Social Justice Grants

Social Justice Grants: Applications Due April 30, 2023 (N.B. This deadline was extended in 2023)

Social Justice Grants are awarded to local, national, and international agencies which promote the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, particularly by promoting peace and alleviating poverty and human suffering.  The money is tithed by the parish comprising up to 2.5% of our weekly collections from envelopes, loose change, and direct deposits, as well as occasional designated donations.  Award recipients are selected by the STA Social Justice Committee based on parish members' applications.  These awards are granted annually. A minimum of 50% of the fund remain in Story County/Ames while up to 50% assist nationally and internationally

Click here to download the grant application. This application form is in need of formatting improvement but is in Word which hopefully you have access to (or an application that will open it) and can get your information entered even if odd spacing results.

Click here to download the grant guidelines.

Social Justice Grant Recipients 2022

A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS)

AMOS organizes research action teams to find concrete, specific, and winnable solutions to the problems plaguing families in central Iowa.  The problems have involved health care and mental health, affordable housing, juvenile justice reform, workforce development, infrastructure improvements and immigration.  These volunteer, citizen-led issues teams are formed out of the small group house meeting process AMOS organizes every two to three years.  These issues grow out of a bottom up, grassroots process of listening and telling our stories.  Over its 20-year history, AMOS has amassed a track record of finding solutions to otherwise divisive, complex public problems through an intensive, win-win, non-partisan approach to politics.  The aid is used to pay for training for AMOS leaders (the people participating from member organizations), arrange events and actions, and support the lead organizer.  Much of the effort of AMOS is expended on developing leadership skills that allow people to tackle public problems effectively.  A saying in AMOS and other affiliates of the Industrial Areas Foundation is “Power comes in two forms:  organized money and organized people.”  The Social Justice grant would be used to pay for training AMOS leaders (i.e., the people participating from member organization such as STA), arranging events and actions, and supporting the lead organizer. 

Ames Ecumenical Housing, Inc. (AEH)

AEH is a church-sponsored non-profit group cooperating with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide affordable housing to seniors and persons with mobility impairment.  STA is among its founding (1984) member institutions.  AEH owns two residences:  Keystone, with 65 units, and Stonehaven, with 56 units.  The grant will be used for the designated gift fund, supported by affiliated churches, which assists residents with temporary financial needs for rent, food, or medicine.  It will also be used for community building activities for residents, enhancement of public spaces, and occasional short-term needs of residents. 

Ames Romero House (ARH)

The Ames Romero House provides long-term community and support for men in need of housing in Ames. It is a community of people who seek to live sustainably, creatively, and in solidarity with those in our Ames community seeking refuge or spiritual sanctuary. The Social Justice Grant will be used to replace the gutters for the house and find a sustainable heating solution.

Ames Sanctuary Interfaith Partners (ASIP)

The Ames Sanctuary Interfaith Partners (ASIP) is an all-volunteer non-profit affilitation of members of all faiths with a shared vision to actively and directly support people who are undocumented and/or asylum-seeking immigrants. ASIP is currently sponsoring an Honduran family (for whom STA is a secondary sponsor), paying for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) renewals, and partnering with an organization in Texas to provide backpacks to children and families who cross the border with nothing. The funds from STA will support development of a website to help reach partner agencies and congregations in Ames and surrounding communities, immigrant advocacy organizations in Iowa, and potential volunteers and donors.

Café El Zapote, LLC (CEZ)

Café El Zapote purchases coffee from Café Hacia El Futuro, an Association of 21 farmers in the Honduran Village of El Zapote in the area of our Sister-Parish.  They provide fair market value for their coffee that is much higher than the market price in Honduras, to induce progressive change within the El Zapote community and the local economy.  Additionally, they practice a direct-trade partnership to maintain a good relationship with the Association.  This allows them to provide high-quality coffee that is locally roasted for consumers around the Ames, Iowa area.  All profits are invested into community initiatives that further enhance the quality of life for the people who live in El Zapote. The funds from the grant will support farming communities in Honduras by purchasing high-quality coffee at a fair price.

Engineers Without Borders, ISU Chapter (EWB)

The mission of Engineers Without Borders is to provide engineering solutions to communities around the world to help them meet their basic human needs.  Its vision is a world in which every community has the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs.  EWB-ISU is a non-profit, student-led organization at Iowa State University consisting of about 70 students. This chapter is currently partnering with a community n Ullo, Ghana, called Ullo-Dante.  They have been working with them since 2014; their most recently completed project in Ullo was the implementation of a water distribution system that pumps water to 1,000 students at Ullo Senior High School.  Since the completion of this project, EWB-ISU has been working with the community to identify other water needs.

The current medical clinic in Ullo is insufficient.  Within the past year, EWB has formed project groups for designing and assessing the possibility of new clinic, which would include Power, Sanitation/Water, Structure/Materials and the Layout of the Clinic.  The Ghanaian government in in full support of the project.  The Clinic would serve 28 other nearby communities, for a total of 11,000 people.  Funds from the Social Justice Grant will help support the design and construction of several rooms in a medical clinic.

Excel, Inc. (EXC)

Excel provides a veriety of services such as after-school learning, adult literacy, a resale store, a computer lab for the public, an incubator for new businesses, certified nursing assistant education, senior activities, and other services needed by the Okolona, MS community. Funds will be used to help create a shelter for homeless women and children that opens this year.  

Food at First (F@F)

Food at First provides seven meals per week for the hungry in our community. “Gleaned” food is used to prepare the meals, and leftovers are sent home with guests.  Food that would be otherwise thrown away by local grocers/restaurants is utilized for the meals program and also given away to our guests. 

In 2010, Food at First also initiated a perishable food pantry known as ‘Free Market.”  Food (mostly meat, produce, bakery and dairy products) is distributed at no cost three times a week.  Presently, between 100 and 140 families “shop” with no cost to them.  Several of our STA parishioners are active in meal preparation, gleaning food from ISU and several Ames businesses, as well as helping at the market. Funds would help with rent and maintenance for the dishwasher, freezers, refrigerators, and stoves. 

Martha’s House of Hope (MHOH)

Martha’s House of Hope is a home for pregnant mothers and their babies.  Martha’s House of Hope provides shelter, life skills, and hope while helping to impart self-reliance, a sense of service and the realization of the mother’s God-given dignity.  MHOH offers a safe home and living assistance for pregnant women in need.  It will offer an immersive living experience with a staff that lives the Catholic faith.  They will accept women regardless of their faith or beliefs, in a home that openly presents spirituality.  The mission is to allow women to realize and embrace, their God-given dignity.

Funds would help to cover the cost of rent and utilities for the home. The amount needed to cover one month of rent and utilities, is approximately, $1,400.

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital (OLL)

The Social Justice Grant will support care for mothers with high-risk pregnancies in Ethiopia.

Obria Medical Clinics (OMC)

Obria is medical clinic in Ames, opened in October 2020, that provides pro-life reproductive healthcare in a way which empowers each client to make informed, life-affirming decisions.  They provide pregnancy testing, STD testing and treatment, limited obstetrical ultrasound, well-woman care, pregnancy options consultation, counseling on the negative physical and emotional side-effects of abortion, and after-abortion help.   Funds would support photos of newborns in the clinic.

Saving Suds on Lincoln Way (Ames) (SSLW)

Funds will expand their program of supporting local families with quarters and supplies to clean laundry.

Story Co. Comm. Housing Corp (SCH)

Story County Community Housing Corporation (SCCHC) is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that exists to provide safe and affordable housing for low-income people in Ames and Story County. SCCHC owns 13 apartments in Ames, rented at rates averagin 62% of HUD fair market rents; SCCHC also owns six community land trust properties in Ames. The Social Justice Grant will be used for outside repairs at one of the properties. 

The Bridge Home (TBH)

The Bridge Home (formerly, Emergency Residence Project) provides a continuum of care including street outreach, homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, supportive housing, rapid re-housing and connection to supportive services.  They serve a five-county area, including Story, Boone, Hardin Green and Marshall. Funds will be used for diversion services--i.e., to find accommodations for clients before bringing them into shelter. 





2022 Grants:

See left for descriptions of these organizations. 67% of the funding is to organizations in Story County. Available funds ($22,500) were down from 2021 ($29,880).

AMOS $2,000

AEH $500

ARH $1,000

ASIP $1,500

CEZ $1,500

EWB $1,500

EXC $1,000

F@F $3,350

MHOH $500

OLL $3,500

OMC $200

SSLW $600

SCH $1,000

TBH $3,850

TOTAL $22,500