SEATTLE, July 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Mariners Care, the Seattle Mariners nonprofit foundation, today announced the awarding of the next round of Community Impact Grants to organizations working to improve physical and mental health for youth from Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
The $1 million Seattle Mariners Community Impact Grant program was announced last July as part of a broad set of commitments to advance social justice and racial equity. This round of grants brings to six the number of awards made to organizations focused on sustainable and strategic change to systems that have historically impacted the ability of BIPOC communities to thrive.
"The Seattle Mariners value our place in the Pacific Northwest Community and strive to make a difference in the lives of the people in our region. We believe we can have a positive impact by investing strategically to support partners working toward systemic change, particularly in BIPOC communities. We are focused on improving the physical and mental health of our youth and growing economic equity in under-resourced communities," said Fred Rivera, Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
Community Impact Grant Awardees
$25,000 – Boys & Girls Club of Brewster, a largely low-income rural community in Okanogan County that primarily serves children from migrant families.
$25,000 – Choose 180, an organization that serves youth and young adults at risk of or currently engaged in the criminal legal system across King County that uses therapeutic, community-centered, restorative services to replace incarceration and other punitive measures.
Boys & Girls Club of Brewster
The $25,000 grant will be used to increase physical activity for youth by creating year-round baseball, softball and physical fitness opportunities for children in the rural, largely low-income community. These include practices, league play and gymnasium activities.
Brewster Boys & Girls Club is a hub for before and after school tutoring and activities for children from low-income families in the community who cannot afford fees for youth sports. The Club creates programs designed to combat barriers to participation, including lack of transportation, and by providing culturally responsive content. The grant will allow the club to enroll up to 35 youth for league play in softball and baseball, resulting in 100 hours of physical activity for each child. Another 200 youth will have access to 320 hours each of additional physical fitness through year-round indoor activities.
The $25,000 grant will support counseling efforts and reduce barriers that prevent BIPOC youth from accessing mental health services. It will allow Choose 180 to supplement broader staff training and increase their capacity to support vulnerable and in-crisis youth.
Choose 180 is a diversion program that works to keep young people in King County out of the criminal justice system. Through trauma-informed care, counseling and support, participants build skills and resilience. Since 2011, 4,000 participants have completed the program and successfully avoided prosecution. Of the 600 youth who are served each year, 88% do not reengage in the legal system within a year of program completion.
Program participants are 57% from BIPOC communities and disproportionately low-income, LGBTQ+ and impacted by historical racism and institutional disparities. Twenty-five percent report chemical dependence or express mental health concerns. By centering youth voice, Choose 180 hopes to create more responsive programs and reduce barriers and stigma that prevent BIPOC youth from accessing mental health support.
2021 Mariners Care Community Impact Grant Recipients
$100,000 – Seattle Foundation Fund for Inclusive Recovery, a program that is addressing widening inequities in our community that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
$20,000 – You Grow Girl!, a Seattle-based program that provides mental and behavioral health services to female-identifying youth and families from BIPOC communities.
$20,000 – King County Play Equity Coalition, a network of more than 100 organizations from across King County that work collaboratively to address the lack of access and resources for all youth, especially those from under-resourced communities, to participate in sport, play and physical activity.
$25,000 – Minority Business Executive Program, University of Washington Foster School of Business, which supports capacity building and access to capital for minority owned business.