Healthy Savannah seeks to help fund faith-based back-to-school events


$7,000 is available for applicable projects, events and programs that include COVID/FLU awareness activities.

(SAVANNAH, GA) Healthy Savannah announced that it is offering grants to support back-to-school and other community events hosted by its faith-based community partners. Funds are available for projects, events and programs applicable through mid-September 2022 that include COVID-19 and flu awareness activities.

Healthy Savannah is seeking to distribute approximately $7,000 in grants that are specifically intended to be spent in the faith community. The funds are part of an effort funded by an additional grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand the initiatives of the current Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, administered by Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. The goal of this initiative is to focus on increasing access, awareness, and acceptance of the COVID-19 and influenza vaccine, especially in Black and Hispanic communities in Savannah.

“Working and partnering with the faith community is an important part of our business and outreach efforts,” said Elsie Smalls, PhD, operations manager. “Many valuable social movements and community programs that have served our communities most effectively have been through relationships and collaboration with our faith leaders and members.”

Individual organizational grant amounts can range from $500 to $1,500, depending on the content of the proposed plans. Smalls says funds are available immediately upon approval of a plan submitted by an organization. All approved plans must be implemented and activities completed by September 18, 2022.

African-American and Hispanic faith-based organizations, churches, and places of worship located in priority population communities served by Healthy Savannah are eligible. Funds may be used to provide new or expanded activities or events and must benefit individuals and families in the community and/or priority communities served by Healthy Savannah.

The following are examples of the types of projects, events or programs that could be funded:1. Host a youth department summer event (i.e. back to school), which includes a session on youth questions, concerns and ideas regarding education, awareness, access and acceptance of COVID-19 and flu.
2. Expand an existing Ministry of Health program to feature a community health fair. Provide materials, educational materials and community resources to process, access, educate and accept information about COVID and influenza.
3. Develop and host a community forum (virtual or in-person) to educate and discuss the mental, emotional, psychological, and trauma-related impact that COVID-19 has had on underrepresented and disenfranchised communities.
4. Design products such as school backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, coloring books, church fans, congregation buttons/pins, Bible bookmarks or others items to share with congregation and community with COVID and flu messages; include an inspiring message of hope.

“We encourage you to be creative and innovative by presenting a plan that reflects the unique ideas that will provide the greatest benefit to your community,” Smalls said. “Our goal is to support Covid-19 and influenza education and awareness programs and services in our communities through our faith-based partnerships.”

Applicants are asked to submit a one-page plan that includes an explanation of the activity or event to be funded, the name of the activity and the proposed date, a description of the content, the activities that will be used to promote the event, and how the program should engage residents who live in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The event/activity must also support education, awareness, access and acceptance of COVID-19 and flu vaccine in priority communities in Chatham County.

Applications should be sent no later than Friday, July 22, 2022 and early applications are encouraged. For more information and to apply, contact Dr. Elsie Smalls at [email protected], referencing the following in the email subject line: Faith and Health Funds Grant Application – Summer program.

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH: In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. Awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the funding is being deployed in an “upstream” approach by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to foster sustainable health equity among Black residents of inner-city neighborhoods. The goal of the local project, called Healthy Opportunities Powering Equity, or HOPE, is to increase the availability of high-quality food; promote physical activity by creating better access to safe places to walk, run, cycle and play; and fostering stronger connections between people and the health care providers who serve them. Working with over 200 community partners and organizations, the team is committed to improving community health and well-being through policies, systems and environmental change.

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
[email protected]


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