The Champlin Foundation this week announced $18 million in grant funding for 188 Rhode Island organizations whose focuses range from arts and culture to social services.

Locally, The Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society has been awarded $10,656 to be put toward some needed updates and repairs to the Paine House Museum at 7 Station St., Coventry. 

“I’m extremely grateful for The Champlin Foundation and all that they do, not only for us, but for everybody in the state,” Brenda Jacob, president of The Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society, said Thursday. “We’re very blessed to have a resource like that to help us out.”

The money will help the society fix some ceilings and repair the floor of the historical home’s third level. There’s currently nothing on that level, Jacob said, but once the renovation is complete the society will be able to use it to store artifacts. 

Jacob said she hopes to begin working on the projects this winter.

“So that hopefully someday, when we can open again, we’ll have these projects done,” she said. 

The Champlin Foundation has helped fund a lot of the major improvements at the Paine House over the years, Jacob said.

“That’s how we’ve gotten our roof, and how we’ve redone the windows,” she said. 

And this year, especially, the help is appreciated, Jacob said. 

The Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society relies on donations and grant funding to survive. But since the coronavirus pandemic hit early this year, the organization has been unable to hold many of its planned fundraiser events.

“We have been able to hold a few events, but nothing that would allow us the kind of money to do any type of major improvements,” Jacob said. “It’s been a godsend to us to get those funds this year so that we can continue to maintain the building.”

Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $600 million to nonprofits statewide, primarily to fund capital projects.

Nonprofits in Rhode Island have navigated the pandemic and current economic crisis “with extraordinary resilience, while also keeping a firm eye on building for the future,” Nina Stack, executive director of The Champlin Foundation, said in a press release Wednesday.

“At a time when their services are in greater demand than ever before, so many essential charities have stepped up their leadership thinking innovatively about how to adjust programming and deliver support,” she continued. 

Grants were awarded to organizations covering a range of focus areas, including arts and culture; conservation and parks; education; healthcare; historic preservation; libraries; social services; welfare of animals; and youth services. 

“The Champlin Foundation is proud to support these agencies and organizations to expand their reach and impact, and to play a part in their vital efforts to help Rhode Island weather this storm and the challenges that await us in the future,” Stack said. 

Those interested in volunteering at the Paine House Museum or donating to the Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society can visit westernrihistory.org.

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