Featured Grant Recipients CollECtive Choir CollECtively proclaiming Jesus through exuberant praise. The CollECtive Choir is a diverse Gospel and Hip Hop group in the Chippewa Valley that is intentionally building bridges across age, denomination, socio-economic status, color, and culture. This year-round missional music community now has 40 active members and more than 20 churches represented in its membership. They utilize the universal language of music to showcase unity in diversity. For 5 years, the choir has been rehearsing weekly at the Lighthouse Youth Center in Eau Claire, or Phoenix Park during the summer months. It performs in high profile and low profile environments alike, including municipal gatherings and festivals, public venues, music festivals, concert series, block parties, churches, jail and prison and more. Their repertoire includes many originals, and they record around the year to release music as an art organization. They are supported by a growing pool of talented local instrumentalists from the university and the city. In 2019 the CollECtive Choir was awarded a grant from Daniel F. and Margaret J Brown Memorial Fund and Children’s Legacy Endowment Fund to launch one of its projects - “The Jam”. This after school youth Jam’s focus is a to provide a judgement safe environment where teenagers can learn improvisation-based music (like Blues, Rock, Jazz and Hip Hop) in a facilitated communal setting. Other current projects of this missional music community include inmate re-entry, and a neighborhood outreach initiative. The CollECtive Choir is lead by full-time music and program director Michael Rambo, who has been active in the regional art scene since 2001 as music director, private music instructor, worship leader, performing artist, composer and producer. To learn more, you can visit the CollECtive Choir website. JONAH Uniting the community to combat injustice Founded in November 2007, JONAH - Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope - is a grassroots community organization dedicated to deepening relationships within and between member faith-congregations, community members impacted by injustice, and strategic community partners in the Chippewa Valley region of west central Wisconsin in order to address root causes of economic and social injustice. JONAH has task forces that currently work on the root causes of Child Poverty, Homelessness/Affordable Housing, Immigration, Criminal Justice, and the Environment. Core Teams are social concerns groups at our congregations that put organizing tools to use in their work. JONAH also provides Leadership training to the community so everyone can take part in shaping what their future looks like. It demonstrates collaboration and relationship building to bring people together and create social understanding. Through "Justice Stories," JONAH will build and share a collection of stories about social justice in our community - stories that explain the work of JONAH, and stories of individuals close to our issues, to reduce stigma and bring people together. Personal stories help connect people to issues that they may not otherwise know about and develop compassion for those experiencing that injustice. It is a very direct way for us to bring people together and motivate them to improve our community. To learn more, you can visit the JONAH website. Chippewa Valley Wildlife Rehabilitation Saving wildlife and educating the public Chippewa Valley Wildlife Rehabilitation (CVWR) is dedicated to rehabilitating orphaned, injured, or ill wild animals with the goal of returning them to their native habitat as healthy, productive members of their own community; providing information in response to public inquiries about wildlife; and providing wildlife education to the community. CVWR has been serving the Chippewa Valley and surrounding communities since 2010. CVWR is grateful for the support of the Eau Claire Community Foundation. The 2019 grant money from the Lois and Arnold Domer Fund and the John and Betsy Kell Family Fund will be used for a website development. A CVWR website will be a valuable and available resource for the community at their fingertips. The website will help educate and inform individuals in the community on how to handle wild animal situations. In a rapidly changing world, habitats for wildlife have been shrinking due to human development. With more development, interactions between wild animals and humans have increased, which is why community members should be educated on what to do if they find an injured, abandoned, or sick wild animal. In a modern world it is important that people understand the importance of keeping wildlife wild. The grant funding for the website development will help create a platform to promote education on the importance of keeping animals wild. This should have a lasting effect that would continually benefit the community and animals that CVWR cares for. To learn more, you can visit the Chippewa Valley Wildlife Rehabilitation Facebook page. The Community Table Neighbors feeding neighbors since 1993 The Community Table (TCT) is a meal provider in the Eau Claire community and has been providing a meal to those in need since 1993. TCT is open 365 days a year and has a mission to serve a balanced, nutritious meal in a safe, welcoming environment and to connect those in need with existing resources. TCT was able to serve 36,246 meals in 2019 with the help of over 3,400 volunteers. While TCT aims to help those in need in our facility, we also aim to continue partnerships with existing resources in the community in order to best serve our patrons. With help from the Eau Claire Community Foundation, The Community Table was able to update not only our kitchen but the technology in the two offices as well. With the purchase of shelving units for the kitchen we were able to optimize storage space. This allowed us to organize both the cooler and freezer shelving to reduce food waste due the newly adapted process of rotating food donations. Through ECCF, TCT was able to update the technology in both offices. This is crucial for us to ensure workers are using their time as efficiently as possible. With the purchase of new computers, staff was able to do more in-house designing and work. With a new volunteer database, TCT is able to ensure the best experiences for staff and volunteers. In all things we do, The Community Table strives to be a place of community for those who feel they do not have a place. The Community Table cannot function without the support of the Eau Claire community and the many volunteers which we are supported by. Please call or email us if you are looking to join the team! To learn more, you can visit the The Community Table website.