January: Organizational meeting to review program goals and time line.
February: Youth decide on grant criteria, such as which areas (health, housing, educational, spiritual, etc.) they would like to fund, what a successful proposal should include, and the number and size of grants. They advertise the grant program to organizations.
March: Proposals are submitted, usually 50 to 70 via mail. Proposals also come from an email sent to nonprofits via the Colorado NonProfit Association. Last year, the Trinity Youth Community Fund received 28 requests because of unusually specific criteria.
April: Proposals are reviewed. Youth meet with grant applicants and conduct on-site visits when possible. Decisions on grants are then made.
May: Presentation of grants take place during worship.
Young people from Trinity Lutheran Church, Boulder, Colo., are covered with paint since they've just returned from a rousing session of paintball. But all they want to talk about is the Trinity Youth Community Fund because they know it's a ministry that changes lives — and that the church exists for the sake of the world.
Mara Erhardt, 17, is quick to tell about a 2009 grant recipient: "We gave funds to a program to train medical professionals to recognize signs of child sex trafficking. When we heard about the amount of sex trafficking in Denver, we were shocked. Our eyes were opened. We all chose this group to receive funds."
|Katharine Jones (left) presents a check on behalf of the Trinity Youth Community Fund to Debra Moses and C. Anders Minter of Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, Denver. A 2012 grant recipient will be announced during worship in May at Trinity Lutheran Church, Boulder, Colo.|
Katharine Jones, 16, added: "I love kids so much and this is such a serious issue. I'm glad we could approve their grant."
The Trinity Youth Community Fund (TYCF) started in 2002. The goal is to engage eighth- through 12th-graders in their community and help them put their faith into action outside the church walls. Through a grant process, young people provide funds for nonprofits that serve people in need.
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