South Kingstown Public Library

SK Public Library (above) and Jonnycake Center among organizations given grants.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The Champlin Foundation announced nearly 200 grants on Friday, totaling $18 million, which will help support mission-driven organizations across the Ocean State. 

In southern Rhode Island, numerous non-profit groups and charities will be given a helping hand this holiday season, including the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale and the South Kingstown Public Library System. 

Each year, the foundation focuses its grantmaking on a diverse range of organizations, according to Champlin Foundation Executive Director Nina Stack, with focuses ranging from community health, youth services, education, social services and historic preservation; to conservation, arts and culture, and animal welfare.

“We are proud to support community-based and frontline non-profit organizations in South County and across Rhode Island,” Stack said. “Our state is stronger because of its tight-knit, determined, and passionate community of charities and service providers.”

“This year is particularly exciting because we’re able to award grants to 31 first-time recipients,” she added. “Since 1932, the Champlin Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to support capital projects at Rhode Island nonprofit organizations. Over that time, we’ve helped advance youth development, care for the elderly and sick, preservation of cherished buildings, protection of parkland and open space, and improved access to health care and social services.”

This year, $250,000 will be going toward the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale to help support renovations to its soon-to-be new home at 22 Kersey Road, according to Executive Director Kate Brewster. The site will not only house the organization’s food pantry, but its social services department, administrative offices, and provide a community space for workshops, gatherings, and wellness initiatives. 

“We are so grateful to the Champlin Foundation for making this significant investment in our community. The new building will allow us to bring all of our services under one roof, making us more effective and efficient in fighting food insecurity and poverty in South County,” Brewster said. 

For the past 45 years, the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale has helped to provide basic needs, resources and hope to households throughout South Kingstown and Narragansett. With these additional funds and the new center, which will be known as the Jonnycake Center for Hope starting next year, can help intervene and identify the needs of community members in a more timely manner. With the new space, the center also looks forward to being able to provide new programs, such as cooking classes and free tax assistance. 

With $98,000 in grant funding, the Peace Dale Library will also be able to repaint the exterior of the building, according to Director Laurel Ann Clark. She anticipates that project will likely happen sometime this upcoming spring or summer season, once it’s successfully gone through the formal proposal process. 

Thanks to the Champlin Foundation, the Peace Dale Public Library was also able to open its front doors to patrons for the first time in more than two decades. A $7,004 grant from the foundation made the necessary repairs and restorations to the library’s front doors possible this past summer. In July, patrons were finally able to use the entrance again, Clark said. 

Other Southern Rhode Island organizations that will be benefiting from Champlin Foundation grants include the University of Rhode Island Foundation, with $656,000, the South County Museum in Narragansett, with $12,000, the Wood River Health Services’ new Westerly offices, with $130,000, and the Jonnycake Center of Westerly, with $63,000.

Of the $18 million worth of grant funding being spread out across Rhode Island, more than $2 million will be going to 85 organizations in Westerly alone.

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