St. Joe Community Foundation Sets Record
Grants to Bay and Walton nonprofits topped $5 million in 2022
The St. Joe Community Foundation approved grants totaling more than $5.3 million in 2022 to be paid to nonprofits in Bay and Walton counties, the highest amount for a single year since the foundation’s inception in 1999.
In accordance with the its goal of enriching quality of life for the people who live, work and play in Northwest Florida, the foundation provides grants to other local 501(C)(3) entities that strive to make a positive difference for the community by strengthening education, improving healthcare, supporting cultural arts, and protecting the environment.
Also in 2022, students in Bay and Walton counties became the first recipients of “No Ordinary JOE” scholarships. Through the Bay and Walton County Education Foundations, scholarships ranging from $500 to $13,000 were awarded to deserving college-bound students at every public high school in Bay and Walton counties. Plans are in place to continue this scholarship program for years to come.
Other foundation grants included $46,290 for the Food for Thought, a Walton County nonprofit. In this case, students determined the amount of the grant by reading books and passing Accelerated Reader tests. Additionally, $480,000 grant from the foundation was used to buy specialized medical equipment for two different medical facilities to better serve the healthcare needs of the region, and more than $310,000 was awarded to support art projects that beautified and culturally enriched areas of Bay and Walton counties.
“These grants help make a real difference for people in our local communities,” said April Wilkes, the foundation’s executive director.
“From providing professional development opportunities for teachers to supporting literacy through enrichment opportunities, advancing healthcare options with new high-tech medical equipment, funding cultural arts sponsorships for free public events, and providing beds for children who have never had one, the foundation is truly improving the quality of life in our community not only this past year, but well into the future.”
In total, the foundation has now granted over $38 million since 1999 to 501(C)(3) organizations dedicated to making a positive difference in Northwest Florida.
“When the Foundation is most successful, our community nonprofits are able to do their best work, as well,” said Jorge Gonzalez, president and CEO of The St. Joe Company and a member of the foundation’s board of trustees. “This was another record-breaking year in terms of the amount of funds the foundation was able to distribute into the community, and that is going to translate into real-life results for locals who are striving to ensure a bright future for residents of Bay and Walton counties. I’m proud that the foundation is able to support the good work being done by so many people to bring visions of a better life to reality. A rising tide lifts all boats.”
To apply for a grant, or to learn more about the Foundation, visit www.JoeFoundation.com. A full list of The St. Joe Community Foundation’s grant awards can be found on the website.