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Columbus, OH (February 1, 2022) — The Isabelle Ridgway Foundation today announced three grants totaling $120,000 to support organizations serving elderly African Americans in our community. These investments recognize the nonprofits’ efforts to improve the quality of life and systems that impact aging African Americans, the core mission of the foundation.
The board is proud to invest in nonprofits that are developing and supporting programs and services that help African American seniors in our community. In doing so, we celebrate Isabelle Ridgway’s legacy of honoring our elders and ensuring that they are given opportunities to thrive.
Mark Hatcher, Esq., Chairperson of the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation
A grant of $50,000 was awarded to provide continued support to the Central Community House (CCH) Village Central Initiative. The Isabelle Ridgway Foundation has been working with CCH to build and expand the Village Central Initiative since 2019. The foundation has also supported the Well-Seasoned Stories project, an ongoing collaboration CCH has with the Transit Arts youth program. In 2021, CCH served more than 250 seniors, 86 percent of whom were African American and the majority of them female.
“Last year, the Village Central Initiative’s efforts to serve African American seniors was remarkable,” said Patricia Mullins, board member of the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation. “With so many isolated and alone, the village provided virtual and in-person events to engage these seniors, keeping them connected to one another and their community. It is at the heart of what Ms. Ridgway’s purpose was, and a continued goal of the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation today.”
A $60,000 grant was awarded to At Home by High (AHBH) to help increase capacity efforts focused on serving more elderly African American and aging residents in Milo-Grogan and Weinland Park. Formed in 2017, AHBH is a member-based organization that provides support and connectedness for older adults through services like transportation, outdoor maintenance, and events including social gatherings and local outings.
A $10,000 grant awarded to Catholic Social Services will support the Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion programs, which serve a majority of African American aging and elderly residents in Columbus. These innovative programs offer low-income seniors an opportunity to supplement their incomes, combat isolation, and contribute to the community by tutoring youth at area schools and Head Start programs and visiting homebound seniors while receiving a small stipend for their work.
Recognizing the inherent and disproportional inequities experienced by elderly and aging African Americans, it is a privilege to work with the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation to support the community by increasing access to services, and the capacity of nonprofits to serve our elders with dignity and grace.
Dr. Mark Lomax II, Director, Arts & Generational Grantmaking for The Columbus Foundation
Isabelle Ridgway founded the Old Folks Home of Franklin County in 1912 and worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the old, elderly, homeless, and poor. She died in 1955 at the age of 97, but her life’s work and witness continued through the Isabelle Ridgway Care Center until it was sold in 2015, and now through the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation.
Isabelle Ridgway. Photo courtesy of the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation.
About the Isabelle Ridgway Foundation
The Isabelle Ridgway Foundation was created in 2017 by the board of the Isabelle Ridgway Care Center to continue the mission of the center’s founder, Isabelle Ridgway. Ms. Ridgway believed in a world where we treat the aging as our elders. As a Supporting Foundation at The Columbus Foundation, the foundation forms coalitions, sponsors research, and supports grants to improve the quality of life and systems that impact aging African Americans in the Columbus area. Visit isabelleridgway.org to learn more.