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FAIRWINDS Foundation Announces Recipients of 2021 Grants

Orlando, FL

FAIRWINDS Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the philanthropic arm of FAIRWINDS Credit Union, recently announced the recipients of its 2021 grants at an event held at the Citrus Club in Downtown Orlando.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings welcomed guests, and City of Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón was in attendance. A total of a quarter million dollars in grant funds were awarded to eight organizations embodying the Foundation’s core purpose of inspiring generosity and improving lives through financial well-being.

“We are proud to support each of these organizations, and we look forward to the impact they will make in helping others achieve financial freedom through education,” said Elisha González, vice president of community relations and government affairs at FAIRWINDS and executive director of the FAIRWINDS Foundation. “Through the positive impact of the causes we support, we hope to inspire generous living among both FAIRWINDS members and the communities we serve.”

Each of the selected organizations strives to foster financial understanding, stability and independence:

  • City Year Orlando received a $10,000 grant from the FAIRWINDS Foundation to support financial literacy training for the corps, as well as school-based math and financial literacy initiatives. During their intensive year of service, AmeriCorps members develop strong leadership- skills and become deeply invested in Orlando. As near-peer tutors, mentors, and role models, the corps helps keep Orlando students on the path to graduation and future success. Through this program, AmeriCorps members will develop the skills to become financially free through saving and building credit.

  • United Way Volusia - Flagler received a $10,000 grant to provide support to families and individuals to move toward economic self-sufficiency. Priority areas are for families and individuals to have access to sustaining income, safe and affordable housing and can capably manage income and expenses. Serving approximately 6000 individuals, 1000 high school youth, and college students annually. Clients will have access to financial stability programs.

  • Impower received a $15,000 grant to continue strengthening financial literacy skills-building programs at two IMPOWER residential programs that serve youth most at risk for financial instability: The Village Transitional Housing Program, servings homeless youth 18-24 (many from the foster care system) and teens, 13-18, at The Grove Adolescent Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Center (65% are currently in the child welfare system).

  • Heart of Florida United Way received a $25,000 grant. The grant from the Foundation will support the ALICE population. Half of the Central Florida population falls into the ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) category, which means many are balancing on the cusp of financial ruin. Nearly half of the Orlando community is living paycheck to paycheck and barely able to afford necessities like housing, transportation, and food. United Way’s focus on financial stability, which includes education and training programs designed to help an individual increase their financial knowledge and utilize the information to make informed and effective decisions, aligns with the FAIRWINDS Foundation's focus on teaching financial literacy as a means of improving the financial well-being of the community.

  • Central Florida Urban League (CFUL) received $25,000 and employs volunteers from FAIRWINDS that support it's Meet the Bankers initiative, a program designed to provide a detailed path to financial stability and home ownership through education. As part of the partnership, the CFUL team and FAIRWINDS crewmembers will continue to provide individually tailored and prescriptive financial pathways that will help participants develop household budgets, create savings plans, manage debt and avoid common pitfalls like predatory loans.

  • Lift Orlando received $25,000 to provide financial literacy and education to the residents of the Communities of West Lakes and the greater 32805 zip code, the most distressed area in Orange County, FL. The Financial Well-Being Center program is delivered in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. Services include age-appropriate financial education counseling services with an emphasis on budgeting, savings, credit repair, and home ownership.

  • Prospera USA received $40,000 to address financial literacy through focusing on the training and coaching of underserved Hispanics, so they succeed financially at the personal level and have a better opportunity of becoming successful business owners. The program will remove financial barriers and lack of understanding of personal and business financial structures and increase their likelihood of success. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the project will focus on the urgent needs small business owners face today: business resiliency education, handholding to overcome challenges, professional services from experts in areas of opportunity, and assistance with access to capital through government grants or loans from micro-lending partners or financial institutions.

  • Junior Achievement USA was granted the FAIRWINDS Foundation first $100,000 national grant and was celebrated for their implementation of JA Finance Park Virtual to approximately 16,000 students in Orlando, Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Atlanta. The students will be provided with the information and tools needed for making intelligent, lifelong personal finance decisions that are critical to ensuring their financial wellness in life. The funding will provide the support needed to implement the newly enhanced JA Finance Park Virtual (and/or the traditional JA Finance Park if schools allow student gatherings).

The FAIRWINDS Foundation grant cycle for 2022 will be open for inquiries in September 2021. Visit fairwinds.org/foundation to learn more.