Bunker Hill, IN (Nov. 7, 2014) – The Miami Correctional Facility (MCF) awarded a total of $5,100 to five charities as a part of its Community Involvement Grant.

Kokomo Rescue Mission was given $2,000 to replace existing cabinets and countertops in the kitchen of the facility’s Open Arms shelter for homeless women and children. This shelter was opened in 2003 and provides more than shelter and meals for the women and children. It also provides short- and long-term programs to address the underlying causes of homelessness and help the women and children develop life skills. In the past three years the shelter has served an average of 121 women and 93 children annually. Most days the shelter is at or near capacity.

The facility awarded $1,000 to the Carver Community Center, Kokomo. The Carver Center plans to use the funding for a boxing program for pre-teen and teen youth of Howard, Miami and Cass County. The goal is to give both boys and girls the understanding of responsibility and self-control. “Boxing is a way for youth to not only keep in shape, but to also build self-esteem, according to Dennis Morgan, executive director. “This program will monitor each participant’s grades and have expectation on what grades are acceptable and what grades are not.”

The River of Life Christian Church also received $1,000 to assist them in serving a traditional Thanksgiving Meal to local residents. The church has been serving the meal for 45 years and in 2013 served over 600 meals. The meal of turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, dessert and beverage is served in the church’s dining room, with carry-outs available. The church also provides transportation to the facility for those who need it. It’s open to the needy, lonely and others who are unable to prepare a traditional meal for themselves and their family,” according to Connie Kiesling.

Little Turtle Waterway Corp. received $600 to excavate and replace poor soil and to buy 22 trees for the waterway. The Little Turtle Waterway is a 12-block-long trail, starting at the confluence of the Eel and Wabash Rivers, and running along the Wabash riverbank to 12th Street. Much of the riverbank along the trail is wooded, with a variety of trees that will slowly change over time. The Gateway is designed to have trees on either side, however the trees that were planted died because of the poor soil. The group plans to dig out the gravel and cinder that is there now and replace it with better soil and then plant new trees.

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Citizens for Change-Cause for Paws in Logansport will receive $500. The group is moving their adoption center to the Cass County Humane Society. There are three rooms there that need renovating. The funds will be used to upgrade the electrical system, put in a new ceiling, paint and repair the walls and window trim. Jarod Heuer is doing the work as part of his Eagle Scout Project.

The grant money comes from the facility’s Fresh Favorite sales to the offenders. The Indiana Department of Correction’s (IDOC) contract with Aramark, which provides offender food services, has an addendum which allows for five percent of the net profits from the sale of Fresh Favorites food to be put into a Community Involvement fund and to be given away to the community.

Fresh Favorites is a special menu of items offered to the offenders for a price. Every IDOC facility using Aramark Food Services will receive this five percent and each gets to determine how they want to spend it to benefit the community.

Grant applications are accepted at all times, and can be obtained via email by contacting Ann Hubbard, ahubbard@idoc.in.gov; or Robin Burton at rmburton@idoc.in.gov. The facility will accept applications from any agency/charity with a Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code within Miami, Cass and Howard counties.