Sheffield, MA— The Robert and James Hardman Fund, an endowment of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, announced that it has awarded grants totaling $31,166 to nonprofit organizations serving North Adams, Clarksburg, Florida and Stamford.

The Hardman Fund for North Adams was established in 2000 by members of the Hardman family in honor of James A. Hardman, Jr. (1909-1990) and Robert Hardman (1911-1978). James and Robert were descendents of the earliest settlers of the area that eventually came to be known as North Adams, and for over 100 years the Hardman family owned and published The North Adams Transcript. The fund supports projects that cover all aspects of these communities, including the arts, culture, historic preservation, health, human and social services, education and the environment.

The fund awarded 18 grants to:

All Saints Episcopal Church: $1,000 to provide clothing, shoes, backpacks and school supplies for children in need.

Berkshire County Kids’ Place & Violence Prevention Center: $1,500 in support of preventing child abuse and neglect in North Adams and surrounding towns.

Berkshire Food Project: $4,670 to provide free noontime meals to seniors every day Monday through Friday.

Berkshire Nursing Families: $1,016 to support lactation services to families in northern Berkshire County.

Caleb Group/Mohawk Forest: $1,000 for transportation to shopping for families without vehicles, youth field trips, a community garden and fitness/nutrition programs for all ages.

Drury Drama Team: $1,000 to support a production of The Wizard of Oz with a cast of 100 children.

Elder Services of Berkshire County: $3,670 to provide hot, nutritious meals for seniors.

Florida Council on Aging: $2,500 to support The R.I.S.E. Program to help seniors remain safe and independent in their homes.

Hoosac Harvest Community Supported Agriculture: $2,170 to provide low-income families with community supported agriculture farm shares.

Clarksburg Elementary School: $650 to purchase supplies to support the Clarksburg Holocaust Exhibit, which teaches students and the community about the dangers of prejudice and discrimination.

Mill City Productions: $500 to support a series of theatrical productions in North Adams.

North Adams Historical Society: $750 to support 3rd grader visits to the North Adams Museum of History and Science.

Northern Berkshire Community Coalition: $2,000 to support the UNITY Youth Leadership Program; youth receive training on leadership development – including communication, conflict resolution, diversity, planning and decision making.

Northern Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative: $2,670 to support the growing need at the Friendship Center Food Pantry.

Northern Berkshire YMCA: $1,400 to support the Summer Campership Program, which helps low-income youth participate in one of Northern Berkshire YMCA’s 25 different summer camp experiences.

Shakespeare & Company: $1,000 for Shakespeare in the Courts, a program to help at-risk youth develop positive communication and cooperation skills.

Take and Eat, Inc.: $2,670 to provide free weekend meals and wellness checks for homebound seniors.

The Hoosic River Revival Coalition: $1,000 to support the development and maintenance of two river-side Community Gardens.

 

Kathy Keeser, Program Coordinator for the Caleb Group/Mohawk Forest Resident Service said, “Residents living at Mohawk Forest have limited income, with most falling within HUD standards of low or very low income.  These programs, especially transportation, are very important in enabling them to connect to resources and opportunities that they otherwise might not be able to access.”

Valerie Lesage, Director of the Berkshire Food Project, adds that, “The James and Robert Hardman Fund Grant has allowed the Berkshire Food Project to continue its mission of providing, free nutritious meals to those in need, every day Monday through Friday. The Hardman grant gives us the opportunity to purchase whole foods, fresh juice, whole grain breads, and lean proteins which we incorporate into our daily menus. Serving a healthful meal, we feel, is vital to the health and well being of all those we serve.”

 

Applications to the Hardman Fund are reviewed by a committee of Hardman family members and local residents, and grants are awarded based on excellence of the project or service, impact on the community and the applicant’s ability to carry out the project.  The next deadline for Hardman Fund grant proposals is March 1, 2013.Applications are available online at http://www.berkshiretaconic.org/grantseekers or by calling 413.229.0370.

 

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation celebrates 25 years of building stronger communities and helping donors make a difference through charitable giving in northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY. Each year, the foundation distributes over $7 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. You can make a difference. We can help.