New Abel Endowment grants to combat ACEs

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The Gerald D. Abel Endowment was established in 2016 at the Community Foundation of Grundy County to impact organizations serving children and veterans in Grundy and Will Counties forever.  Through the Abel Endowment, the Community Foundation of Grundy County was able to organize an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Training in October.

The topic of ACEs was chosen because conversations regarding mental health are growing across all sectors within the county.  While not all mental health issues stem from traumatic or adverse experiences, these types of experiences can hinder children from reaching their full potential.  We know Grundy County already has some services that prevent or address traumatic or adverse experiences; however, we also know service gaps still remain.

Organizations who attended the ACEs Training were eligible to submit proposals for grant funding that would strengthen existing programs or allow for the creation of new programs or services to improve community resiliency against ACEs.  The Grants Committee at the Community Foundation of Grundy County received and reviewed several grant requests, but in the end approved five requests.

Three of the requests were for staff training to ensure staff are properly trained in dealing with children and their families who have experienced an adverse event.  Those recipients include:

  • Saratoga School District to provide a speaker on adverse childhood experiences for their staff.
  • The Grundy County Health Department will be training staff in trauma informed care for outpatient treatment.
  • Greater Joliet YMCA will be using funds to train staff in behavior management.

The other two grants that were approved are:

  • Minooka Primary School to host an event for preschools and their families that aims to promote family togetherness and support.
  • Easterseals Jump Start will host 10-2 hour educational group sessions for children and families who are at risk of or have experienced adverse events.  These groups will be run in collaboration with Crossroads Counseling Services, LLC, and We Care of Grundy County.

We are excited to see the impact these first grants from the Gerald D. Abel Endowment have on the children of Grundy County.   In the coming months we will follow up on these projects to see where they’ve taken those involved…until then, stay tuned!

Please click here to read/listen to the story on WCSJ!