The Grassroots Grantmaking Committee Funds 25 Love My Neighbor! Projects for over $47,000 in grants!

May 25, 2017

The Grassroots Grantmaking Committee (GGC) of the Love My Neighbor! grant program made decisions last week to fund 25 resident-driven projects amounting to $47,000 in grants.

After interviewing residents in face to face meetings in April, the GGC met twice in May to discuss, consult guidelines, and make final decisions about residents’ projects. The Committee received over forty applications from across the nine target communities for the grant program. Of those, they decided to fund 25 projects. The decision-making process was difficult and required Committee members to check their biases and abide by their guidelines and principles to serve residents, be asset-focused, adaptable, and humble, and always maintain an attitude of learning.

“I would describe the interviews as the most enriching piece of this whole process.  It was the moment where everyone’s hard work came to fruition.  Not only the resident’s projects, but also all of the work that the committee put in to deciding how to respectfully go through this whole process.  It was so great to see the enthusiasm of the residents  in person, as sometimes it is hard to get those same feelings from the written applications.  Just talking and meeting new people that are doing the same types of things that we are was a great experience and gave me renewed hope for these communities.”

– Jolie Valentine, Grassroots Grantmaking Committee

“Love My Neighbor’s goal is to help the people that are helping their communities come together and grow. Receiving a grant from Love My Neighbor doesn’t lighten the load for the recipient, but instead it multiplies their efforts with additional funding and support. It was community issues that had been void of opportunity to change that seemed the most pertinent to fund. For example, where individuals had been working to brighten up their neighborhood for no reward but happiness and will continue to work for nothing where it seemed a perfect time to grant them an opportunity to do more with GGC recognition, funding and support. “

– Katherine Schuler, Grassroots Grantmaking Committee

Throughout the decision-making process, the GGC focused on ensuring that residents from the neighborhood are driving the initiative forward. They believe that funding resident-driven efforts means promoting long-term investments in people and place. To ensure this investment, the GGC made tough decisions to not fund projects whose leaders lived outside of the neighborhood.

“In its second year of existence, the Love My Neighbor grant program focuses on unleashing the talent already in our neighborhoods. It is an investment in the assets already in the neighborhood, the people.”

– Shikha Jerath Program Coordinator of Civic Engagement and Community Building

Congratulations to the newest Love My Neighbor! Grantees:


  • Children’s Playtime | Jessica Price
  • Phat Man Dee Productions: Tune It! | Mandy Kivowitz Delfaver


  • Barrier & Bridges Workforce Programs | Sam Wright
  • The LEADERS Project | Anthony Morris


  • Knoxville Community Block Party | Tabansi Obialo
  • Academic Excellence Summit | Roy  Blankenship
  • Let’s Grow Together | Ruby William

Hill District

  • Francis Street Community Day | Francine Bibbens
  • Networking Seniors | Margaret Brown
  • AIM Initiative Summer Program | Jordan Morris
  • Our Hill, Our Stories | Amir Rashidd


  • Perch on a Stone | Jordana Stephens
  • Kenny’s Place | Demi Kolke
  • Homewood Community Seniors | Roland Ford
  • The Parade Open Ceremony | Anita Drummond
  • Grandma’s Splash Party | Beverly Howell


  • African Healing Garden | Betty Lane


  • Eva P. Mitchell Patio Beautification | Pat Rouse
  • Eva P. Mitchell Community Garden | Alexis Murphy


  • Millvale Native Trees | David Yake
  • Break Bad and Organize | Mandy Wolovich
  • Youth Biking Initiative | Natalie Stewart


  • Wilkinsburg Appreciation Day Block Party | Linda Atkins
  • Vacant Lot Reclamation | Jerry Gaudi
  • Flower House | Naomi and Darnell Chambers

To celebrate assets, we will invite all applicants to the Love My Neighbor! Gathering, an event aimed to identify neighbor assets and find new ways to connect across neighborhoods. The event will occur on Tuesday, June 6th 2017 at the Jeron X. Grayson Center in the Hill District!

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA