Since its inception in 1998, FEC has awarded grants to over 250 organizations and over 2,000 programs for the betterment of East Chicago. Some of these organizations have extended histories with FEC as they have initiated multiple programs for helping the residents. One of these organizations is Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gary.
In 2010, Catholic Charities received a collaboration grant from FEC for the amount of $7,000. The collaboration grants are awarded to groups of three to six organizations working together on a proposed program that will benefit East Chicago.
The following year, Catholic Charities received a general operations grant for the amount of $11,000. FEC awards these grants so that organizations that help the community can continue. The funds from these grants are used toward things such as supplies, bills and daily expenses. In 2011, Catholic Charities also received a $50,000 grant to fund its food pantry which feeds needy families from East Chicago.
In addition to their food pantry, Catholic Charities operates education initiatives across Northwest Indiana that help kids to be successful in school. In 2012, the organization received a $15,000 FEC program grant to go towards funding these initiatives.
In 2013, Catholic Charities started their Heating Assistance program. FEC granted the program $65,000 to be used toward helping households in East Chicago pay their electricity and heating bills when they have no other means of doing so. This program continued through May of 2015 and helped 175 East Chicago residences to keep their lights and heat on.
The 2014 program entitled Educational Opportunities for Families in Crisis was funded by FEC which offered courses on nutritional education, financial education, homelessness prevention and information technology to East Chicago families that needed it most.
Catholic Charities also recently received a 2015 program grant from FEC for their Healthy Sustainable Lifestyle program. This program will provide additional nutritional education as well as mental health counseling for East Chicago residents.
The storied history of collaboration between FEC and Catholic Charities has resulted in these and other programs that have gone on to touch the lives of nearly everyone in East Chicago.