Local Bank of America OC Awards $400K in Neighborhood Grants

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(left to right, back row) Bank of America employees Patty Conover, Allen Staff, Nick Givogri, Robert Schleusner, Cambria Briggs, Lisa Sims and Shari Battle, with (in front) Human Options Chief Executive Officer Maricela Rios-Faust at Human Options’ Fall Luncheon on Oct. 10 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum.
— Photo by Ann Chatillon ©

Bank of America Orange County, headquartered in Newport Beach, recently announced the recipients of the company’s 2019 Neighborhood Builders’ grants.

Human Options and J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center were selected for their work helping people in vulnerable situations achieve stability and thrive, according to a press release shared early last month.

Each receive a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact.

“What sets this year’s Neighborhood Builders apart is that both Human Options and The Shea Center empower leadership at all levels of their organizations,” B-of-A’s Orange County market President Allen Staff said in a prepared statement. “The impact that these nonprofits have on meeting specific needs in our community grows exponentially because of their leadership culture that is not dependent on one person.”

The program is the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country, according to B-of-A officials.

Human Options is working toward a future in which every person and family in Orange County experiences safe, healthy relationships and lives free from fear, the announcement explains.

“The Neighborhood Builders grant will allow Human Options to accelerate the transition from domestic violence shelters to permanent housing by increasing access to safe and stable housing and leverage the local housing continuum for homeless families affected by domestic violence,” the message reads.

According to the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, 80 percent of homeless mothers with children have previously experienced domestic violence.

“We are honored to be the recipient of the Neighborhood Builder Award and to be part of a community of transformational organizations,” Chief Executive Officer Maricela Rios-Faust said in a prepared statement. “This partnership makes it possible to respond to the complex needs of individuals and communities impacted by relationship violence.”

The Shea Center, one of the world’s largest therapeutic equestrian centers serving people with disabilities, will leverage the Neighborhood Builders’ grant to sustain therapeutic programs for more than 1,200 children, teens, and adults annually, according to officials.

“It will support the Center’s continuing growth in providing equestrian-based occupational, speech and physical therapy for people with disabilities, as well as services for military veterans with PTSD,” the message reads.

The grant will also support the growth and education of the volunteer education and training programs.

The generosity of the B-of-A grant is overwhelming, Executive Director Dana Butler-Moburg said in the statement. They are truly grateful for the support, which can help transform the lives of those they serve, she added.

“For 41 years, The Shea Center has improved the lives of people with disabilities,” Butler-Moburg said in the statement. “Each day victories happen for our clients, such as that first step, a first word spoken, a smile and eye contact, or even a first hug. These are some of the wins our clients and their families experience at Shea.”

Over the past 15 years, Bank of America has invested $240 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, according to the press release. The B-of-A program has partnered with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills.

For more information, visit bankofamerica.com, humanoptions.org, and sheacenter.org

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