July 16, 2020 AREA — The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut announced grants of $1,034,525 in support of four strategic priorities: youth empowerment, basic needs and rights, environmental conservation and education, and animal welfare. These awards are in addition to $1,180,942 in recent grants to organizations on the front line of supporting those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants have been made possible by caring donors who established funds for these purposes and partner with the Community Foundation to put their generosity into action for the good of the region. Grant highlights from the Community Foundation’s focus on equity across its 42-town footprint include the following programs to engage urban youth in educational and active pursuits, such as the City of Norwich Recreation Department’s Summer Youth Camp. A grant of $25,000 will enable children to attend this summer program that additionally provides much-needed childcare for working parents. Organizations that support advocacy and education on key topics impacting the region: $6,000 was awarded to the Connecticut News Project for Embracing Inclusive Economic Growth, a series of investigative journalism and public programs to engage community organizations and residents in advocating for a more equitable economy. Environmental programs that connect young people in urban environments to the land and food production: Grow Windham was awarded $20,000 for youth leadership and urban farming in Willimantic while FRESH New London received a grant of $25,000 for youth-led efforts restoring parks and creating hubs of local food production. Medical care for pets that benefit families with limited income and pets who need care to become adoptable: Grants totaling $30,800 went to Stand Up for Animals, Animal Welfare League of New London County, Groton Animal Foundation, Ledyard CHAIN, Our Companions Animal Rescue, and PAWS Cat Shelter.