Impact100 awards $100,000 to ACTS Housing, IMPACT and Down Syndrome Association

Merit grants given to Radio Milwaukee, Neighorhood House

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Impact100 Greater Milwaukee, a local chapter of a national women’s nonprofit, has awarded $100,000 grants to ACTS Housing, Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin and IMPACT Inc.

Cynthia Harris, Kathy Mykleby, Jamy Malatesta and Anne Trunzo.

The three nonprofits were chosen Wednesday at Impact100’s annual awards celebration, held at the Italian Community Center. The 334 female members of Impact100 Greater Milwaukee voted on the winners after hearing from five nonprofit finalists.

“Each member casts her vote for the organizations she would like to receive a $100,000 grant,” said Anne Trunzo, co-president of Impact100 Greater Milwaukee. “Impact100 Greater Milwaukee allows each member’s $1,000 gift to have a much bigger impact than if we gave separately.”

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The five finalists included the three winning nonprofits, as well as Neighborhood House of Milwaukee Inc. and Radio Milwaukee Inc. Neighborhood House and Radio Milwaukee each received $17,000 merit grants.

“Each of our five finalists is filling a critical role in our communities,” said Jamy Malatesta, co-president of Impact100 Greater Milwaukee. “We are excited to help support and highlight these programs that will have a great impact in the Greater Milwaukee area.”

The grant recipients and their plans for the funds include:

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  • Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin is seeking to assist about 300 teens and young adults with Down Syndrome and other special needs through two new programs. With the Impact100 grant, DSAW will create a menu of transition-based programming to teach employment readiness and life skills to individuals with disabilities. The first program will use $70,000 to implement a transportation service, purchasing two 12-passenger vehicles to ensure students can attend DSAW education-to-work services. The second program, DigitalABILITY, will teach digital-literacy skills in preparation for jobs.
  • ACTS Housing will use its Impact100 grant to lend money to families who are purchasing and renovating distressed properties to rehab. ACTS Lending has the ability to make rehab loans of up to $25,000. The grant will support four to seven families in reclaiming a vacant foreclosure, providing loans that are not easily obtained from traditional lenders. Loans are paid back to ACTS within five to 15 years and the repayment success rate is 98 percent.
  • IMPACT connects vulnerable populations in Southeastern Wisconsin with resources they need to regain stability, including comprehensive substance abuse screening and assessment. The grant will allow the organization to purchase an updated phone system for its telephone crisis center, which will improve its delivery of services and provide proactive text alerts to callers. The system will also allow IMPACT to better serve other nonprofits by providing referrals to services such as shelters, food pantries, domestic violence resources and free mammogram screenings.

Impact100 received 65 applications from nonprofits in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. Applicants were reviewed by a panel of volunteer grant evaluators, a process that included 10 site visits.


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