First City Arts Center and The Beacon are this year’s recipients of more than $70,000 in grant awards from Sunday’s Child, a Pensacola-area nonprofit which promotes LGBT acceptance.

The two organizations will each receive $35,500 in grant funding.

Launched in 2014, Sunday’s Child uses a model similar to Impact 100 — members pay an annual $1000 fee which goes toward grant awards, which are determined by the votes of members at an annual meeting. The group places an emphasis on grants to non-profit organizations and initiatives that place value on diversity, inclusion and equality.

First City Arts Center’s winning proposal, “2000 Degrees: A Portable Glass Arts Education Program,” will allow the arts organization to increase community outreach through a portable glass-blowing studio. The fully-equipped mobile studio can be driven to schools, festivals, and other special events to provide demonstrations. Officials with First City expect the portable studio to increase public participation in its glass-blowing programs by 100% in its first year by visiting at least two schools per month and taking part in community festivals.

The Beacon, a women and children’s shelter, was awarded for its “Rapid Re-Housing Project,” which officials called “an effort to calm the homelessness crisis.” Funding will be used to provide rent and utilities assistance in order to expedite rehousing of homeless families and single women. The project will also focus on rebuilding clients’ problem-solving and decision-making skills.

“Leading change and acceptance of others is our main mission,” said Dr. Chuck Presti, president and founder of Sunday’s Child. “If we can accomplish this and directly impact the community in a positive way by awarding grants and giving of ourselves, I think it is a win-win for everyone.”

First City and The Beacon were among four finalists announced in May. Other finalists included the Pensacola Humane Society and the Ronald McDonald House.


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