Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You American Express

Great News! A couple of weeks ago the South Franklin Community Center received a grant from the American Express Center for Community Development.

The American Express Center for Community Development (CCD), in its efforts to build strong communities, provides grant opportunities to local nonprofit organizations serving local neighborhoods. The South Franklin Community Center is a program run by our local non-profit United Way of Utah County. United Way applied for and received this generous grant from the CCD. 

For more than 40 years, United Way of Utah County has been involved in creating lasting change in our community. They partner with people and organizations from across the state to achieve their goals regarding their primary focus of building financially stable families, preparing children to succeed in school and beyond and creating a healthy community. Their work has impacted the lives of residents all over Utah County.

The South Franklin Community Center also focuses on these three areas of income, education, and health by: providing access to programs that promote individual growth and achievement; encouraging community participation and leadership; and offering a space where residents can become more invested and connected.

The programs are the backbone of these efforts, and the community center runs 15 regular programs in partnership with other organizations. Each program and partnership is carefully selected and developed to provide the best educational and learning experience possible at the center. (Check out our “Thank You to our Partners!” portion of our blog to see who we work with!)

A scene from UVU after-school tutoring program that operates at the
South Franklin Community Center Monday-Friday from 3:30-5. 
The South Franklin Community Center has been in operation since 2006. It began as a small group effort to address some pertinent problems facing the Franklin South neighborhood in southwest Provo. Several years later the center became a tangible place, when Horizon Management (owners of the Boulder’s apartment complex) donated a space in their complex for the community center’s use. This past September, a brand new building at 770 S 700 W became the new South Franklin Community Center (see here).

The community center has experienced many exciting steps forward this year. The new building became operational in early September and the programs and kids marveled at the new space they could call their own. Another successful season of soccer was completed just as the leaves began to fall. New programs have been added to the community center; including a Boys & Girls Club after-school program for teenagers. The community center opened a small computer lab for residents to come use the computers, learn, and use the internet. These are just a few examples of our progress.

A great photo from our Fall 2013 Soccer League! 
The grant from American Express is another exciting step forward that makes us want to dance with joy. We are very hopeful and excited for the future of the community center. The grant from American Express will allow us to continue our efforts and achieve our goals. Our main goals are to continue to stabilize and strengthen existing programs, and to reach out to new groups of people through the creation of new programs.

We will remember the generosity of American Express whenever we step into the new center; and they will be remembered as the partner that spurred us forward during a time of transition and growth. American Express exemplifies the motto of United Way and the mission of the community center. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. That is what it means to LIVE UNITED.