee of the Gainesville Links. Grant applications, which are available to non-profit organizations in Alachua County, are available online at www.gainesvillelinksinc.org.

Completed applications, which are due by Feb. 17, can be faxed to Attn: Nona Jones at 352-334-2991 or mailed to Attn: Nona Jones, P.O. Box 147117, Station A123, Gainesville, FL 32614.

"We wanted to cast a wider net and learn what organizations are doing," said Jones, when asked why the grant program was established.

The Gainesville Links has a 26-year history of donating countless dollars and hours to advance issues impacting the disadvantaged in the area. Until this year, only one organization was chosen to receive a donation.

"The Gainesville chapter of The Links has donated more than $50,000 to local charitable organizations through the years," said Ann Scott, president of the Gainesville Links, in a press release.

"In recognition of the numerous needs our community has, we want to invite local nonprofit organizations to tell us why the work they do is something we should invest in. We look forward to seeing who applies," Scott said.

The number of grants to be awarded this year will depend on the quality of the applications and available funding.

Jones said funding for the grant program comes from proceeds of the chapter's biennial White Rose Luncheon, which this year will be held on April 21 at the Paramount Plaza Hotel.

Jones said the group is looking to fund programs that are aligned with The Links local and national priorities, which include youth, health, national trends, international trends and the arts.

"This is our first year," Jones said. "We intend to use the (grant program) process to make financial investments in our community.

The Links, founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest national volunteer service organizations of women committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

The Gainesville chapter was founded in 1978 as the Females Organized for the Challenges of Unity and Self Awareness. In 1985, the group was officially chartered as The Links.

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