Social Justice Grants

Social Justice Grants

Social Justice Grants are awarded to local, national, and international agencies which promote the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, particularly by promoting peace and alleviating poverty and human suffering.  The money is tithed by the parish comprising up to 3.5% of our weekly collections from envelopes, loose change, and direct deposits, as well as occasional designated donations.  Award recipients are selected by the STA Social Justice Committee based on parish members' applications.  These awards are granted annually. A minimum of 50% of the fund remain in Story County/Ames while up to 50% assist nationally and internationally.

Click here to download the grant application.

Click here to download the grant guidelines.

Social Justice Grant Recipients 2018

A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS)

AMOS organizes research action teams to find concrete, specific, and winnable solutions to the problems plaguing families in central Iowa.  The problems have involved health care and mental health, affordable housing, juvenile justice reform, workforce development, infrastructure improvements and immigration.  These issues grow out of a bottom up, grassroots process of listening and telling our stories.  Over its 20-year history, AMOS has amassed a track record of finding solutions to otherwise divisive, complex public problems through an intensive, win-win, non-partisan approach to politics.  The grant will be used to pay for training for AMOS leaders (the people participating from member organizations), to arrange events and actions, and support the lead organizer.

Ames Ecumenical Housing, Inc. (AEH)

AEH is a church-sponsored non-profit group cooperating with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide affordable housing to seniors and persons with mobility impairment.  STA is among its founding member institutions.  AEH owns two residences:  Keystone, with 65 units, and Stonehaven, with 56 units.  The grant will be used for the designated gift fund, supported by affiliated churches, which assists residents with temporary financial needs for rent, food, or medicine.  It will also be used for community building activities for residents and supplies for gardens at the residences. This program is also supported by STA and 14 other churches since its inception in 1984.

Angel House Rescue Orphanage (AHRO)

Angel House builds Christian orphanages in India.  The organization is planning to fund a 12-child orphanage that will be built in 2018.  It removes abandoned children from the slums and places them in the safety and loving arms of caretakers that raise and love them. The children are provided with fresh water wells, education, medical checkups, three meals a day, and ultimately a home with house parents and lots of love.  Angel House reports that there are 25 million orphans in India.  These abandoned children end up in one of three places; forced child labor, begging for food or sex trafficking.

Angel House has signed a building contract, paying 50% of the cost.  STA grant funds will be used to assist in the payment of the other 50%, to be used to build the 12-child home, which is scheduled to open in June 2018

Attat Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary Hospital, Attat, Ethiopia (ATTAT)

The hospital provides integrated health, developmental activities.  In doing so, curative services to include inpatient and outpatient activity are included, as well as preventative health services to include maternal and child health, women’s promotion and safe water development.  Activities are carried out in collaboration with the village elders, community extension workers and community health agents.

The hospital provides a Maternity Waiting Are (MWA) for high risk mothers.  As many mothers are located in this remote, rural area, the access to a delivery service can be difficult.  The mothers are advised to come and stay in the MWA before delivery so that when they go into labor, they are already at the hospital.  The service provides free care and delivery as required by the present policy of the Ethiopian Health Service, though they do not provide any funding for this. With the average cost of delivery at USD $43.50, approximately 46 would be helped.

Former STA parishioner, Sr. Elaine Kohls, a Medical Missionary Sister who served at Attat, studied at Iowa State, and is now retired from hospital work in Ethiopia, and continues her friendship with several STA parishioners.  Without donations, it would be very difficult to continue and support this program and reduce the risk of high risk deliveries.

Capilla Catolica El Bolcon Community—Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, San Isidoro, Matagalpa, Nicaragua (CCEBC)

El Bolcon is a small, impoverished community near the city of San Isidro, Nicaragua.  They have been working together for three years to build a new Catholic Church that will allow easier access for all community members, young and old, as it is closer to the community than the previous church.  Community members have already donated their land, resources and time to help build this church, which they believe will be instrumental in strengthening their Catholic Faith Community.  Currently people have to walk a great distance up a steep mountain side to get to the nearest church. This becomes increasingly difficult for elderly residents, but that doesn’t stop them from attending church.  The creation of this church will allow the Bocon community to develop, grow and spread their ministry, since they will have a space to gather and pray.  The church is also going to serve as a pilgrimage site for the surrounding areas and will provide services for pilgrims in addition to being a pilgrimage destination

This grant will be used to purchase roofing material for the church.  The church needs the grant in order to finish the roof, which includes purchasing the roofing sheets, the solder, the paint, transportation and installation.

EOS International (EOS)

Emerging Opportunities for Sustainability (EOS) International is a non-profit organization that empowers rural families in Central America with access to clean water and opportunities to generate income through simple technology solutions and education.

While EOS’ office in San Isidro, Nicaragua is central, EOS prides itself on reaching people in the “last mile.”  The STA grant, will, in part, provide six communities with clean water impacting approximately 3,000 individuals.  Access to clean water can change lives, unlock opportunities, economic prosperity and improve health.  Throughout Nicaragua EOS has seen how empowering people does more than create clean drinking water, it provides hope, it improves the health of children and communities and provides a future.

Emergency Residence Project (ERP)

The Emergency Residence Project (ERP) provides homelessness prevention financial assistance, short-term emergency shelter for anyone experiencing homelessness, as well as transitional housing for families with children.  ERP can assist up to 20 people in emergency shelter on a daily basis, and six families in transitional housing.  ERP is developing a new rapid-re-housing program.  This new program will provide ERP with the ability to quickly transition families from emergency shelter into their own rental unit, while providing rental assistance and one on one support service to ensure the family’s ability to maintain their housing. Assistance will be provided from 1-6 months, based on the amount of assistance needed to maintain housing. 

With the new rapid-re-housing program, ERP is required to have 75% match of funds awarded.  Funding from STA will assist in meeting that requirement, and would go toward rental assistance for families in Story County.  STA Parishioners serve on the ERP board of directors, while ISU students and resident parishioners take an active role in Friday meal preparation as well as activities for the children residing in transitional housing.

Engineers Without Borders, ISU Chapter (EWB)

Engineers Without Borders-Iowa State University (EWB-ISU) is designing a small-town water distribution system for the village of Ullo-Dantie in Ghana.  The 1,100-citzen community faces a shortage of water in the dry season (9months in a year), and 1,500 students and the village women each spend 4-5 hours a day collecting water.  This takes away from the students’ study time and prevents women from taking care of their household and earning income through work.  With a water distribution system in place, supplying the village with a consistent water supply, the community is better equipped to lift themselves out of poverty.  This STA grant will assist in the development and building of the water distribution system.

Food at First (F@F)

Food at First provides seven meals per week for the hungry in our community.  During the past year 23,368 meals were served, and those number represent and increase per month year, attendance indicates there is a steady increase in participants.  “Gleaned” food is used to prepare the meals, and leftovers are sent home with guests.  Food that would be otherwise thrown away by local grocers/restaurants is utilized for the meals program and also given away to our guests. 

Food at First also maintains a perishable food pantry known as ‘Free Market.”  Food (mostly produce, bakery and dairy products) is distributed at no cost three times a week.  Presently, between 100 and 140 families “shop” with no cost to them.  Total for shoppers in 2017 was 10,070 people, representing 44,306 households.  On Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, a community meal is open to all who want to attend.  In 2017, 600 people participated in a Thanksgiving meal, and on Christmas Day over 500 were served.  Several of our STA parishioners are active in meal preparation, gleaning food from ISU and several Ames businesses, as well as helping at the market.  STA aid this year will be used to maintain a  F @ F dishwasher, freezers refrigerators and stoves.

Friendship Ark Homes (FAH)

Friendship Ark Homes was founded in 1999 by parishioners Joe and Lois Johanns, with the intent of providing faith-based homes for adults with intellectual disabilities. To date, four homes are operational in the Ames area.  Last year, in response to state regulations asking that persons with intellectual disabilities be integrated into the community, Friendship Ark began to offer supported community living and day habilitation for persons not living in our residences.  Also last year, after rigorous scrutiny, and much staff effort, Friendship Ark was awarded 3-year certification (the highest possible) by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

The STA grant will be used to address several needs:

  • Assist in the payment for activities for persons in the DayHab program, who cannot afford them.
  • Provide each of the four homes with a tablet to show educational videos, for example, on cooking, meal planning, and nutrition.
  • Replace our flip phones with smart phones so that staff could access web-based information while away from their computers.

Global Building Group (GBG)

Global Building Group builds primary schools in rural Uganda.  Ames High School students partner with the community to assist in the building of a well in Uganda.  The organization will serve 500-1,000 people, who would access to the well, with the goal of providing clean water to the people in rural Uganda.  The STA grant, would, in part, help to pay for the $6,000 cost to build the well.

Habitat Store for Habitat for Humanity for Central Iowa (HS-HFH)

The Habitat Store in Ames was formed about five years ago.  Donations are refurbished, tested, and sold to the public, and profits are invested in Habitat for Humanity building projects.  Habitat supports “builds” in Hardin, Hamilton, and Story counties and then sells them to persons who qualify.  The purchasing family must work 400 hours during the construction of a home, and then pay monthly on a zero-interest mortgage loan.  Refurbished building supplies, hardware, and furniture are sold to the public.

The STA grant will be used for some remodeling to the new Habitat for Humanity Store, and for the purchase of such necessities as ladders, carts, shelving and slat wall displays.

Juok Ling Kuac Waan Meal Project, South Sudan (JLKW)

JLKW provides for economic development in Atwell State, South Sudan.  Among the activities of the organization, is the effort to provide meals to primary school students in Araya and Barmayen of Awell State in South Sudan.  Children that are food insecure will be left to struggle.  Their primary school studies and child development will suffer.  The STA grant will, in part, help an estimated 100 children that may eat only one meal a day, as well as to help increase enrollment numbers, and student development. 

Maryknoll Missionaries, Mission Account of Fr. John Lange (FRJL)

Fr. Lange began his work in Tanzania nearly 60 years ago.  He has been a missionary in Africa for most of this time, and will use the proceeds of this grant to provide ongoing faith and physical support for people in need, assisting with food, healthcare, and education, which is not free in Kenya/Tanzania.  In the past two years, Tanzania has had its worst droughts ever. Fr. Lange has assisted thousands of people to survive.  A long-time friend of Bill and Karen Bergan, Fr. Lange is a Maryknoll Father whose order has served as missionaries worldwide for over 100 years.  He visited the Bergan’s and STA in 2017. 

Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc./Story County Dental Clinic (SCDC)

The SCDC provides affordable, high-quality dental services to low-income Iowans.  The clinic serves uninsured patients earning less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines (up to $50,200 for a family of four) and those enrolled in income-based insurance programs including Medicaid, Dental Wellness Plan and Hawk-I.  Unfortunately, it is expensive to receive care if uninsured, and it is difficult to access dental care if insured by Medicaid.  Sound oral health has profound effects on overall health and well-being and prevents more costly, long-term problems from developing.  Several STA parishioners serve as volunteers at MICA.  The STA grant will help support the clinic’s operation.

Mustard Seed Community Farm (MSCF)

The Mustard Seed Community Farm is dedicated to sustainable, simple living, love of neighbor, and creating a community in which everyone can participate in growing, sharing, and eating healthy food.  Located northwest of Ames, the farm has a small community supported agriculture (CSA) which provides weekly shares of produce from May to October annually, and also grows food for area shelters and donation programs.  This summer, the farm will celebrate 10 years of growing and sharing food on its current plot of land.

The farm seeks to build a small barn/building for improved weatherproof storage of tools, indoor workshop space for educational programming, community events and hospitality.  The aid will be put towards building materials and the cost of hiring a local professional carpenter and paying a living wage in order to both honor the dignity of the workers involved and also to ensure the new building is structurally sound and built to code so that it is safe and durable space to be used long into the future.

Shanti Ashram (SA)

Shanti Ashram is a center for development, learning and collaboration founded in Coimbatore, India in 1986.  The Ashram serves as a catalyst to empower rural communities.  Shanti Ashram leads multiple efforts in the areas of local community health (especially women’s and children’s health), education. And empowerment.  The empowerment effort is one of Shanti Ashram’s most impactful programs because it focuses on poverty alleviation and enduring food security at the family level by enabling and training rural women entrepreneurs.

STA grant funds will be used to increase food safety and alleviate poverty in the rural villages served by Shanti Ashram by training women in the villages to develop small food-based businesses or enterprises.  Funds will also be used to provide on-going training and provide nutritional counseling and health check-ups.

Students Helping our Peers (SHOP)

The SHOP is a student-run, on-campus food pantry at Iowa State University that provides a wide variety of free, non-perishable food and personal care items for all ISU students. Last year, SHOP estimated that 50-80 students were helped each month.  Help is provided in an anonymous fashion, with students able to stop by and grab needed items.  Most of the products available are donated, but SHOP also purchases needed items which are not donated. 

SHOP is located in Room 2016 of the Food Science Building, and is open three afternoons per week.  The group has also worked to provide easier access for students, including a Mobile SHOP.  STA grant funds will assist SHOP in continuing to provide this service by providing cash resources to purchase items not donated and to develop promotional materials.


2018 Grants:

see left for descriptions of these organizations.

AMOS $2,000

AEH $500

AHRO $500

ATTAT $2,000

CCEBC $1,000

EOS $1,000

ERP $2,000

EWB $1,000

F@F $2,200

FAH $1,000

FRJL $1,000

GBG $1,000

HS-HFH $800

JLKW $1,000

MSCF $500

SA $1,000

SCDC $2,000

SHOP $500

TOTAL $21,000