Social Justice Grants

Social Justice Grants

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 2020

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.

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

This fund is new, and 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.

Emergency Residence Project (ERP)

ERP provides shelter, food, and housing services to those experiencing homelessness.  The aid will be used to assist ERP in maximizing their local sheltering capacity for individuals and families here at the Emergency Residence Project in Ames and Story County, Iowa.

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. 

Excel, Inc. (EXCEL)

Excel was founded in 1988 in a collaborative effort of the Catholic Church and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).  The name Excel stands for Education and eXcellence through Community Educational Leadership.  In addition, the organization encourages people to excel, and has been committed to engaging local people to respond to local community needs.

The aid will be used to purchase Adult Learning materials.  Excel is in dire need of books and other resources for the Adult Basic Education program.  By having new and more appropriate materials, the adult learners will take more pride in their learning, and will have an increased sense of dignity in the learning process.  The Adult Learning program serves 15 student per year.

Food at First (F@F)

Food at First provides seven meals per week for the hungry in our community.  During the past year 25,691 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 2019 was 17,449 people, representing 41,985 households.  On Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, a community meal is open to all who want to attend.  In 2019, 600 people participated in a Thanksgiving meal, and on Christmas Day over 500 were served.  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.  STA aid this year will contribute to the monthly rental ($2,000), and be used to maintain our dishwasher, freezers refrigerators and stoves.

Ghana Christian Family Foundation (GCFF)

The Ghana Christian Family Foundation, working out of Mankessim, Ghana, provides scholarships for students and seminarians, materials for schools in deprived communities, teacher workshops and small grants for family self-help projects.  The GCF Foundation is expanding its mission to include outreach to the aged, marriage preparation programs, and children and maternal health initiatives.  A mobile health unit is needed for mothers and children in villages where health care is not easily accessible.

Lila Mae’s House (LMH)

Lila Mae’s House provides long-term transitional housing and support to survivors of sex trafficking.  The funds will be used to assist in the purchase of a new zero turn lawn mower ($2,700).  Lila Mae’s house is situated on an acreage, and a reliable lawn mower is a necessity to ensure that the grounds are kept safe and accessible for adult female survivors of sex trafficking.

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, $1,450.



2020 Grants:

see left for descriptions of these organizations.

AMOS $3,000

AEH $800

ATTAT $3,000

COVID-19  $2,000

ERP  $5,000

EWB $1,000

EXCEL  $1,200

F@F $5,000

GCFF  $1,000

LMH  $500

MHOH $1,000

TOTAL $24,000