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Evergy Community Investment Fund at WCF awards more than $380,000 for community enhancement and youth enrichment

September 21, 2021

Wichita, Kan. – In its third and final year of grantmaking, the Evergy Community Investment Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF) is granting $380,365 to 13 Wichita nonprofits serving zip codes 67208, 67214 and/or 67219. The funded projects will support community and environment enhancement or youth enrichment and development.

 “These initiatives, ranging from education workshops to housing solutions, will enhance our community for years to come,” said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. “Through prudent fund investment, WCF was able to grow the original $1 million to more than $1.1 million. We are pleased to serve as Evergy’s philanthropic partner for this important community commitment.”

Evergy’s $1 million gift in 2019 served as a multi-year investment to establish the Fund at WCF. Applications were reviewed by the Evergy Community Investment Advisory Board, consisting of individuals who live, work and/or serve in Wichita’s District 1.

“The organizations receiving funds from the Evergy Community Investment Fund have a direct impact on improving lives and opportunities for residents in northeast Wichita,” said Don Sherman, executive, community affairs for Evergy. “Our Evergy team also extends our gratitude to the local leaders who evaluated grant applications and selected winning programs.”

The 2021 grants will support the following projects:

Community and Environment Enhancement

  • Tallgrass Film Association | $10,000
    Movie screenings at Dunbar Theatre to show the theatre’s history and films from marginalized communities
  • Racial Profiling Advisory Board/Wichita Independent Neighborhoods | $10,000
    Partner with law enforcement on educational workshops to address policy reform and community policing
  • HumanKind | $20,000
    Provide intermediary housing for men and women who are experiencing homelessness
  • HopeNet | $9,500
    Implement a workshop to examine and address individual and systematic poverty in the U.S.
  • Paxton’s Blessing Box | $3,000
    Provide nonperishable food boxes for those in need throughout Wichita and surrounding areas
  • Kansas School for Effective Learning (KANSEL) | $42,500
    Develop a multi-level program to assist with High School diplomas, internship training and volunteering
  • Power Community Development Corporation | $48,422
    Revitalize the historic Dunbar Theatre to provide a community center for residents
  • ICT SOS | $46,760
    Expand their services by opening a safe space for survivors of human trafficking

Youth Enrichment and Development

  • Rise Up For Youth | $10,000
    Offer USD 259 high school juniors and seniors college tours across Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma
  • Storytime Village | $50,000
    Promote literacy programs for all ages and professional development for educators through the Literacy Center, located in the Fairmount neighborhood
  • Arts Partners | $32,400
    Equip 5th to 12th grade students with science, technology, engineering, art and math skills through the Generation STEAM program
  • The Center | $32,621
    Expand STEM program and add after school English and math tutoring for K-3students that live in 67214
  • Destination Innovation | $65,161
    Transition two programs, Progeny and Root the Power, into Camp Destination Innovation for youth leadership development and collaboration on racial justice issues

“As a proponent for higher education, it is my goal to ensure we actively expose our high school students with a post-secondary path,” said Rise Up For Youth Executive Director Dr. Shareika Fisher. “This grant will allow us to revamp our Midwest mini-college tour which will provide exposure to local and regional colleges for our students to explore. Thank you, Wichita Community Foundation and Evergy, for awarding us with these grant funds!”

2021 Evergy Community Investment Fund Recipient: Rise Up For Youth (Courtesy of Rise Up For Youth)

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