Social Justice Grants

Social Justice Grants: Applications Due April 1, 2022

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.

Click here to download the grant guidelines.

Social Justice Grant Recipients 2021

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.”  This grant will help with the latter.

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 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. This program is also supported by STA and 14 other churches since its inception in 1984.

Attat Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary Hospital, Attat, Ethiopia (ATTAT)

The hospital provides integrated health, developmental activities.  The curative services include inpatient and outpatient activity.  Obstetric, surgical, medical, pediatric, neo-natal care, HIV/AIDS, Laboratory, X-ray/Ultrasound and Emergency Services are available.  The preventative health services include maternal and child health, women’s promotion, vaccination programs and safe water development.  Activities are carried out in collaboration with the village elders, the village development committee and the government Health Extension Workers (HEWs).

The hospital provides a Maternity Waiting Area (MWA) for high-risk mothers.  As many mothers are located in this remote, rural area, the access to a delivery service can be difficult.  The mothers are advised to come and stay in the MWA before delivery so that when they go into labor, they are already at the hospital.  This service provides free care and delivery as required by the present policy of the Ethiopian Health Service.

Former STA parishioner, Sr. Elaine Kohls, a Medical Missionary Sister who served at Attat, studied at Iowa State, and is now retired from hospital work in Ethiopia, and continues her friendship with several STA parishioners.  Without donations, it would be very difficult to continue and support this program and reduce the risk of high-risk deliveries.

Ames Shelter Corp.  The Bridge Home (TBH)

The Bridge Home (Formally, 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.  We serve a five-county area, including Story, Boone, Hardin Green and Marshall.

The aid will be used to provide emergency shelter and/or homelessness prevention service to clients.  Emergency shelter may include temporary housing in the shelter or in a motel setting, including food support and case management.  Homelessness prevention may include financial assistance with rent, utilities, medical expenses or other costs that create a barrier to maintaining housing.  Prevention assistance enrollment in supportive management if it is to be received more than once.

Café El Zapote (CEZ)

Café El Zapote purchases coffee from Café Hacia El Futuro, an Association of 21 farmers in the Honduran Village of El Zapote.  We 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, we practice a direct-trade partnership to maintain a good relationship with the Association.  This allows us 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.

This grant will support a project to provide clean and safe drinking water within the El Zapote community. It will also enable farmers to have access to markets that will provide them with financial stability to fulfill basic human needs

COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Immigrants (COVID-19)

This fund is a response to the anticipated needs of those impacted by the coronavirus. The fund will be targeted to immigrants, since the population is predicted to be underserved by the U. S.  Government’s expanded unemployment benefits and financial stimulus program.  It is intended to provide assistance for rent, utilities, medical supplies, fuel and other needs. The aid is intended to supplement the assistance from Story County agencies such as MICA, Good Neighbor, etc.  It can be used for rent, utility, fuel assistance and funds for other necessities that are not provided by food pantries such as special diets, medicines, etc.  We anticipate that the fund will remain in effect until the economy recovers significantly, but cannot predict when that will be.

The grant will be used for direct payment of rent and utilities owed by immigrant applicants from Story County.  In recent weeks, total grants have averaged roughly $4,500 per week.  Funding of $3,000 from STA SJC will provide 7.5 typical payments of $400.

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.  We have been working with them since 2014; our 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.  The grant funds would be used to pay a contractor for construction costs and new materials. 

Food at First (F@F)

Food at First provides seven meals per week for the hungry in our community.  During the past year 28,499 meals were served, and the numbers, so far this year, represent and increase per month.   “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.  Total for shoppers in 2020 was 27,010 people, representing 11,180 households.  On Thanksgiving Day, a community meal is open to all who want to attend.  In 2020, 600 people participated in a Thanksgiving meal.  No Christmas Day meal was served due to COVID-19 concerns.  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.

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.

The STA Grant will be used to help with expenses of operating Martha’s Hose of Hope.  Specifically, they will be used to cover the cost of rent and utilities for the home for one month.  The amount needed to cover one month of rent and utilities, is approximately, $1,330.


Obria Medical Clinics (OMC)

Obria is medical clinic in Ames, IA 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.  Obria opened in October 2020, and has served 91 people since then.  The aid will be used to help meet the financial needs to serve clients.  They have set a goal for 2021 to hire a full-time nurse practitioner in order to expand medical services to serve more people with medical needs.  The aid will help Obria in its mission to serve local women and men, many of whom are students and of low income.

Rifaq Al Darb (RAD)

Rifaq Al Darb (Companions of the Road) is a small non-profit, non-governmental, Lebanese charitable organization, recognized for acting for the benefit of the general interest.  It is located in the church building of St. Joseph University in Beirut.  It was founded in 1993 with the mission of providing friendship, care and support to the elderly living in isolation and despair.  Over the years, Rifaq Al Darb has expanded its services to serve underprivileged and vulnerable people of Lebanon.  Rifaq Al Darb does not discriminate and it helps people from all religious faiths – Christians and Muslims – in Lebanon.

The funds will be used to support Rifaq Al Darb current plan of action to include the repair of housing damaged by an explosion, to serve daily free hot meals for people in need who have become impoverished, and to provide medical assistance:  free health examination and distribution of free medicine for people who cannot afford anymore to buy their prescription medicines.

Shanti Ashram (SA)

Shanti Ashram is a Gandhian center for development, learning and collaboration founded in Coimbatore, India in 1986.  The Ashram serves as a catalyst to empower rural communities.  To accomplish this, Shanti Ashram has adopted a service area model wherein a village constitutes an individual service unit.  A team of committed staff coordinates outreach and program implementation in each of the areas 40 villages.  The Ashram’s field staff are joined in their work by local lenders and members of the community-based organizations, including women’s self-help groups, and youth groups.  Panchayat members (peoples’ elected representatives) and the farmers associations.  The Ashramhas consciously sought community participation in all that it does.  The STA grant funds will be used to provide an on-going program of hygiene, public health, care of children, parental awareness, food security and promotion of the Kitchen Garden.

Mary J. Tregilia Community House (TCH)

Mary J. Treglia House serves the needs of newcomers to the Siouxland Community.  The organization works to identify the needs of the immigrant population in Siouxland thriough education, services, advocacy and celebration of diversity.  The grant will be used,to collaborate with Siouxland Public Media to produce "News for All," the local daily news in multi[ple languages (Spanish, Oromo, Somali, Aramaic and Vietnamese).  Tregliia House provides translators who post the podcasts while Siouxland Public Media provides the media for distribution.






2021 Grants:

see left for descriptions of these organizations.

AMOS $3,000

AEH $800

ATTAT $3,500

CEZ $2,000

COVID-19  $3,000

EWB $2,000

F@F $5,000

MHOH $1,330

OMC $2,000

RAD $1,000

SA $1,000

TBH $3,000

TCH $2,250

TOTAL $29,880