RED BLUFF, Calif .– Nonprofits and public entities in Tehama County receive a total of $ 154,399 in grants from the McConnell Fund to the Northern State Community Foundation.
This year, they have seen a record number of people apply for the McConnell grant due to the pandemic.
The City of Red Bluff Parks and Recreation Department was one of the groups that received a grant of $ 32,699.
They will use the funds to completely revamp the Diamond Park train.
They’ll trade the beloved Diamond Park wooden train for a poured concrete train.
“It’s just going to make the project safer for the kids and just more fun,” said Karen Shaffer, City of Red Bluff Parks and Recreation Supervisor.
Juan Cruz used to go to the park every day to play with his cousins when he was a child.
Sad to see the train of his childhood go, but knows that upgrading is a must.
“The train has a bit of wear and tear from the pieces falling into people’s hands so it needs a lot of maintenance,” said Cruz. “Thank goodness the park gets more care and maintenance than it needs.”
Shaffer told Action News Now that the pandemic has pushed back the distribution of many grants.
This was the first grant requested by Shaffer since taking up her supervisory role three years ago.
She looks forward to welcoming the children back to the park.
They hope the new train will enter the park in six to eight weeks, just in time for summer.
Hope Chest Thrift Store was another grant recipient, receiving $ 20,700 to repair sewer lines that run through a 30-foot carpet strip inside the store to the side aisle pipes.
They will also use the money to expand their small bathroom from its original location to the storage room, so that it can be ADA compliant.
“We have volunteers who use a walker or a cane, so having a bigger bathroom will be very beneficial to them,” said Lucretia Betts, chair of the board of directors of Hope Chest Thrift Store.
The thrift store doesn’t just provide for itself, but the low-income family counseling center next door.
“This grant is going to help us get back into the negative because we would have to pay for it anyway and we would definitely be in the negative when it comes to our books,” said Lori Hale, manager of Hope Chest Thrift Store.
Even with 56 years in business and a 100-year-old building, Betts told Action News Now they only ask for help when they really need it.
“We are very, very grateful to be taken into account when awarding grants because we definitely need them,” Betts said.
They do not yet have a start date for the projects, but predict that it will take four to five days to complete them.
They may need to go out of business during this short time to get the job done.
Northern California Child Development Inc. (NCCDI) is receiving $ 15,000 to purchase equipment for sensory integration rooms for seven different NCCDI sites across the county.
At NCCDI, they work with children with many different behaviors and disabilities and see a lack of sensory interaction in children.
Spaces will include things like paint rooms, calming colors, and possibly even sensory swings.
“We’re looking for soft rugs and things that are really light and that heavy,” said Mellissa Owens, site supervisor. “Heavy bullets that they can just use if they’re really upset and their impulses are based on practice. It’s appropriate to throw that heavy ball, but it’s not appropriate for you to push my friend to the ground. “
Some classrooms already have makeshift sensory spaces, but the grant will help them better help children cope in school.
“We help them learn to control their behavior, calm their bodies and put themselves in a sensory environment to calm down,” said Rosie Flores-Wilfong, Head Start Program Director.
They are extremely grateful to the McConnell Foundation and excited to turn their vision into reality.
The Red Bluff Joint Union High School District also received $ 36,000 to replace the theater seats at their Performing Art Center in time for the new school year.
Community Housing Improvement Program Inc. received $ 50,000 to repair seven balconies and handles in the Brickyard Creek apartments.
In total, the organization awarded $ 683,313 distributed among 28 different groups in Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Tehama and Modoc counties.