Avedis Foundation: Community Renewal receives $500K grant

Vicky O. Misa
Shown are several staff members of Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County. In the back row, from left, they are Gary Frazier, Americorps physical activity coordinator; Sherri Thompson, receptionist and Kids Club leader; Erica Bass, communications coordinator; Mandi Wells, associate community coordinator; and Travis Flood, Craig Family Friendship House coordinator. In the front row, from left, are Brandon Dyer, executive director; Zoe Loeser, Block Leader coordinator; Rachel Monday, Americorps physical activity coordinator; and Michael Phillips, community coordinator.

This week the Avedis Foundation doled out a $500,000 grant to Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County.

Established in October 2015, Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County is on a mission to help neighbors restore community through intentional relationships.

“Through the leadership of Brandon Dyer, executive director, along with his board and a dedicated staff, Community Renewal continues to build intentional relationships by caring for others,” Avedis Foundation President Dr. Kathy Laster said. “Brandon and his staff are doing so tirelessly — one child and one neighbor at a time — to create a safe, connected and caring community for all.”

At Community Renewal's core is the belief that societies collapse their foundations are neglected. Its programs are structured to help bring neighborhoods back into a caring community.

“From the beginning, Avedis Foundation has been committed to lifting our community by creating a culture of caring through the work of Community Renewal,” Executive Director Brandon Dyer, with Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County, said. “The successes our organization has experienced in four short years would not be possible without their support and overall vision for our community.”

He said Community Renewal is thankful for another year of partnership as they work together to create a safe, connected and caring community.

More about Community Renewal

The We care. Team is a network of people making caring visible in the community. By participating individuals can help support efforts to build caring relationships in their neighborhood. Block Leaders lead the charge to rally the troops to care for neighbors and create a safe environment in both tangible and intangible ways.

Kids Clubs — in partnership with Shawnee Public Schools, Pleasant Grove and McLoud Public Schools — are actively growing with 483 kids participating in 20 clubs. These groups focus on character development, emotional regulation, healthy relationships and leadership.

Its first in Shawnee, The Craig Family Friendship House, at 812 W. 7th St. in Kickapoo Park, provides community room space as a hub of activity for partner organizations that offer localized help for neighbors in need. The second Friendship House, planned at the southeast corner of Main and Bryan and provided by the Absentee Shawnee Housing Authority, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.

To support the perpetual mission of this organization both now and in the future, donations can be made directly to Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County. For more information, call (405) 273-1035 or visit communityrenewal.org.

The Avedis Foundation's mission is to measurably improve health, wellness and the quality of life for the people of Pottawatomie County and surrounding areas.

For more information, call (405) 273-4055 or visit avedisfoundation.org.