Saturday we had perfect weather to plant a native forest at East Lake Park! Partnerships and volunteers makes events like this a success. Thanks so much to TAP for the volunteer athletes. Mayor Woodfin came out to enjoy the day as well.

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Five years ago, it was a warehouse and they fed the hungry using crock pots and an old stove. But with the spirit to serve the community, and the dedication of volunteers, Hope House Church now serves roughly 300 meals per week, and makes meal deliveries. "We give people hope", says pastor Thomas Martin.

Come out to East Lake Park this Saturday and help us plant some trees! The holes are already dug! Registration is FREE and the first 30 people to show up get a free tree to take home!
This initiative is part of a project we have collaborated on with The Nature Conservancy, the Alabama Forestry Commission, the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County SWCD, and Ruffner Mountain Nature Center to survey the Birmingham City tree canopy, assess it's health and plan for the future. Come take a part in history!

Cawaco supports first responders in Blount County! We are thankful for Representative Standridge and Senator Shellnut for continuing to support the work we do.

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We like to make sure Alabama citizens are safe.

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We are proud to support M4A in their efforts to educate first responders who are confronted with the challenges of citizens with dementia. M4A is taking this project into all 5 Cawaco counties!

ATTENTION TEACHERS! Do you know you can take your class on a field trip without leaving the classroom? Now you can- and it’s free!

Please share and let other know about these important resources available to families struggling with dementia related illnesses.

Lesson plan that teaches kids how to test air quality in their homes, classrooms and outdoor environments!

We are always excited when stuff we do makes the paper! 🙂

Bluff Park Elementary!

A sample of projects funded in 2018! Click the link to see all the awesome stuff going on in the area!

We visited Bluff Park Elementary today with teacher Katie Collins, Rep. Faulkner and Senator Waggoner, and spent some time learning about the Maker Spaces learning library that was funded through a small Cawaco grant. Children learn hands-on problem solving skillls, teamwork and socializing, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math!
We really enjoyed visiting with all the students and teachers! 😃

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Cawaco makes positive impacts on all the counties surrounding Birmingham!

Congratulations to Alabaster Fire & Rescue and Alabaster PD for being certified "Dementia Friendly" departments. This certification ensures the departments have been trained how to interact with citizens who have dementia. It also helps to connect these departments to resources that M4A provides the community. Cawaco recently awarded M4A a grant to help expand the program throughout the 5-county Cawaco area.

Cawaco has a cargo trailer full of trail-building equipment and it is available to volunteer groups and non-profits in the metro area.
We now have the rental agreements and the scheduling calendar online!
Again, we’d like to thank the Birmingham Ultra Trail Society for covering the replacement of the tools that were stolen in April!

We visited Columbiana yesterday and met with Paula and Mary Cooper to discuss the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) project.
Mary Cooper explained to Senator Jim McClendon, Rep. Corley Ellis, and Shelby County Cawaco Board Members Chad Scroggins and Kevin Morris about the program.
HIPPY is an an evidence-based home visiting program designed to support parents in their role as their child's first and most important teacher. HIPPY fosters children's intellectual, social and physical development by empowering parents with skills, tools and confidence necessary to work with their children in the home.
Trained instructors conduct home-visitation that includes the delivery of a cognitive-based curriculum, and delivers 30 weeks of high-quality school readiness activities and books directly to parents, who then work 15-20 minutes a day with their own three to five year old children.
Cawaco is happy to help with this amazing project by providing funding for backpacks and curriculum.

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Another instance where a small grant made a large impact. It just takes some vision and a few dedicated people to make a difference in a community!

Look at what Remlap Fire Department did with a tiny little grant from Cawaco! They updated their antiquated computer system so now they are able to better serve the community. They will be able to receive FEMA grants and send reports to them. In order to be able to send these reports you must have the correct computer equipment, and this grant helped with that.
Additionally this grant helped to lower the ISO rating. With EMS runs, EPCR reporting is being used to send these reports to the receiving hospital. These computers are necessary for making arrangements with the receiving hospital for ambulatory services.

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We attended the Dreamcatchers graduation ceremony at Susan Moore elementary this morning. This ceremony honored the students that attended the Blount County Education Foundation summer program Dreamcatchers segment. Over 70 kids graduated and got certificates and backpacks!
Cawaco was one of many funders for this exceptional program. We would like to thank the Blount County legislators Representative David Standridge, Senator Clay Scofield and Rep. Randall Shedd for continuing to support Cawaco and identify worthwhile projects in their districts!

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Are you the recipient of a Cawaco grant? Is your project complete? Have you submitted your final report? Are you aware that the DEADLINE to submit your paperwork for reimbursement is August 1?
Are you having problems? Call us at 205-623-0457
Find the Final Report Form on the website (cawaco.org) under "Forms"

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Water is life. We tend to forget how necessary water is to everything we do, and that water is a very precious- and limited- resource.
Our actions today matter to all future generations. Please always be conscious of your water usage.

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On Saturday We attended the opening ceremony for the Palisades fire tower! The fire tower was constructed in 1949 and through various grants and community support, has been restored, meets safety standards and is open to the public! To access the tower, guests will go to the park office and purchase a ticket and sign a liability waiver.
Cawaco board members Chris Green and Doug Smith were present at the event, as were representatives from the Palisades Park board, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the Forestry Commission.

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Donate now and help assure the preserve has the support it takes to remain open! This incredible property is located in Jefferson County and draws visitors from all over the Southeast. Unlike a state park, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve has no funding for staff, and one man manages the preserve, cleans up trash, hosts events, keeps people safe, finds lost pets and keys, grows native plants that are planted all over Alabama,serves as a rescuer during floods, and on top of that, he holds education events for students, and coordinates volunteer events and night hikes! He also schedules use of the Cawaco tool trailer, for which we are deeply grateful.
Without a sustainable plan to insure future funding, TCNP will not be able to retain the manager of the preserve. Without Charles, the property will be closed to public access.
The funding received (much of which has already been raised) will be used to erect a pavilion off-site, that can be used for events and rented as a means of generating sustainable income for the management of the preserve.
Please spread the word and help raise awareness of the need for donations for TCNP.
Cawaco wants to thank Charles Yeager for everything he has done throughout the many years he has managed the Preserve to keep it open, to create trails, erect signage and benches, and keep the public safe while enjoying this incredible location. He has dedicated so much of his time to TCNP, please DONATE and if you get a chance, let the man know you appreciate what he does!

The mission of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute and the Go Build Alabama campaign is to recruit a new generation of skilled tradespersons for the commercial and industrial construction industry, by creating a recruitment campaign that dispels the misperceptions about working in the trades, promotes training programs, and enhances the image of the construction trade professional and the industry as a whole.

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Project Learning Tree offers GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment.

Free Summer Meals for Kids!!!
USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provides free, nutritious meals to children in need who normally depend on school lunches. Distribution sites are located throughout the U.S.—find a site in your area and learn how you can raise awareness in your community.

We visited Chilton County this week with Senator Chambliss to announce the completion of two grants for the Chestnut Creek Heritage Chapel upgrades. The grants were given over a 3-4 year period and covered roof repairs and electrical upgrades.

We visited Camp Fletcher this week! Camp Fletcher is an amazing hidden gem, located in Bessemer Al, and resides on 300 wooded acres crisscrossed with streams and trails. The camp is very old and rustic and was founded in 1926 by Pauline Bray Fletcher, Alabama’s first African-American nurse.
It was refreshing to see happy kids, unplugged and sweating in the sunshine with smiles on their faces!

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Check out this awesome article about the Thompson High School project that Cawaco funded! This project doesn't just benefit Honduras- it benefits several schools in Alabama, and builds relationships across continents!

We are SO EXCITED that the historic fire tower at Palisades will soon be open to the public! Cawaco helped restore the structure by awarding a grant to purchase the materials to rebuild the steps. The tower is now officially up to safety codes and we know the view from the top will be amazing!

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Have you ever wanted to become an emergency dispatcher? Now is the time to get that training!

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Get your soil tested!! You can get boxes to send your soil for testing at your local Extension office.

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Mountain Rose Herbs is giving 3 grants!
Here is what they will fund:
We fund projects aligned with our mission and core values in these categories:

Herbalism and herbal education
Protection of native and medicinal plants
Environmental stewardship
Organic and sustainable agriculture

Job fairs in Tuscaloosa, Bessemer and Dothan!

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Cawaco would like to thank Birmingham Ultra Trail Society for donating $2000 to replace the tools that were stolen from the tool trailer! We are very grateful that this group appreciates the value of the trailer enough to help replace what was lost.

The Alabama Community College System Adult Education programs (Alabama Adult Education) provide free adult literacy, basic skills, English as a Second Language and GED test preparation. The cost of the GED® Test is $120.00. GED® testing vouchers valuing $25.00 per assessment are available for individuals enrolled in the program who meet the minimum qualifications. A maximum voucher of $100.00 is available (per student) and the student will pay $5.00 per assessment.

Alabama Adult Education is offering See it 4 Free, an opportunity to take all 4 GED Ready practice tests free-of-charge. In addition, for a limited time, if you pass the GED Ready practice test, Alabama Adult Education will pay for you to attempt the official GED exam.

A GED graduate is eligible to receive a scholarship for one college credit course of up to 3-credit hours at any public 2-year college in Alabama. Ask the school’s Financial Aid office about this scholarship. Visit www.accs.cc/index.cfm/adult-education for more information or to locate the Alabama Community College in your area. PLEASE SHARE to get the word out about these services. Click below to listen!!

Meet Ms. Shirley Mixon of the Jasper Senior Activity Center. Ms. Mixon is an alumni of the Generations on Line program that was partially funded through Cawaco and administered through M4A.
Generations on Line is nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing communication among generations by promoting Internet access and literacy to elders of the Paper Generation. The software guides novices step-by-step with onscreen instructions on every page in large type, plain English, and a clear, uncluttered interface with friendly icons. It is free to seniors. With Generations on Line software, seniors known as “peer coaches” train other seniors on how to use the computer.
After Shirley completed the Generations on Line training, she began to train other seniors not only to use the internet but to learn basic computer skills. But without the help of the Senior Employment Program, Shirley said she probably wouldn’t be working.
After working for Proctor & Gamble in Ohio, she moved home to take care of her mother and realized that her skills needed to be sharpened for the modern workplace. Shirley decided to join the Senior Employment Program to learn the skills necessary to re-enter the workforce.
From there, she worked at Bankhead Middle School for seven years, before being hired to work at the Jasper Senior Center to teach other seniors basic computer skills. Now when she isn’t teaching computer training, she is teaching quilting. Shirley Mixon has been working at the Jasper Senior Center for eight years.
To find out more about educational programs for seniors, connect with your local senior center. If you’re a senior in Jasper needing some computer training, go see Ms. Shirley Mixon. Shirley says that if she can use a computer, anyone can!
Click below for the Alabama Senior Center directory to find a senior center near you. http://www.seniorcenterdirectory.com/alabama/

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We are proud supporters of the leadership program in Clanton’s West End community.

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Congratulations to Dr. Pat O'Neil at the Geological Survey of Alabama. Truly and Alabama treasure ! We are humbled to be associated with such quality partners.

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Target supports nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies, with emphasis on the communities where the company's stores are located. Target Youth Soccer Grants offer support for player registration fees, player and field equipment, and training and professional development for volunteer coaches. Grants of $1,000 are provided on behalf of each Target store and distribution center in the U.S. to nonprofit organizations, schools, or government agencies that have soccer programs serving youth five to 18 years old. The application deadline is June 30, 2018. Visit the company’s website to submit an online application.
https://corporate.target.com/corporate-responsibility/community/philanthropy/youth-soccer-grants