Foundation Board Approves Third Cycle Grants for Health and Wellness Programs

In their final meeting of the year, Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors met at Barberton Public Library on Thursday, November 18, to approve $89,820.50 for ten grants in the third cycle for health and wellness programming. The board also approved the Foundation’s 2022 spending policy and selected 2022 officers: Jason Slater, Chair; Denny Liddle, Vice Chair; Jennifer Bidlingmyer, Treasurer; and Deb Shreiner, Secretary.


Jason Slater, Grants Committee Chair, shared that the Foundation had been able to connect fund holders with several grant partners this cycle. Josh Gordon, Board Chair, thanked Carrie Herman, Director of Community Impact, for connecting with those donors. “This creative approach allowed the Foundation to partner with our fund holders to better meet the needs of our grant partners and the needs of our community. This was a win-win for everyone.”

The Foundation awarded Coleman Health Services $20,000 for their Student Success Initiative. This program is a partnership between Coleman and Barberton City Schools to combat disengagement and disruptive classroom behavior in children through working to resolve emotional and relational conflicts. The program provides the tools and support a family needs to encourage their children at school, increase their attendance and academic performance overall.

Red Oak Behavioral Health was awarded $15,000 toward screening an IndieFLIX Education video series that focuses on topics such as anxiety, finding balance in the digital world, strategies to overcome cyber-bullying, exploring the impact of race and racism on mental health and how to move toward racial healing. Red Oak will coordinate the screenings and facilitate discussions of the films’ topics. This project partners with Barberton City School District and the Barberton Community Wellness Collaborative, a network of programs and agencies providing health and wellness services to Barberton schools students.

AxessPointe Community Health Center received $15,000 to support their Mobile Dental and Oral Health Clinic. The mobile unit will provide more equitable access to care by bringing medical and dental services to local neighborhoods in Barberton. Funds will be used to purchase a handheld x-ray machine and oral sensors.

The Foundation awarded Victim Assistance Program $14,820.50 for their Barberton Municipal Court Advocacy Program. Victim Assistance Program estimates that this funding will go toward services to 350 individuals in 2022. Services include crisis intervention, court advocacy, community resource referrals, safety and action planning, as well as victim rights education.

Countryside received $10,000 for their Food Access Program at the Barberton Farmers Market. This program provides tokens and vouchers to SNAP and WIC recipients and senior citizens, which can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables at the markets.

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank received $7,500 for their 2022 Barberton Direct Distribution Program which operates monthly at the Barberton Salvation Army to provide Barberton residents access to healthy food at no cost.

$2,500 was awarded to First Tee – Greater Akron for their program called Expanding Educational Life Skills Programming in Barberton. First Tee integrates the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, including building self-confidence and resilience. Funding also supports their partnership with Lake Anna YMCA as a partner and location for programming.

$2,000 was awarded to Ben Curtis Family Foundation for their Birdie Bag program which provides bagged meals for Barberton students facing food insecurity. Ben Curtis Family Foundation has been providing Birdie Bags in Barberton since 2018. In 2022, they estimate they will serve 1,400-1,800 children on a monthly basis.

Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio received $1,500 for scholarships for Barberton participants, which provides scholarships for both Barberton Middle School and Barberton Elementary School programs. The program is offered to students in 3rd-8th grades and promotes social-emotional learning and mental well-being along with physical activity.

Greenleaf Family Center was awarded $1,500 for their Adolescent Suicide Prevention Program. This program will provide services to Barberton Middle School and Barberton High School students and school staff, and provide assistance with Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) training for all Barberton City employees.

Spending Policy and a Message from the Director

With the final payment on Barberton High School’s construction made this year, the Foundation adopted a new spending policy to reflect changes to both the Foundation’s obligations and its goals moving forward.

“In 2022 we will continue to listen to the community,” said Suzanne Allen, Executive Director. “We are working with Heritage Ohio for a Downtown Assessment and we will contract with Management Resources Company for a city-wide needs assessment. We are excited to partner with the City, the Schools, and Summa Health – Barberton Campus on the needs assessment. These results will give us the ability to better measure the impact of our investments.”

The Foundation will increase funding for small grants, grant cycles and scholarships, while adding funding for Economic Development initiatives.

Josh Gordon said that while spending is increasing in these areas, overall, the spending percent will decrease. “We continue to stand by our duty as a board for responsible and strategic management of the Foundation’s corpus. With that in mind, we strive to balance the needs of the future with the impact we can make today. This spending policy will allow the Foundation to grow both the principal fund and increase our granting capacity in the future.”

Suzanne concluded the evening by thanking the board and staff for an exceptional year. “A special thank you to Kim Miller for her service to this organization. Kim retires this week as our office manager for the past two years. We are so grateful to her for her hard work, and we wish her well.”

Karie Sattler joined the Foundation as incoming office manager in September.

With the announcement of this last 2021 grant cycle, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded $240,200 through its three grants cycles: Education, Workforce and Economic Development; Arts and Community; and Health and Wellness.