Below, you'll find our recent updates, newsletters, publications and more.
AAACF is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Young Citizens of the Year award through March 29th. This award recognizes outstanding community service on the part of local high school students. To be eligible, at the time of nomination, students must be currently enrolled at a Washtenaw County public or private high school. On May 9th The Ann Arbor News/MLive will announce 5 Young Citizens of the Year. Thanks to generous support from the Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Fund, each of the Young Citizens of the Year will receive a $3,500 scholarship to the higher education institution of their choice and will be featured online and in the print version of the paper.
James W. (Jim) and Marla J. Gousseff loved the Ypsilanti community where they had resided since 1963—deeply engaging during their lifetimes and leaving a lasting impact through a $1.8 million estate gift to the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund (YACF), the sole affiliate fund of AAACF, realized in December 2020.
Looking Back & Moving Forward , Gousseff Transformative Gift to Ypsilanti, WMBK's Documentary Premiere, AAACF Welcomes Dorcas Patterson!
A new year ushers in exciting developments at AAACF! 2021 will be filled with opportunities for youth in Washtenaw County and new ways for AAACF to connect with you virtually. Here are some announcements for beginning this year.
Early in the year, AAACF Board and Staff began planning for the creation of new core values for AAACF (existing values were approved in 2003) connected to embarking upon a new five-year strategic plan (our current strategic framework runs through December 2020). The pandemic actually intensified our pursuit of these endeavors, as we feel an even greater sense of responsibility to our community and to examine our work in context of a changed society.
When AAACF CEO Neel Hajra announced the new $250,000 investment in Michigan Women Forward to create a Washtenaw-specific initiative to provide loans and technical support to women-led businesses in Ypsilanti and rural communities during the Community Conversation, he also shared that this impact investment follows careful planning and responds to groundbreaking research.
Autumn always brings winds of change and this season at AAACF ushers in major new announcements and developments. Just as the color of fall leaves depends on factors from the months preceding, each new major endeavor we are sharing now represents months and years of prior work and planning: New Core Values for AAACF, Highlight Reel from Community Conversation, Groundbreaking Report on Local Capital Flow, and Announcing the EmpowerMENt Fund.
Reimagining Capital in Washtenaw County: A Community Conversation Starter
Tuesday, September 15 from 3:30-5:00 PM online.
How do community and financial capital intersect in Washtenaw County? How can we support neighborhoods during challenging times? A line-up of community leaders will share thoughts virtually.
Especially during these challenging times, we want to highlight accomplishments of our local youth, virtual gatherings, and grant opportunities. In this e-news issue: Youth Council Year-End Celebration & Senior Send-Off, Virtual Community Conversation (9/15/20), Washtenaw County's 2020 Young Citizens of the Year, and AAACF Grantmaking Opportunities for Summer & Fall.
We are writing to share an update about AAACF’s grant programs. Since the start of the pandemic, grantmaking Committees and staff have been working together closely to provide responsive funding to emergent needs on an ongoing basis. This summer and fall we will have a number of grant programs and funding opportunities available that focus on continued community relief and the start of community recovery. Please read through the program descriptions below carefully because each program has a different request and decision making process generated by grantmaking Committees and staff that are in alignment with the availability of funding and priority areas.
Although this is the last of the weekly updates instituted during the pandemic, AAACF will continue to share important news throughout the summer and beyond. We will also continue to update our dedicated COVID-19 response webpage.
Although their rites of passage and other school activities have been impacted by the pandemic, young people are showing their resilience and creativity as they adjust to a new reality and continue working toward their goals. We are encouraged by a future generation of Washtenaw County leaders. We share as illustration two existing programs that continue to evolve and demonstrate the potential of our young people.
In 2018, AAACF began increasing its focus on older adults through the Glacier Hills Legacy Fund, building on decades of work through the Bach Fund and others. Washtenaw County values the wisdom, experiences, and contributions that older adults bring to our community. We began sharing a sobering call to action: the number of local seniors in poverty will likely double by 2040. Our community must be prepared for (and better yet, reverse) this long-term trend.
As another month begins, AAACF will maintain the weekly electronic updates we began in April. We’ll continue to share pandemic response news and information, along with updates from activities that occur annually around this time.
We recognize that this report is being released during an incredibly challenging time and that many people and organizations in Washtenaw County are facing dire economic hardships. AAACF has been sharing news of granting more than $1 million in response to the pandemic (our dedicated COVID-19 page continuously updates grantee listings, with forthcoming updates on up to an additional $500,000 in nonprofit loans) to provide a source of hope to all in our community. In this same spirit of hope—and in the comfort many of us now find in familiar traditions and activities, we share our 2019 Annual Report.
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