Local Organizations Receive Lilly Endowment Funding

Working collaboratively, Chances and Services for Youth, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, Catholic Charities Terre Haute, Clinton Recreational Center and the West Vigo Community Center will enrich youth programming in the Wabash Valley with the support of a new grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Through its initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana, Lilly Endowment awarded a $1 million grant to Chances and Services for Youth (CASY) to fund the collaboration among the organizations. The joint effort is designed to further the aim of Lilly Endowment’s initiative: to help Indiana youth-serving organizations improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of young people, ages five through 18.

These funds will offer far-reaching services in the Wabash Valley. The organizations will use the funds in the following way:

  • Chances and Services for Youth will strengthen Too Good for Drugs, evidenced-based programming in 6th to 9th grades; enhance and sustain before and after school care and summer camp programming at Booker T. Washington Community Center; and make community center renovations.
  • Terre Haute Children’s Museum will begin a renovation project on the second floor. The makeover will tell the story of how the city of Terre Haute and the farms in the surrounding areas connect in important ways. This exhibit area will be called “The Healthy Haute” and will feature a new water table that is reflective of the Wabash River and the Wabashiki wetlands.
  • Catholic Charities Terre Haute will make capital improvements to enhance the safety, security, function, and overall aesthetics of Ryves Youth Center, which will in turn provide new resources and opportunities for the youth participating at the Youth Center. Repairs to the deck and replacement of doors, roof repairs, and additional space repairs and modifications will freshen existing spaces and enliven the facilities to encourage more use by the youth. These funds will also be used to refurbish the exterior plaza in front of the Youth Center.
  • West Vigo Community Center/Clinton Recreational Center will upgrade their buildings – both buildings are former high school gyms that have been repurposed to serve their communities.

In addition, the grant will fund efforts to strengthen mental health services for young people, including mental health screening programs, after-school skills workshops, school-based individual counseling, school-based group sessions, and teacher and staff support groups.

“The collective impact of this grant on our communities and the children we serve is incredible. Each of these organizations works tirelessly to provide quality programs and opportunities for our community.I am proud we were able to come together for this grant opportunity and am excited to see how this major investment will impact the children we serve,” Brandon Halleck, CASY COO, said.

This grant is one of 187 made through Lilly Endowment’s initiative, Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana, and one of 20 that total $1 million.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,’ said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana Initiative in 2022 with an invitational round of grants to nine national youth-serving organizations to help them expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters.