GALAEI, an organization based in Kensington, was recently announced as one of the 30 winners of the Community Champions Awards & Grants Challenge by the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity.
The initiative aims to support grassroots nonprofit organizations and individuals that support the city’s most vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $325,000 in grants, each ranging from $12,500 to $20,000, were awarded to 20 Philly-based organizations with annual budgets of under $1 million. In addition, 10 community members who took part in meaningful volunteer work each received $2,500 in one-time financial assistance.
“Black and brown communities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Philadelphia and across the nation, so CEO is focused on ensuring an equitable recovery by investing in organizations that are led by and serving people of color,” said Mitchell Little, the executive director of CEO, in a press release.
GALAEI, originally founded in 1989 by David Acosta, provides community wellness and educational services for “QTBIPOC” individuals. Programs run by the social justice organization focus on things such as HIV prevention, sexual education, group support, community engagement and access to competent healthcare.
“These organizations intimately understand the needs of their communities and are best equipped to address them,” Little said. “By distributing funds to groups that are already on the ground, doing the work, CEO hopes to help them sustain those efforts.”
A total of 108 organizations applied for the Champions Awards & Grants Challenge, with all entries reviewed and scored by a committee composed of city employees, various community leaders and nonprofit leaders.