Social Justice Grants

Social Justice Grants: Applications Due April 30, 2024

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 a fillable rtf template that should work for most word processing applications. Just enter your information in the expandable spaces provided and submit the completed form electronically as per instructions at the bottom of the form.


 Grants Awarded for 2023/24

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 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 grant 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 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 Interfaith Refugee Alliance (AIRA)

AIRA uses its funds to assist recent arrivals in many ways, including assistance with housing, furniture and other home necessities, transportation, and English language programs. AIRA also offers financial assistance so the children can participate in school and community programs. The funds from STA will improve the lives of refugee families in our community.

Ames Sanctuary Interfaith Partners (ASIP)

The Ames Sanctuary Interfaith Partners (ASIP) is an all-volunteer non-profit affiliation 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 a 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 those who are undocumented and those seeking asylum.

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 partnership 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 travel for Charles Mugaruru to interact with parishioners to enhance CEZ.

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. Funds would maternity support for mothers.

Medical Mission Sisters (MMS)

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

Mustard Seed Farm (MSF)

MSF, which is part of the Catholic Worker movement, is dedicated to sustainable, simple living, love of our neighbor, and creating a community in which everyone can participate in growing and eating delicious, healthy, locally produced food. MSF is a volunteer-run, not for profit, service project. The primary focus is growing food to share, but there is also a strong education and community-building program, focusing on social justice, ecological living, human scale economics, and farming. The funds for STA will be used to improve the water system.

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 to provide emergency shelter for those who need it. 






2023 Grants:

See left for descriptions of these organizations. 79% of the funding is to organizations in Story County. Available funds ($23,000) were up slightly from 2022/23 ($22,500).

AMOS $3,000

AEH $600

AIRA $2,500

ASIP $2,000

CEZ $900

F@F $4,000

MHOH $500

MMS $4,000

MSF $1,500

TBH $4,000

TOTAL $23,000