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NBC Connecticut (WVIT), Telemundo Connecticut (WRDM), and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation today announced a total of $225,000 in Project Innovations grants will be presented to six organizations that are using innovation to tackle everyday problems and urgent COVID-19 needs in the community. The non-profit organizations selected as Project Innovation 2020 grant recipients all exhibited flexibility with their programming and will use their funding to deliver services and programs that address the needs of those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

This year, a total of $2.475 million in Project Innovation grants have been awarded to not-profit organizations in 11 markets, including the Hartford/New Haven markets.

“NBC CT and Telemundo CT are proud, once again, to support local non-profit organizations, whose projects are not only innovative but have proactively utilized their services to help individuals affected by the latest pandemic,” said Diane Hannes, President and General Manager of NBC Connecticut and Telemundo Connecticut. “Through Project Innovation and many other impactful initiatives, we will continue to be committed to our local communities by offering ways to achieve resilience and thrive together to become stronger than ever.

Local Project Innovation 2020 grant recipients include:

Hartford: MCEIVR, Inc. – $80,000

McEivr will dedicate the grant funding to support their “Innovation and Beyond:3D Printing for the New-Collar Workforce” program which gives individuals access to new job opportunities. In response to the coronavirus crisis and shortage for personal protective equipment for health care workers, McEiver launched a community project to manufacture face shields and other personal protective equipment. The group is also hosting virtual meetups and providing online classes and workshops to help individuals get prepare for job opportunities.

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center – $30,000 

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center is using our grant to fund its Veterans Inclusion Project (VIP). The project focuses on a three years advocacy campaign to reduce the number of veterans who are unjustly barred from mental health care, disability benefits, and supportive services. Their organization continues to deliver services to veterans through this crisis over the phone, and online helping Veteran’s apply for aid from diverse programs.

Rape Crisis Center of Milford Inc. – $25,000

Rape Crisis Center of Milford winning educational program: Project TEACH is a state-wide Sexual Abuse and Assault Awareness Program. The program focuses on perpetuating behaviors, encouraging bystanders to intervene in safe and effective ways, and disassembling social norms that allow this behavior to be accepted and exist. During these unprecedented times, the organization moved programs online, such as their support group, and is continuing to have their hotline open 24/7 to help children and the LGBTQ+ community that might be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Women and Family Life Center of Guilford Inc. – $10,000

The Women and Family Life Center will utilize their funds to support their innovative three-tiered peer mentoring program “Girls Coach Girls Run” The program helps high school girls’ mentor younger girls. Their after-school promotes a social development curriculum, and outdoor physical activities, that prepare all girls to run a non-competitive 5K. They are currently helping fund financial support along with other organizations to help residents during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Healing Meals Foundation Corporation – $50,000

Healing Meals Foundation has received our grant to support its low-income project, which will provide its clients with Nutrition Education and a Wellness program. It also includes meals for 12 weeks enabling their clients to enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich meals without needing to shop, prepare, or cook. Healing Meals is helping nourish healthcare workers and keep medically fragile clients connected to the community while they isolate. They started a COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which is supporting healthcare workers with Healing Meals Immune Broth, nutrient-rich snacks, and notes of thanks; and delivering organic meals to those especially susceptible to coronavirus.

Creative Living Community of Connecticut Inc. – $30,000

Creative Living Community of CT has received a grant to fund its “Greenhouse Vocational Program” to provide vocational training, educational opportunities, and engaging horticultural experiences for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other intellectual or developmental disabilities. Their food-producing farm is essential to businesses. Through this pandemic, they are maintaining many of its programmatic activities, such as preparing the farm for the season ahead. Their spacious farm allows them to continue serving their clientele, which supplies local restaurants and individuals with various microgreens, shoots, and edible flowers.

Project Innovation applications opened on January 11 and closed on February 15. The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC/Telemundo owned stations reviewed applications virtually beginning March 2020. Applications were evaluated to determine groups’ ability to advance their communities in the areas of storytelling, community engagement, culture of inclusion and youth education, as well as their preparedness and capacity to deliver quality programming that meets the pressing needs that have developed in their communities during this unprecedented time.

Project Innovation 2020 grants were presented to eligible non-profit organizations in select markets including New York (WNBC, WNJU), Southern California (KNBC, KVEA), Chicago (WMAQ, WSNS), Philadelphia (WCAU, WWSI), Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS, KXTX), Boston (WBTS, WNEU, NECN), Hartford, CT (WVIT, WRDM), Washington, D.C. (WRC-TV, WZDC), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (WTVJ, WSCV), San Francisco Bay Area (KNTV, KSTS), and San Diego (KNSD, KUAN).

For a list of all Project Innovation 2020 winners, visit WWW.NBCCONNECTICUT.COM. Follow on social at @NBCUFoundation and #ProjectInnovation