MARION, OH—More than $9,000 in grants have been awarded to four Dayton area nonprofit organizations to help fund programs aimed at addressing loneliness and social isolation. The grant was established after multiple Miami Valley community organizations, including presenting sponsor United Church Homes, came together to sponsor the Ohio premiere of All The Lonely People—a documentary highlighting the epidemic of social isolation and loneliness.
“To date, working with a number of like-minded organizations, All The Lonely People has raised close to $50,000 that has been awarded as grants to promote solutions to loneliness and isolation in local communities—and we’re just getting started!” said film producer Joseph Applebaum.
The award recipients represent a diverse group of nonprofits serving a range of demographic audiences:
- Sunlight Village will receive $3,000 to establish bi-weekly groups for children, youth, families and older adults in Dayton’s west end to connect residents to positive groups that offer encouragement, support and healing with crafts, movie showings, music and art activities.
- St. Mary Development Corporation will receive $3,000 for a three-month program in three low-income housing communities for older adults to—in conjunction with Senior Music Connection—bring hand chimes, drumming, song writing and other activities to connect individuals through music and creativity.
- Rainbow Elder Care will receive $1,650 for projects in conjunction with the LGBTQ+ Youth Center, which is under development (with plans to open in 2023). Projects include portraits of older area LGBTQ adults, intergenerational programming and LGBTQ history books and resources for its future library.
- The Food Bank will receive $1,650 for a program to bring pets from the shelter to food distribution sites for interaction with older adults, which is proven to have a positive effect on mental health. These interactions could also help alleviate feelings of loneliness.
“The grant committee was pleased to see the array of ideas and programs that were submitted,” said Reverend Beth Long-Higgins, vice president of engagement and the executive director of the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging. “The variety of organizations and the range of services helped to illustrate the need for programs addressing loneliness and social isolation. It also made the decision more difficult because we knew we would not be able to fund all of the requests.”