Jessica Fleck, Chair of the Daniell Fund Committee and GCC’s Outreach Committee, said awards reflect the congregation’s increasing concern regarding food insecurity and affordable housing in the Lakes Region. While considering responses from Daniell Fund Grant applicants, she said she was mindful of Matthew 25: 35-36. “‘Feed the hungry, welcome a stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and imprisoned,'” she said.
Acknowledging the committee was unable to fund all requests, Fleck said organizations that did not receive an award will still receive support from GCC. “They will either receive a lesser donation from our Outreach Funds or will be supported through donations as part of a social service project,” she said.
For organizations awarded a grant from the Daniell Fund, the support will affect tangible community outcomes.
At Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region, the grant award will fund free bagged lunches to anyone who needs it, regardless as to whether they struggle with substance misuse. “While doing street outreach, we discovered that on Saturdays in Laconia there is a ‘food gap,’” said Daisy Pierce, PhD, Executive Director. “We will also host a BBQ once a month during the nicer summer weather.”
According to Susan Varnum, President, Winni Womenade, the grant award will help fulfill 20+ requests from men, women and children in need of short-term financial assistance who are facing a financial crisis. “In 2022, we served triple the amount of people than we did in 2021,” she said. “2023 is serving up to be our biggest year yet.”
Providing safe housing for victims of human trafficking and exploitation, Brigid’s House of Hope will use the grant award to contribute to their transportation fund. “Ultimately, we will purchase a van to transport Brigid's House survivors to and from daily appointments, outings, community volunteering, and much more,” said Ashley Emery, Resource Development Manager.
According to Michael Graham, GCC Pastor, grants awarded through the Daniell Fund are made possible by a substantial endowment gift from Barbara and the late Robert Daniell. “This is an annual opportunity that will exist in perpetuity,” he explained. “ The purpose of the fund is to improve and better the lives of people in the Lakes Region, which is something that is deeply meaningful and important to our entire congregation.”
Located in Gilford at 19 Potter Hill Rd, Gilford Community Church (GCC) is an inclusive, open community that welcomes believers and doubters, seekers and skeptics, young and old. Viewable live on YouTube, Sunday service takes place at 10 a.m. at 19 Potter Hill Rd., Gilford, NH and is also available on a livestream feed on GCC’s Facebook page.