(L to R): Samantha Jeffers, Grantham President Scott Andrews, Kathy Irvine, Beau Heyen

KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 12, 2017 – Grantham University recently awarded three community grants through its new program designed to give back to local organizations. Episcopal Community Services, the Honor Flight Network of Kansas City and the Warriors’ Best Friend Foundation each received $3,000 to further their missions.

“The spirit of giving back to the community is ingrained in Grantham’s deep-seated culture of service,” said Scott Andrews, president and CEO of Grantham University. “Grantham relocated to Kansas City almost 12 years ago after being uprooted by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Our family of employees has created the community grant program as a show of appreciation for the city we call home.”

The community grant program is uniquely funded by Grantham employees’ voluntary paycheck deductions. Also indicative of the university’s penchant for service is its Grantham Gives Back program, which provides employees eight paid hours to be used toward volunteerism in Kansas City or other areas of the United States.

Episcopal Community Services aims to engage the broader community in feeding the hungry, while “empowering the poor to move beyond barriers of poverty with dignity,” as its website says. Through its Culinary Cornerstones Training Program (CCTP), the organization provides 800 hours of food service/culinary training and soft skills development for underserved and at-risk individuals. Simultaneously, CCTP supplies training and education to food service employers to help them understand the challenges faced by these individuals.

“The Culinary Cornerstones Training Program is a workforce development initiative that helps individuals move toward self-sufficiency,” said Beau G. Heyen, president and CEO of Episcopal Community Services. “Combined with our hunger relief programs, we are addressing the root causes of hunger and meaningfully impacting the Kansas City community.”

The second grant recipient, Honor Flight Network of Kansas City, is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to fly veterans to Washington, D.C, on a one-day trip to visit memorials built in honor of their service to the United States. These trips are provided at no cost to the veterans. “Through Honor Flight, our veterans have an opportunity to reconnect with fellow service members, honor their fallen comrades and strengthen bonds with family members,” said Scott Sheridan, Honor Flight KC vice president. “These trips provide a chance for our community to express gratitude for the veterans’ service and sacrifice.”

In 2013, the Warriors' Best Friend Foundation was established in Kansas City, Missouri, with a dual purpose in mind: to provide trained service dogs for veterans battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); and to demonstrate the value rescue dogs have to positively impact the lives of these veterans. The program “Operation: Homestead” adopts and trains homeless canines from local animal shelters and pairs them with veterans with PTSD and TBI, completely free of charge to veterans and their families, according to its website. With Grantham’s community grant, the foundation will be able to purchase one year’s supply of dog food.

Grantham University’s support of veterans is also baked into its DNA – the institution was founded in 1951 to help veterans improve their lives through higher education. Today, the university proudly serves a broad population of adult learners – from our nation’s honored military and public service to corporate America and those desiring education for personal and professional advancement.

Episcopal Community Services, Honor Flight KC and Warriors’ Best Friend Foundation were presented these grants during Grantham University’s Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.  The next grant application cycle for qualified organizations opens August 1, 2017. To learn more, visit https://www.grantham.edu/grantham-gives-back-fund-grant-guidelines/.

About Grantham University: Grantham University was founded in 1951 by Donald Grantham, a World War II veteran with a vision to make education achievable for military service members and veterans. Throughout the past 66 years, Grantham’s commitment to serving those who serve with affordable, accessible higher education has evolved into a culture of service that extends to all adult learners, as well as those in need. The university’s ability to help students achieve their dreams through education is enabled by its unique approach and devotion to comprehensive student support, and its continual advancement in line with changing technologies.

Continuously accredited since 1961 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), Grantham University has earned a distinguished record as a respected and accredited distance learning university. The 100 percent online university serves more than 17,000 students annually, and offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate certificates and degree programs.

MEDIA CONTACT
Liz Istas
913-309-4311
listas@grantham.edu

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