Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The Galaxy Project purchased a new building last year, and they’re looking forward to moving into it. But, like with many projects, work on getting the building ready to move into has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But while the organization waits for renovation grant funds to be made available, executive director Chelsa Hamilton has been busy securing programming grants that will help address a real need in the community – childhood hunger.
“It’s been busy,” Hamilton said. “Of course we bought the building, the old cafeteria at the high school, and it will be a youth and community center. We’re working on a grant to renovate. But in advance of that being open and being ready – which we’re probably looking at a year or more – we were able to secure some grants for programming that we can go ahead and get started now and do a lot more activities and support our youth and families.”
Those awards are focused, specifically, on food and security to support “overall health and wellness,” she explained.
“We received awards from the Pallottine Foundation and System of Care funds through the state (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). It’s really focused on food and security, making sure kids have what they need. They were written to work together really well, to support kids overall health and wellness,” Hamilton continued. “A big part of this is food insecurity.”
To help address that need, among the programs the funds will support include monthly family nights with games, a full meal, and opportunities to pick up snacks to take home. The grants will also fund the purchase of basic hygiene items and school supplies that children and families can pick up to supplement support received through the school’s family resource centers, which the Galaxy Project is working closely with.
Hamilton said she was “excited to partner with the resource centers” to meet these needs which that organization is already addressing in the schools.
“The grants are built around that to help us help them,” she said, and to provide supplies within the resource centers.
Other aspects of the funding are supporting things like drug awareness programs in the school, which dove-tail with the health and wellness aspects of the grant funding.
“I think this is a way for us to build up a lot of the things that we hope to be able to provide in the Youth Center, but not having to wait. We can get started right away,” she said.
They will start with their first family night at the Factory, in Olive Hill, on July 24, and the resource centers are putting together “wish lists” of items that are beneficial to the children.
The organization has also received support from the Mountain Association for a new website, developed by PNP Creative. That site, thegalaxyproject. org, is active now. You can check out the new website for more information on the Galaxy Project and their events.
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