Funds will improve access to technology for children faced with severe illness; donation marks more than $1 million in Humana contributions to Chicago area nonprofits
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Children’s Place Association, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children and families confronted with HIV/AIDS or other life-changing conditions, was awarded a $100,000 grant as part of this year’s tenth annual Humana Communities Benefit program in Chicago, funded by the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM). The Children’s Place Association serves nearly 400 individuals each year in Cook County.
Since opening its first care facility in 1991, The Children’s Place Association has evolved to address the ongoing needs of individuals and families struggling with illness and poverty. The organization now maintains three facilities, with services including a 10-bed children’s residence with 24-hour nursing care, mental health counseling, foster care as well as adoption and supportive family housing. The Children’s Place also provides Chicago’s only summer camp for HIV-affected children, along with early childhood education programs designed to address the specific developmental needs of children with HIV or other conditions.
However, just as the HIV/AIDS epidemic evolved, so have the needs of those individuals and families living with the disease. The Children’s Place now sees the families they serve struggle with access to technology, including the internet and computers, placing them at a distinct disadvantage.
Cathy Krieger, president and CEO of The Children’s Place Association, says the funds from the Humana Foundation will allow the organization to launch a new initiative, Project TEAM-UP (Technology Access Means Unleashed Potential).
“Children’s Place clients are very low income. Often they cannot put dinner on the table, much less afford computers and home internet. But in today’s world, technology is no longer a luxury, it’s an essential,” said Krieger. “With Humana’s support, Project TEAM-UP will help our families overcome the technology gap, bringing new resources into their homes and improving their lives. This grant will be truly transformational for our clients. We can’t thank Humana enough.”
While it’s no secret that poverty negatively affects a child’s access to the technology and resources needed to succeed in school, the technology gap continues to widen, and is worse for families struggling with severe illness. Now, thanks to the $100,000 grant from Humana Communities Benefit in Chicago, the Project TEAM-UP initiative through The Children’s Place Association will help bridge that technology divide for the individuals and families they serve by expanding access to computers, the internet and technology training.
The grant funds will be used to provide new desktop computers for The Children’s Place’s learning classrooms, laptop computers for other facilities and summer camp attendees, educational materials, digital-literacy training and technology-based tools. The new computers will be available to both adults and children at the organization’s program sites, and will also include adaptive tools for disabled children. In addition to the new computers located at The Children’s Place facilities, Project TEAM-UP will provide home computers and internet access for up to 50 selected families that the organization serves, giving them direct access to critical online health information and resources.
Humana associates selected three finalists from more than 100 applications from area 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations for the tenth annual Humana Communities Benefit grant program in Chicago. Humana then worked with a panel of local judges comprised of community leaders, public officials and business representatives to select The Children’s Place Association as recipient of the annual grant, which was awarded at a celebratory gala on Oct. 3, 2012 at the River East Art Center. The other two finalists, Heartland Health Outreach and Gads Hill Center also each received donations of $7,500.
“The three finalists for the tenth annual Humana Communities Benefit grant are incredible organizations, and the work they do has an immeasurable impact on the well-being of our communities,” said Dave Reynolds, President of Humana’s Illinois Commercial Market. “Humana is thrilled the grant funds will go to The Children’s Place launch of the TEAM-UP initiative. We hope it has a positive, transformational effect on those impacted families.”
The 2011 Humana Communities Benefit grant recipient, A Safe Place, used the $100,000 grant to enhance and improve the shelter and transitional living facilities they provide to victims of domestic abuse and their children, creating a more positive and healing environment. A Safe Place serves abuse victims in Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.
For more information on the Humana Communities Benefit program, visit www.Humana.com/HCB.
About The Humana Foundation
The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health care companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the site of Humana’s corporate headquarters, the Foundation’s mission is to promote healthy lives and healthy communities. The Foundation’s key funding priorities are childhood health, intergenerational health, and active lifestyles. For more information, visit www.humanafoundation.org.
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Source: Humana Inc.